Aside from a laundry list of philosophical differences I have with the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick (above), I’ve also stressed (not without some empathy for Phil) that his twice-weekly column has been rendered virtually redundant by the plethora of web content provided by both the MSM and blogosphere. The next time an Al Campanis / Steve Lyons moment occurs, Deadspin, Awful Announcing or Richard Sandomir will have already covered the matter days, if not a full week before Phil can figure out a way to throw in a gratuitious diss of Stephen A. Smith.
As such, Phil is getting uncomfortably close to Andy Rooney territory (“these Gatorade dumps on football coaches have become terribly tired, cliches in a vat”) and today’s Post entry is no exception.
Dick Meyer, who usually covers politics, wrote a keeper of a column in the Washington Post late last month, about taking his 13-year-old son to a Redskins game – something he will never do again, unless he again feels the urge to be surrounded by drunken, threatening, vulgar louts. He wrote that “depravity,” while a strong word, made for the perfect fit.
Such plaints are now written and heard in every NFL city. The NFL and its team owners know the score; they know their games have become drunk and disorderly carnivals from the moment the parking lots open.
But the NFL’s only response, thus far, has been to add more night games in exchange for more TV money. And night games, the league also knows, reduce the number of right-headed adult patrons and their kids while raising the percentage of beer-muscled creeps.
Funnily enough, the biggest national story in several years to involve threatening behavior at an NFL game didn’t take place in Washington DC, nor did it have anything to do with games being shifted to evening kickoffs. Said story was happening just a few miles away from the Mushnick compound and the troubling activity had apparently been happening for years, without a word written in protest by Phil or his Post colleagues until another newspaper put it on page one.
If Mushnick is truly concerned for the safety of families attending sporting events, fair enough. But surely there are specific instances worthy of coverage — closer to home, too — rather than the same tired points (man, those sports franchises are greedy) being made over and over again.