John Steigerwald, the grumpy old man that questioned the fashion sense of a father of two in a coma (whose name he misspelled) in a recent column, apologized for any perceived insensitivity on his part. And then he went on to suggest that we just don’t get him.
The audience I had in mind when I wrote my Sunday column apparently wasn’t surprised or shocked when I went on a rant about adults wearing replica team jerseys to games. They apparently didn’t consider it insensitive for me to talk about something so trivial in a column that also included the story about Bryan Stow because they had heard or read my rant before. They knew I was pointing to the tragedy as evidence of what I had been saying for years about over-the-top behavior.
How do I know that there was very little negative reaction? Because through Tuesday morning, not one of the three newspapers that carry this column received one negative e-mail. Not one.
Deadspin vet David Matthews suggested that guys like Steigerwald–old, grumpy farts that don’t realize the power of social media–are clogging up jobs for new wave of folks that are making better sense of it all. You’ll have to read the whole piece, but here’s the slam on Steigerwald:
Steigerwald’s column is not as egregiously stupid as far as egregiously stupid conceits go—Whicker’s is still the worst—but it is another example of that “Everything Is a Freighted, Symbolic Event to the Grumpy Old Man Who Imposes His Dumb Worldview on Anything That Moves” school of writing. That’s the sort of out-of-touchness we associate more with a parody of a sports column one would expect to find on The Onion.
So, it looks like Steigerwald will keep his job after all. I’m not necessarily opposed to that, but it does illustrate how rare it can be for a lot of writing jobs in the mainstream to open up. So does someone really have to be thoughtful or creative to have a job in traditional media? Or just be around for a really long time?
And yes, that Whicker column was the worst.