(This column was written
"Honey, what do you want to do this weekend?"
"Let's take the kids to a Dodger game!"
That was a typical decision on beautiful
Let me tell you why: my son-in law, Danny, had taken my daughter and my two granddaughters to a Sunday afternoon game. We had planned a barbecue at my house for that evening. I was surprised when Danny and the kids showed up slightly after two. After all, the game started at . Danny very wisely decided, based on the foul language and the obvious high level of intoxication, it was not a place where he and his family wished to be. The kids, 11 and 8 at the time, as well as my daughter were visibly shaken.
Violent incidents at sports events are not uncommon. However, in most cases, an irresponsible media and an obviously uncaring management do not goad them on. There in lies the plight of
However, it goes deeper than that. It is to shake our heads and ponder what has become of our young people; however, a better question to ask is what have we taught our young people. The message we communicate to our young people is muddled and hypocritical. We give lip service to values: love they neighbor, be truthful, and be responsible. Dishonesty reaps rewards until you get caught. When you get caught you go to prison, but when you come out you write a best seller and make millions.
I do not think the thugs who beat up an unsuspecting Brian Stow this past week , will suffer that fate. They are out-and-out "no-goods. Ironically, Brian Stoy, father of two, a paramedic, wearing a San Francisco Giants jacket and trying to enjoy his first-ever game at Dodger Stadium, had sent a text to his friend back home in
There have been over the years many nasty incidents and not just confined to Dodger Stadium. But what will the Dodgers actually do about a stadium careening out of control. In the Dodgers case, unlike the halcyon years, they appear to have an owner who in response to this horrific attack gave what I would call a Marie Antoinette response. At the height of turmoil in
Apparently unfeeling, Dodger owner Frank McCourt has responded with words. Yes. He has brought in the cop from
One way to stop this rabble rousing is for the various station ownership to become responsible and not only read, but respect the charter that gives them the right to be on air in the first place. It very plainly has a paragraph that distinctively calls for broadcasting for the best interest of the listener. In
When the O'Malleys built Dodger Stadium they were there as a family supervising every detail. Nothing was too small to check. They took pride in what they were building. They knew the fans and the fans knew them. They were neighbors and in constant high profile.
Fifty miles down the road, Artie Moreno, the owner of the Angels, shows how he cares for the fans. He mingles with the people, asks for suggestions and tries to follow through. He wants a fan-friendly atmosphere.
When I worked for Jack Kent Cooke, I learned a lot about him and his care for the community. In this case, it was
Each week, I would meet with then Inglewood Police Chief Jay Stroh and check out all safety measures. If the Chief saw something wrong, it would be rectified before game time. If not, I would have my head served on a platter. Mr. Cooke, who drove himself relentlessly, put the fan above everything else.
Now, there have been incidents elsewhere in the sports world. The Philadelphia Phillies have had their share of problems as have the Chargers, Padres, Steelers and Pirates, but in all instances, their ownership answered forcefully and with authority. Words were not enough in all cases, unruliness was met with the force of law. However, in all cases, the fans respected the owners. This is not the case in
After a Dodgers-Giants baseball game last season, a dispute over team loyalties left one man dead in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. Experts say the assaults show the danger associated with being a sports fan in
The Dodgers have a dichotomy. On one hand the have the most respected voice in sports in Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully and, unfortunately, a voice that is neither believed or trusted in the person of owner Frank McCourt. Vin, the most persuasive spokesman any sports entity could have, no matter how good he is, cannot overcome the dalliances of Mr. McCourt.
After all, "All the King's Men could not put Humpty Dumpty together again."