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High Las Vegas prices cause Raiders’ ‘Violator’ to retire

Updated December 21, 2019 - 2:46 pm

Just before the fights broke out at Oakland Coliseum after the Raiders played their final game there on Sunday, two faces of the franchise made news in the notorious enclave of the aging stadium infamously known as the Black Hole.

Derek Carr, the team’s mercurial quarterback, was booed without mercy.

Wayne Mabry, one of its most recognizable supporters, retired without malice.

Well, perhaps a little malice — toward those who set Raiders’ ticket prices ahead of their move to Las Vegas next season.

Mabry, better known as “The Violator” — arguably the most outlandish of a motley crew of characters who dress up like it’s Halloween to cheer the Raiders on Sunday afternoons — told a TV reporter what he told me while driving to Oakland for the last time to witness pro football.

That after 28 years, he was retiring as one of the team’s most ardent fans.

“I understand the business side of it,” the retired 63-year-old union carpenter and face-painter said about the Raiders’ impending move to Las Vegas. “But as a fan, I feel like I’m being evicted. I’m still paying the rent, but they’re selling the property.”

Violator suggested he would have to sell his home near Riverside, California, and all of his body armor to be able to afford a seat license and season tickets at Allegiant Stadium.

“I’ll continue to be a fan. That’s a lifetime commitment,” he said as he and wife Bertha motored up Interstate 5 for the last time to bid the Raiders farewell with a menacing stare. “But I’ve been pretty much priced out.”

So despite Las Vegas being three hours closer to his home than Oakland, the Mighty Violator has “clocked out.”

Living on a fixed income and a disability check made it difficult to afford $2,4o0 for a season ticket in the Black Hole, he said. Paying more than that for a personal seat license and season ticket in Las Vegas will make it impossible for him to follow the team to Southern Nevada.

But if a local car or RV dealership wanted to sponsor him, he’d considered unretiring as fast as the Raiders blew that big lead against the Jaguars.

If one had to guess, The Violator would do anything to help John Barr sell you a car.

Around the horn

— Second generation UNLV golfer and former Foothill High basketball star Taylor Montgomery fired a final round 63 in a Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournament in Florida to tie for 13th and earn an exemption for the first eight events on pro golf’s triple-A tour in 2020. Said proud papa Monte, a former Rebels All-American: “I told him if he ever makes it into a major, I’ll caddie for him.”

— Iowa football coaching legend Hayden Fry, who died Tuesday at age 90, was a longtime resident of Mesquite. “I was in Iowa for 20 years. I’ve been out here for 16 years now and my butt still hasn’t thawed out,” said the colorful Texan in 2015 who painted the visitors’ locker room at Kinnick Stadium pink and inspired the hit TV series “Coach.”

— Butch Goring, the first coach of the IHL’s Las Vegas Thunder — the team that introduced pro hockey to Las Vegas — is having his jersey retired by the New York Islanders for whom he helped win four consecutive Stanley Cup championships during the 1980s. His No. 91 will join those championship banners in the rafters on Feb. 29.

— Chuck O’Bannon Jr., a highly prized basketball recruit who played his senior year at Bishop Gorman and signed with Southern California, has entered the NCAA transfer portal. O’Bannon, the son of former UCLA star Charles O’Bannon, played in only 14 games as a freshman for the Trojans. This season he played in 11 games and scored just two points on a couple of free throws.

— Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, whose No. 6 Wildcats were upset 69-66 by Utah at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night, on former Utes’ coach Rick Majerus: “A basketball genius. It’s all he did was basketball. I like watching the Alaska (TV) shows, and I don’t sleep in my office. This guy was basketball. He was like Kentucky Fried Chicken. We do chicken. There are no hamburgers here. Nothing. We do chicken. That’s kind of what he was.”

0:01

Get-in price for the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day pitting No. 5 Georgia against No. 7 Baylor: $6 on the resale market.

Get-in price for the Golden Knights’ Monday game against Colorado at T-Mobile Arena: $100.80 on the resale market.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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