Steigerwald, like school on Sunday: No classPosted 14 April 2011 by Tex Connally
Such was the case when pornstachioed cretin John Steigerwald of the Washington (Pa.) Observer-Reporter wrote a column that blamed San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow for the assault that has left Stow, a 42-year-old EMT from Santa Cruz, Calif., in a medically-induced coma.
The attack occurred in Los Angeles, in a parking lot outside of Dodger Stadium, where Stow and some friends had attended a March 31 game between the rival teams. Stow and his friends were wearing Giants jerseys and reportedly endured harassment throughout the evening. Witnesses say that two men attacked Stow and continued to assault him as he lay unconscious on the pavement.
The horror of the incident inspired the responses one would expect. Calls for civility were made; communities rallied around Stow’s family. Dodger Stadium security and alcohol policies have been questioned. But on April 10, the storyline took an unexpected turn. Steigerwald’s column added provocations such as this to the national discussion:
Maybe someone can ask Snow, if he ever comes out of his coma, why he thought it was a good idea to wear Giants’ gear to a Dodgers’ home opener when there was a history of out-of-control drunkenness and arrests at that event going back several years.
Steigerwald also got Stow’s name and date of the game wrong, lest there be any doubt as to his inadequacy as a journalist.
There isn’t much reward in analyzing Steigerwald’s argument, such as it is. Trying to identify logical process in his talk-radio-level rant is like trying to make a Venn diagram of a toilet bowl full of diarrhea. The victim-blaming rhetoric, creepily similar to the “she was asking for it” rationalizations used to justify or trivialize sexual violence, is self-evidently wrong.
Steigerwald also makes the bizarre presumption that men who wear team jerseys do so because they “think that wearing the jersey makes themselves part of the team.” Evidently gifted with psychic powers despite his feeble intellect, Steigerwald asserts that adults in team jerseys are motivated by a juvenile impulse to play make-believe.
Unsuccessful attempts at mass psychoanalysis aside, Steigerwald is not alone is his contempt for adult male fans wearing Major League Baseball jerseys. Many people, including those who are not morons, think it looks silly.
It’s a fashion issue. This writer is not particularly partisan on the matter. In a world beset by war and disaster, the matter of whether non-athletes should wear baseball jerseys seems unworthy of passion. Though it’s odd that a yinzer with a non-ironic ’70s ‘stache and ’80s haircut should be issuing style edicts.
Me, I don’t own any official baseball jerseys. And I don’t scoff at those who do. I don’t deny that scrawny or fat old men look a bit odd wearing pro jerseys. They do look better on kids or actual ballplayers.
But, fashion’s a personal call. Other people’s clothing is none of my business. For example, Steigerwald favors the polo-with-sportcoat look. Not my thing. If I feel the need to wear a nice jacket, I’m also wearing an Oxford shirt underneath. But that’s just me. I’ll refrain from suggesting Steigerwald is fantasizing about being a polo player or pro golfer.
I wonder if Steigerwald thinks it’s OK to wear the cap of the visiting team to a ballgame. Is it an invitation to violence? Is it an indulgence in make-believe? What about a logo T-shirt? May women wear team-logo earrings? Is that an invitation to sexual assault? I eagerly await the parameters of acceptable appearance as defined by a delusional boor who looks like Rip Taylor.
Finally, a word about the relationship between clothing and make-believe. I have a Clash T-shirt. When I wear it, I’m not pretending that I’m a member of The Clash. I’m wearing a shirt that bears a graphic representing a band that I like. No fantasy involved.
But sometimes, I drink a few bottles of stout, turn “Complete Control” up to maximum volume and thrash around the room doing windmill air-guitar, all while doing my best Mick Jones backup vocals. “C-O-N, CONTROL!”
That, brother Steigerwald, is what it looks like when a 42-year-old man is playing make-believe. And it’s awesome.
Unlike you. You fucking cock.