Tasteless

A couple of hours ago I had the great displeasure of reading John Steigerwald’s latest column for the Observer-Reporter, a daily newspaper based out of middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania. Before today I’d never heard of John, which isn’t stated as an insult. There are many writers I’ve never heard of, and many writers who have never heard of me.

Anyhow, John’s column, titled KNOW WHEN YOU’VE OUTGROWN THE UNIFORM, is about the recent incident in Los Angeles, when a couple od Dodger fans spotted a guy in a Giants’ jersey and pummeled him. The general reaction across the sports landscape was shock—Who would do this sort of thing? It’s only sports. Etc.

John’s take, however, was a tad, ahem different. He bashed adult fans who wear jerseys. Adult fans like, ahem, the man in the Giants’ duds. Writes John: “Maybe it’s time sports fans grow up. … 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?”

In short, John sort of … eh … uh … blames the guy for wearing a Giants’ jersey to Dodger Stadium. It was his fault. He was asking for it. What an idiot. What a fool.

Glub.

As soon as I learned of the piece, I felt bad for, of all people, the author. Writers make mistakes. Writers misfire. I was certain the reaction to the column would be (rightly) fierce, and indeed, it has been. Do this long enough, you make mistakes. Even mistakes like this. Once, when I was a young Tennessean scribe on the crime beat, I literally led a prostitution sting story with, “All John Smith wanted was a blow job.” Bad judgement.

But just when I was preparing to e-mail John some supportive words, I checked out his blog. Which is, well, terrible (and very spoof-like, beginning with John—a man who makes fun of jersey-wearers, photographed in what appears to be an Adidas running suit). But not merely terrible—it’s Bayless-esque. “Warning: No punches pulled here …” it reads, alongside the tag, “Sports, Politics, Opinions and Rabble Rousing.”

That’s when it hit me: John Steigerwald is loving this shit right now.

Loving it.

Which is sad. Because he—and his editor—should be humiliated.

PS: Check this out for the good ol’ days.

8 thoughts on “Tasteless”

  1. Good to see he stuck with the ‘stache over the years…

    That said, I think his article is vile. Romo is right about the name. The original article kept calling him SNOW. Also, I believe that he had the guy’s hometown wrong. Crap all around.

    And Jeff: I agree that we all write and do things that we aren’t proud of. I am guessing this guy is loving the attention and his editor is happier than a pig in shit. Find me one other article on that site that has over 100,000 hits.

    1. Well, I do want Pat Robertson to fail. So, hey.

      And I didn’t say I wanted Tebow to fail because he’s Christian. I said I wanted him to fail because I hate his crazy-crazy missionary work, which is way beyond bringing people water …

  2. “Grown men should outgrow team jerseys”, was probably a valid point worthy of a column, and I suspect he had the idea for some time and was just waiting for the ideal moment to write it. This was not that time. His call for a return to the era of suits and fedoras in the stands ended up reading like an endorsement of hooliganism.

  3. You stay classy Pennsylvania. Is it just me or does that guy look like a real life Ron Burgundy?

    Thinking men should not dress up like boys is one thing, condoning violence is another. If it wasn’t sports, this same group would be violent about something else.

    Big ups to Jeff for calling this guy out.

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