We’ve seen this kind of thing happen in our hometown before. David Sale, a 28-year old Phillies fan, was beaten to death in a parking lot outside of Citizens Bank Park in July 2009. It wasn’t a Phillies-fans-against-others type thing, Sale was a Phils fan and accidentally spilled beer on another group of fans inside McFaddens. He was then pummeled to his grave out in the parking lot. So much for rooting for the same side.
Philly is used to hearing and feeling the backlash caused by a small number of jackasses. Now, Los Angeles is dealing with it. And soon, hopefully, a small town newspaper in Western PA feels it.
Bryan Stow, a 42-year old Giants fan wearing his Giants gear, was severely beaten March 31 at Dodger stadium by two men wearing Dodgers clothes. He remains in a coma. No arrest has been made in connection with the attack.
Stow was simply out rooting for his team at another stadium and that was just too much for two Dodgers fans to handle.
Now, everyone has an opinion on this sad topic, including a writer from the Observer-Reporter south of Pittsburgh in Washington County, Pa. John Steigerwald suggested that Stow was partly to blame for the beating because he was wearing Giants gear and was too old for it.
Maybe someone can ask Snow, 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.
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.
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?
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:
We hope and pray that Bryan Stow recovers from this savage beating, no matter what jersey he wears. We also hope that Steigerwald has thought long and hard about the words he has printed for all to see forever and ever. They come off as irrational and ridiculously insensitive.
As a gentle reminder to Phillies fans, who, at times, take things a little too seriously at the ballpark, check your tough guy act at the door. Give the other fans a good ribbing (especially Mets fans of course) but leave the fighting to those on the field. Because no one deserves to lose their life over a jersey.