Know when you've outgrown the uniform
I know, right? It's not like sports is about tapping into your inner child or anything. Sports is to be enjoyed maturely, like a snifter of brandy (I don't know what that means).
As I'm writing this, Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic with two kids from Santa Cruz, is in a medically induced coma in a Los Angeles hospital with a fractured skull and serious brain injuries.
Part of his skull had to be removed to allow for the swelling of his brain.
Stow went to the Los Angeles Dodgers' home opener on April 1 wearing a San Francisco Giants jersey. That was obviously too much for two 20-something men wearing Dodger blue to handle. Witnesses say that after the game, they came up on Stow from behind in the parking lot, knocked him down and kicked him as they spewed expletives about the San Francisco Giants.
Indefensible, you say? Sounds like a challenge to John Steigerwald.
They were protecting Dodger turf.
(chomps cigar)"yah, see, we gotta defend our turf from dem boot-licking Giants fans and theys shenanigans. The whole lotta dem is a box a muffins"
Just before he was beaten to within an inch of his life, Stow texted some friends and said that he was "scared inside the stadium."
As he should have been for having the audacity to support his team, right Steigerwald?
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.
Since when are the Dodgers the baseball Oakland Raiders? I thought the m.o. of the Dodgers was that their fans didn't show up until the 3rd and left in the 6th, not that they like to beat fans senseless for no good reason.
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.
I'm 29, but as far back as I remember, adults have been wearing jerseys to games. I will say it's a higher percentage than it used to be (I'd estimate between 50-75%, if you count jersey t-shirts). But it sounds like Steigerwald is pining for the days when everyone came to the game dressed in suits:
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?
Can't you all be mature like John Steigerwald, and wear fedoras everywhere?
Are there really 40-something men who think that wearing the jersey makes them part of the team? It was cute when a 10-year-old kid got that feeling by showing up at Three Rivers Stadium in a Pirates jersey, but when did little boys stop growing out of that?
Yes, I'm sure that's why Stow, and all other adults, wear baseball jerseys. I certainly feel like it when I put my Cubs gear on, walk into Wrigley Field, and head straight to the Cubs' dugout.
Here's tip for you if you actually think that wearing your team's jersey makes you a part of the team:
The team is those guys down on the field, ice or court who are, you know, actually playing the games. They like the noise you make as a group, and they love playing in front of you. If you're an adult, and you approach them in a replica game jersey with their name on it and your face is painted, you scare them.
Actually, I think you only scare them if you're the type of fan that likes to beat people into comas, which is still fortunately less than 0.0000001% of all baseball fans.
If you don't put that jersey on in the locker room with them and have your own name on your jersey, you're not one of them.
1. I had to read this sentence three times to figure out what you were trying to say.
2. You've made this point repeatedly already.
3. In case my sarcasm above wasn't perfectly clear, WE GET IT. We're not on the team. That's NOT the point of wearing a jersey. Wearing a jersey to a game is about supporting your team, and sometimes getting a kick out of seeing the random fan in the throwback Shawon Dunston jersey.
Let's review: If you're sitting in the stands, you're a spectator, a fan. If you're down on he field, you're part of the team.
"Garbage in garbage can. Hmm, makes sense." (I just spent way too long looking for the picture that goes with that quote, to no avail.)
Obviously, not every fan who wears his team's jersey to a game is looking for someone from "the enemy" to beat up. But maybe somebody should do a psychological study to find out if all those game jerseys have contributed to the new mob mentality that seems to exist in the stands these days.
So it's just jerseys, huh? Could there be any other factors that might contribute to fan violence at the end of a game?
There's an outside chance that alcohol plays a role but apparently, the teams have ruled that out and continue to sell $9 beers.
Great! Cleared that up! Teams are going to continue to sell beer, so that can't be the culprit! Let's go back to blaming the jerseys.
If you're one of two or three guys wearing Steelers jerseys sitting in the middle of the Dawg Pound in Cleveland, guess what? The Steelers players can't see you and even if they could, they're not really getting a lot of inspiration from you.
But...I thought my Neal Anderson jersey was solely responsible for the Bears postseason run this year...so disillusioned.
If you're set upon by a bunch of drunken adults wearing dog costumes, you probably shouldn't expect any help from the guys on the field who are wearing the jerseys that look just like yours.
But to be clear, the reason they're being belligerent is the "dog costume" aspect of the equation, not the "drunken" part?
Why not just go to the Browns game in Cleveland dressed as a regular human being? When did it become necessary to wear a uniform to the game?
Necessary? Not at all. Fun and harmless in 99.99999% of all instances? Yes. The underlying cause of a wave of mob violence across the country at sports venues everywhere? Not even remotely you sensationalist, holier-than-thou piece of crap.