CSTB’s policy of raking the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick over the coals was established almost upon the blog’s inception. As some of you have suggested that perhaps this practice has long since run it’s course — despite the fact Phil has neither retired nor purchased a razor — I might finally be reaching the point where twice weekly serving of a Mushnick Massacre might actually be misdirected. With today’s column in the Sunday Post, I find myself having to reassess the Musnick Ouevre. For all of his rants about reverse racism, high priced basketball shoes, WWE exploitation and best of all, ballgames that run past 9pm, could it be that I’ve duped? Is Phil really a conceptual gag artist, perhaps the Neil Hamburger of the sports-tv-column scene? Take a gander at the missive below, and ask yourself exactly who is supposed to be outraged.
If ever there was an invitation to a serious injury and a companion lawsuit, it’s the firing of T-shirts from air cannons into ballpark and arena stands. People, surrounded by people, launch themselves in pursuit of a flying shirt tightly rolled into the shape of a depth charge.
We’ve several times read of an injury sustained as the result of a scramble for shirts fired from an air cannon. Thus far, however, such episodes, to our knowledge – including a man falling from a second deck – all seem to have occurred at minor-league games, thus have made minor news.
This year, we’ve witnessed air-cannoned T-shirts at Nets and Mets games. And we’ve witnessed the instantaneous, highly physical pursuit of the shirts, the kind of chase that doesn’t leave much time for even the sober to consider the kids or elderly persons or anyone and anything else in their way.
It also seems that this race generally goes to any combination of the tallest, strongest, drunkest and most reckless. Kids have virtually no shot. Meanwhile, the mere notion of facilitating such a free-for-all reeks of negligence.
If a team wants to distribute T-shirts – a nice gesture – why not hand them out, thus ensuring an equal opportunity for all while eliminating the incumbent danger that should have been obvious to management before the first cannon was fired.
That is terrific advice, and I’ll go a step or two further. Persons attending baseball games are also at risk of being maimed by flying balls and bats. If not from a ball connecting with their cranium, then perhaps the instantaneous, highly physical pursuit of the balls. Any combination of the tallest, strongest, drunkest and most reckless usually has a competitive advantage over tiny children, most of whom should be in bed (but not before removing their affordable sneakers, so as not to sully the sheets with dirt from the outside world).
The only real answer would be to ban baseball games altogether. That no minors will be forced to listen to the violent hip-hop choices of reprobates like David Wright or Joe McEwing is but a small bonus.
Elsewhere in Phil’s column, he notes that former Bengals coach Sam Wyche is currently working as a volunteer assistant for a South Carolina high school football team. Given Phil’s howls of protest over ESPN’s tendency to claim a story as their own after having lifted chunks from other sources without attribution, you’d think he’d have the courtesy to mention the Wyche story was in the New York Times over a week ago.