This article in the Little Washington Observer-Reporter by longtime Pittsburgh sports personality John Steigerwald is one of the least sensitive newspaper columns I've read in a while. It concerns Bryan Stow, a paramedic from Sacramento who went to a Dodgers game in Los Angeles wearing San Francisco Giants gear. Stow got beat up by Dodgers fans in the parking lot, who attacked him unprovoked, and is now in a medically-induced coma, with part of his skull having been removed.â†µ
Seems pretty open-and-shut, right? The Dodgers fans who did this are jerks, and the Dodgers would seem to have a problem on their hands, as 72 fans were arrested that night.
Unfortunately, that's not what Steigerwald's column is about. It's about how grown men shouldn't wear team jerseys, and how Stow should have known not to wear Giants garb at a Dodgers game.â†µ
Maybe someone can ask Stow, 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.â†µ
Remember when it was the kids who were wearing the team jerseys to games? It was a common sight to see an adult male coming through the turnstile dressed as a regular human being with a kid dressed in a "real" jersey holding his hand.â†µ
Are the 42-year-olds who find it necessary to wear their replica jerseys to a road game, those kids who are now fathers who haven't grown up?â†µ
Are there really 40-something men who think that wearing the jersey makes them part of the team?â†µ
Er, seriously? Any sentence that begins with "Maybe someone can ask Stow, if he ever comes out of his coma ..." is one that an editor should probably catch. There's no way for the author to avoid coming off looking like a complete sociopath, unless of course the guy in the coma is Hitler, or he threw his own head against the concrete in order to avoid police questions about how he eats babies, or something.â†µ
Also, there's nothing wrong with a grown man wearing a team jersey. Is it a little juvenile? Sure, I guess, but so are all kinds of things that are fun and perfectly normal to do on occasion, like eating a candy bar, or riding a roller coaster. Why Steigerwald would do this blame-the-victim crap on a guy simply for wearing a team jersey is beyond me. How he even got there, mentally, is beyond me.