Forget his column, John Steigerwald’s opinion on jerseys is just flat out stupid

Los Angeles Dodgers fans lineup outside Dodger Stadium before their Opening Day MLB National League baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles, California March 31, 2011. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

John Steigerwald is the Pittsburgh-area columnist who caused a stir earlier this week for a column he wrote about Bryan Stow, the 42-year-old Giants fan who is still in a coma after being beaten by two thugs outside of Dodger Stadium on Opening Weekend. I responded to the garbage that Steigerwald wrote yesterday, but since then he has taken to his blog (as well as TV and radio) to defend his stance.

This was from an entry entitled “THANKS FOR NOT TAKING IT PERSONALLY:”

I don’t apologize for the column but I do apologize to the Stow family if this nonsense has reached them and in any way added to their pain. I don’t, for one second, blame Brian Stow for the beating he took. I do blame the ever increasing out of control, out of perspective behavior by fans, too many of whom are no longer satisfied with going to their stadiums and cheering for their teams. And I sure as hell don’t think –as some hysterical posters have claimed –that Bryan “had it coming.”

If you read the entire entry, Steigerwald again comes off like an ass and almost seems to think that he’s the victim of “hysterical” readers. But he came back with another piece called “MOVING ON,” which came across much better in my eyes.

I wrote what I wrote and I stand by it, but at the same time, I understand why so many people interpreted some of what I wrote as being insensitive to Bryan Stow’s situation. I made the mistake of assuming that the tragedy of the situation spoke for itself and that I didn’t need to point out how terrible it was for Stow and his family. When I wrote ” Maybe somebody 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”, I can see by the responses that that came across as flippant and insensitive. That was not my intent. If I had it to do over again, I would write it differently. I know what I felt in my heart when I wrote it and it was anger over what had happened to this guy over a stupid jersey. That’s why I spent a good part of the column expressing my feelings about the jersey phenomenon. I don’t get it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think everybody has the right to wear what they want to a game.

Much better, John. You’re still way, way off base and your original column should still be used as toilet paper but at least you actually took the time to see what all the outrage was about.

As I wrote yesterday (although not in so many words), I think Steigerwald’s point is pretty freaking stupid. Let’s put Bryan Stow’s situation aside for a moment and focus on what Steigerwald was trying to say in his original column: that grown men shouldn’t wear jerseys to a game because a) the players can’t see you and even if they could, they don’t draw inspiration from you or your jersey, b) you’re not a kid anymore and c) the jersey may contribute to “the new mob mentality that seems to exist in the stands these days.”

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Writer: Beaten Giants fan should have known not to wear jersey

San Francisco Giants fans root for their team in the eighth inning during Game 1 of the Major League Baseball (MLB)’s World Series against the Texas Rangers in San Francisco, October 27, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I’ve seen plenty of crap writing in my day but John Steigerwald of the Observer-Reporter has taken bad journalism to a whole new level.

I actually read this piece yesterday but I wanted to let my opinions marinate overnight. I like to play devil’s advocate as much as possible and give writers the benefit of the doubt if I can at least see where they were coming from. But after reading Steigerwald’s article again this morning, it’s pretty clear that this guy doesn’t have a point.

Steigerwald’s column is about Bryan Stow, the 42-year-old paramedic and lifelong Giants fan who is now in a coma because a pair of thugs beat him to within an inch of his life outside of Dodger Stadium on Opening Weekend. Steigerwald suggests that Stow (whom Steigerwald apparently called “Snow” until he was corrected in the comments section of the piece) should have known not to wear his Giants jersey to the park that night.

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.

If he ever comes out of his coma? You’re kidding me right? How insensitive can you get?

Nobody needs to ask Stow why he wore his Giants’ “gear”: He was supporting his team at a ballgame. It’s not like he went to the beach dressed in an Eskimo suit.

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?

Here’s tip for you if you actually think that wearing your team’s jersey makes you a part of the team:

It doesn’t.

Is this now a cautionary tale that Steigerwald is writing or is he badgering a man in a coma? I’m confused.

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