An open letter to John Steigerwald

Dear John Steigerwald,

Can I call you ‘Stash?

I bet you’ve been getting lots of mean letters and emails and maybe flaming bags of poo left on your doorstep lately because of what you wrote recently, basically blaming a beating victim, Bryan Stow of California, who rests in a coma after the trauma he suffered at the hands of irate Dodgers fans because he dared wear a Giants jersey to a Dodgers game.

I mean really, who did this paramedic father of two think he was, buying a ticket to go see his team play their first game of the season and having the gross audacity to wear a Giants jersey? That’s begging for a beating! That’s basically walking into a stadium and saying, “Please. Fracture my skull. Take your foot and slam it again and again into my face while I’m on the ground. I deserve it for wearing this devil’s cloak in your place of holy worship. Punish me, for I have sinned. ”

What Bryan should have done was not gone to the game, but since he did choose to go to the game, he should have worn a Target outfit or something. You know, khaki pants and a red shirt.  Because Dodgers fans see a Giants jersey and they can’t help themselves. Like an angry, drunk bull seeing red, they just charge. It’s in their nature. They have no choice whatsoever in the matter. They must act swiftly to mete out justice on behalf of their team.

Mr. Stow should have sat there in his khakis and when his Giants did something good, he should have remained stone-faced, not betraying even the slightest hint that he was cheering on the inside. At most, he could have cracked a half-smile and then pretended the smile was directed toward his delicious stadium hotdog. And if the Dodgers did something good, he should have stood up and cheered and heartily shouted, “Well done, good sirs!” so as not to draw further attention to himself.

So, bravo, John. Bravo for putting the blame where it really lies. On the “victim.”

And another thing, I can’t thank you enough for informing us that purchasing and wearing team jerseys does not in fact make us a member of the team.

I threw on my Polamalu jersey one game last year and they could not escort me out of the locker room fast enough when all I was doing was slapping my teammates’ naked butts with joyous, stinging abandon. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you join the team? It was a hard lesson to learn. If only you had written your column before that, I could have saved myself the bail money.

And my husband. Oh, man. I bought him a Pirates jersey that has Montanez emblazoned across the back. The day after I gave it to him, I found a note that said he had gone to batting practice, and a receipt from Dick’s Sporting Goods for hundreds of dollars in baseball gear. I knew then that I needed to sit him down and gently break the news to him that just because I bought him that jersey, it didn’t actually make him a professional baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I will never forget the sound of his gentle, heartbroken sobs as he clutched his newly-purchased athletic cup to his chest. “But … the jersey has my name on it.  It … HAS MY NAME ON IT,” he wept.

Thank you, John. Thank you for giving it to us straight. We’re better people now that we know that wearing a Steelers jersey to a Browns game means we deserve whatever hell we receive, even if it comes in the form of a beating that puts us in a coma. We’re better people now that we know that just because we own a Penguins jersey we can’t start using the team entrance at the CONSOL.

We’re better people now, John. But we’ll never be as good a person as you.



[This has been satire. I have learned my lesson about writing satire without informing you it’s satire. THIS IS SATIRE.]


  1. bucdaddy
    April 16, 2011 6:05 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, they want to show their support for their team? What’s wrong with that?

    Think of the “Seinfeld” with Puddy at the Devils game.

    “Support the team.”

    Nope, nothing wrong with that.

  2. SpudMom
    April 17, 2011 3:55 pm

    Seriously late to the party here but I have to say that if your biggest problem is whether or not you should wear a sporting jersey as an adult then you’re way ahead of the game. Talk about first world problems.

  3. SpudMom
    April 17, 2011 3:57 pm

    Crap, that came out more sarcastic than I meant. I have no problem one way or the other with the jersey – wear it, don’t wear it, it’s up to you. I have one for my hockey team.

    I just meant that it sure is a nice problem to have, no?

  4. Jagoff
    April 18, 2011 11:05 am

    “just because I bought him that jersey, it didn’t actually make him a professional baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

    I’m pretty sure that actually is how you become a professional baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  5. Kathy
    April 18, 2011 2:36 pm

    @ empirechick – word.

    I’ve had people tell me that knitting or wearing a skirt “sets back” feminism. I say what sets back feminism is making choices because of whether I think other people will approve of them. It’s the same for jerseys. I think it’s weird because nobody had jerseys when I grew up and watched the game. And I think it’s dumb to wear a jersey that isn’t the team colors (flagrant jersey foul, apparently). But that is my choice, not theirs.

    And, unfortunately, bucdaddy has it right (unfortunate because it’s right, not because it’s bucdaddy) – the REALITY is that sometimes it’s not a good idea to wear some stuff in some places.

    anyway, a sad state of affairs all around.

  6. Megan
    April 19, 2011 9:37 pm

    I apologize if one of the previous 105 comments mentions this, but did you notice that the rules for the chat room in the eagle cam you linked to states that there is to be no discussion of politics, religion, or sports? When did sports join politics and religion as a taboo topic? I’d guess that it was right after people started taking it so seriously that they decided it was important enough to beat the crap out of someone who disagreed with them.