Apr 13, 2011

It sickens me

On Opening Day, a SF Giants fan was critically injured after being beaten by a pair of men who waylay-ed him and his two friends in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium after the game.  The fan had to have a piece of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain, and he is currently in a medically induced coma.

The reason why he and his friends were attacked?  Because he dared wear a jersey from the Dodgers' sworn enemies...the San Francisco Giants.  There is nothing about that sentence that doesn't sicken me.  Sports rivalries can and should be fun.  They can absolutely add to one's enjoyment of the game.  Sneaking up on a fan of a rival team in the parking lot, attacking him and kicking him repeatedly in the head just because he was wearing a Giants jersey...that's just stupid and horrifying.

I wore a Yankee jersey and cap to a game at Fenway once, and I never really felt uncomfortable.  One guy came up to me and screamed "Yankees suck!" at me, but it was 1998 and the Yankees clearly didn't suck so I just kind of laughed at him.  So did his friends.  Aside from that, everyone was pretty cordial.  Never in a million years would I think that it could cost me my life.

Then there is John Steigerwald of the Observer-Reporter in Pennsylvania.  A journalist, by name if not by actions.  His response is that at a certain point in one's life, wearing the jersey or colors of your favorite team might be the wrong choice.  That you really aren't being "part of the team", as he believes some fans think.  I never thought that way.  I don't think that wearing my Yankee hat to the grocery store or the library or Fenway Park makes me a "part of the team".  It's just my way of showing that I'm proud of the team that I love to follow.  As a fan.  And to blame the actions of a couple of violent thugs on what the victim was wearing...well, that's too sickening a thought to follow to its sad conclusion.

He doesn't come right out and say that the victim "had it coming".  He doesn't need to.  It's right there in his tone.

And it sickens me.

UPDATE: Here's Steigerwald's response and "apology" to the family of the man who was beaten.  Not about the words that he wrote (which he implicitly states that he never meant that the victim "had it coming"), but he apologizes if the nonsense written about the article by nonsensical bloggers ever reaches their ears.  Well, that's mighty white of him.   His argument is that he in no way felt the victim "deserved" what he got, but maybe was an "unwitting contributor".  It doesn't matter how often Steigerwald states now that he never wrote that the victim deserved it or "had it coming".  Like I said earlier, it was clear from the tone of the original article.  Kudos to him for the semi-apology, and for at least semi-acknowledging the mistake.  But he should have manned up and said something like "I can see now how my words could have been read that way, and I apologize."  Instead, he blames hysterical bloggers.  Way to ensure Round 2 of this particular fight, douchebag.  Go get him, Ken Tremendous.


Jimmy said...

Violence for violence sake my friend, never a good thing. May I suggest that you never visit Glasgow when both sides are playing each other. The average assaults treble to around 17,000 during a 24 hour period.

Dave2 said...

It outright disgusts me... but is hardly surprising. People can be attacked for the color of their skin... why not the color of their jersey? Either way, it makes no damn sense. But humans have a tendency to make no damn sense.

Paticus said...

That column by Stiegerwald was astounding in its stupidity.
My older brother once wore a Packers jersey to an Eagles/Packers game in Philly that the Eagles WON, and someone tried to push him down the stairs after the game.What if the Eagles had LOST? Yikes.
People are scary.

Slyde said...


Have you so quickly forgotten the time that you beat me senseless for wearing my Harlem Globetrotters underoos?

hello haha narf said...

reading his article made me sick to my stomach. how dare he say that the fan had it coming? guess people who are raped have it coming, too.

next time i see that little bastard i'm punching him square in his stupid face and telling him he had it coming.

Water Logged Canine said...

This is the exact reason I loathe the MLB and love the NBA. We keep our criminals right where they belong...in uniform, and on the court!

You baseball guys are just animals. You probably fart too.

Verdant Earl said...

Jimmy - I was in a bar once watching a Tri-Nations rugby match between New Zealand and Australia. It was around 8AM my time, so of course I was on my third pint already. And I was actively rooting for the All-Blacks of NZ. Which seemed odd to a fella down the way because I was wearing a yellow pullover, the colors for the Aussie team. He came over and politely asked me what the hell my problem was. I said it was cold out and it was the first thing I grabbed to wear. His response was a big smile, a pat on the back and these words "Ah, yer a Yank. No worries. Ya just don't know any better is all!" :)

Dave2 - We humans are a stupid race at times.

Paticus - I'd never heard of the guy before, but he's on my stupidity radar now.

Slyde - You KNOW I've always been a huge Washington Generals fan!

Becky - Yeah, he's from your neck of the wood. Punch him in the dick for me, please. He "asked for it".

WLC - I haven't farted in precisely 7 minutes. Ooops...let's amend that to 7 seconds.

sybil law said...

The Steigerwald guy is a major douche. I hope someone beats the shit out of him and shoves his article in his mouth. He's got that coming to him, right?
Anyway, I heard some little kid who couldn't have been older than 10 say, at a Bengal's game (against Cleveland), "You're in the fucking 'Nati, now!", and I was so proud.
Seriously. People just get insane about sports. Parents letting their little kid yell that at people made me sick. Hearing about people being beaten up because of what they're wearing - Jesus.
Great! Now I'm back to hating people!
Not YOU, of course..

Unknown said...

Jeezus, my faith in humanity, as a whole, lessens everyday.

WTF is wrong with people?!?

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil & Annabelle - At least we have Foo. For that we can all be grateful. ;)

Avitable said...

This is why sports are stupid. Because we humans can't do things in moderation.

Verdant Earl said...

Avitable - Wrong. This is why some people are stupid. Sports are the tits. We just need less stupid people to follow them.

Jimmy said...

Hah! What a cheeky bastard. Yank or not, I'd drink with you pal.