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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Columnist Responds: John Steigerwald Admits Article on Bryan Stow Was 'Poorly Written'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 8:10 AM

no more pulling punches
  • no more pulling punches
no more pulling punches

Earlier this week, SF Weekly told readers about the obscene column penned by John Steigerwald, a Pennsylvania sports writer who created a firestorm across the nation with his recent piece blaming Giants fan Bryan Stow for his own beating.

It wasn't just S.F. fans who were outraged; the article received so much negative attention that the Observer-Reporter has now banned online comments. (So much for that open forum.).

Since then, the newspaper has printed its own article claiming no responsibility for Steigerwald's opinion piece, in which the writer foolishly questioned Stow, who remains in critical condition after being beaten outside Dodger stadium, for wearing Giants attire to a Dodgers game.

The Observer-Reporter response states that Steigerwald's opinion piece "lacked sensitivity, for sure," but saw no reason to remove it.

"Newspaper readers here are familiar with Steigerwald enough not to take him too seriously," the newspaper wrote. "As for an apology, or an explanation of his views, that's up to the writer, whose views are not those of the Observer-Reporter."

Okay, fine. So then we went to Steigerwald's blog, where the beleaguered journalist has written his own response to the national firestorm. Readers have called on him to apologize and pack his pens and notebooks.

To which Steigerwald replies:

"When I wrote 'Maybe somebody can ask Stow, 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', I can see by the responses that that came across as flippant and insensitive.

That was not my intent. If I had it to do over again, I would write it differently. I know what I felt in my heart when I wrote it and it was anger over what had happened to this guy over a stupid jersey.

So Steigerwald, who has already been on national television defending his position, admits he did he a shoddy job at doing his job, which is to effectively communicate his perspective.

I tried to explain my column point by point in one post and that was interpreted by some as proof that the first column was poorly written.

It's worth noting here that he called Stow "Snow" throughout the entire article. (The paper has since corrected the error.)

Then what was Steigerwald's point?

This blog and my book are called "Just Watch the Game." The theme running through much of the book, which has gotten me more positive response than anything that I've ever done in the media, is "When did watching the game stop being enough?" I know by the sales and the responses that I struck a chord with a lot of people.

A lot of what I write and say comes from that perspective. That doesn't make me right and anybody who decides to wear a jersey wrong.

It's an opinion.

A minority opinion.


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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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