Can the Patriots catch a break this year? Apparently not.
If there is one thing that I learned growing up in New England, it is that you can never count on the weather. Well, that and you can never count on anything going right at Fenway.
This victory caps a perfect season, and GHS’ second title in three years.
It is no secret that I hate the Yankees, Steinbrenner, and pretty much anything in pinstripes. But for god’s sake, does George have to make it this easy for me to gain converts?
Another thing I hate, which brings us to the current Yankee-hating issue, is the jingoistic empty-headed false patriotism that infected everything in America, starting on September 12, 2001. Patriotism is about loving the principles your country stands for, not stupid magnets on your car, flags on your house, or any other mass-hysteria imposed conformity.
As many MLB fans may recall, the league asked us to “show our patriotism” by standing for “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch. They later slacked off from that — I guess we didn’t need to be that patriotic. Now they ask that teams have this faux patriotism event only on Sundays and holidays. Perhaps on those days, godless atheists and non-christians don’t go to ball games.
The Yankees, never to be outdone when it comes to douchebag-ness, are the only team that still requires that its patrons respect the authoritah of the state during the stretch.
Ok, I could live with that. I think it is stupid, but I can live with it. I’d prefer that they place quotes from the Constitution on the Jumbotron or something, but I can live with it.
However, you don’t actually have a choice at Yankee Stadium, as reported by the New York Times.
By mid-October 2001, the Yankees’ implemented a system using off-duty uniformed police officers, ushers, stadium security personnel and the aisle chains to restrict movement. The Yankees pay the city to use police officers as part of the security detail.
[Lonn A. Trost, the team’s chief operating officer] said the ushers were instructed to allow fans with emergencies to move through the stands. Because one end of each chain is held by a person, instead of secured in place, the system is not considered a fire hazard, a spokeswoman for the New York Fire Department said.
Trost said the Yankees have not heard any complaints about either the continued playing of “God Bless America” or the restrictions on movement.(source)
The plan was apparently a reaction to some fans complaints that other fans were not “showing the proper respect” to God Bless America.
So, to celebrate our freedom and patriotism, the scum sucking Yankees have hired police and surrounded fans with chains in order to show them how free we are.
Now a Yankees fan is striking back. Apparently, on August 26, Bradford Campeau-Laurion went to the bathroom when God Bless America was playing, so police officers enforced Yankee Stadium policy and ejected him from the game.
As he headed toward a tunnel to the concourse, a uniformed NYPD officer blocked his path, “indicating that he could not leave during ‘God Bless America,’ ” his Manhattan federal suit says.
Campeau-Laurion told the cop he didn’t care about the song and tried to get past, but was quickly grabbed by the officer and a colleague stationed nearby.
The cops then allegedly twisted his arms back and frog-marched him to the exit. (source)
Bradford Campeau-Laurion claims that “he was made a victim of political and religious discrimination” and filed a lawsuit against the Yankees yesterday. His complaint is available here.
Campeau-Laurion, a Red Sox fan, says that he brought his suit because he is tired of the “forced patriotism” that seems to have proliferated since Sept. 11, 2001. Hmm, he noticed that, huh?
UPDATE: I’ve given this case some thought, and although I’m on Campeau-Laurion’s side, I fear that his legal case may be less compelling than his story.
Isn’t Yankee Stadium private property? I know it was, in part, paid for with public funds. However, can’t Steinbrenner require everyone to wear a blue bucket on their head throughout the whole game, if he wants? It might be within my civil rights to wear a Borat thong, but if a restaurant wants to say “we’re not serving you unless you put on a jacket,” then don’t they have that right?
What of the fact that this guy was certainly on notice of the policy. Everyone knows that the Yankees have this forced jingoism policy. You buy your ticket to the game subject to the rules of the park. If you are disruptive, you’re out. If you drink too much, you’re out. If you try and bring in a knife or a gun, you’re out. Why can’t a private property owner have this stupid rule too?
I am not aware of any cases directly on point, but there have been a few analogous cases in the Fourth Amendment context. In a fan challenge to routine pat-down searches, the Western District of Washington (Seattle) tossed a fan’s suit on the grounds that there was no state action in the case, thus no Constitutional violation. See Stark v. Seattle Seahawks.
This is in contrast to a short-lived but very enlightened opinion of the Middle District of Florida on the same issue. However, the 11th Circuit overturned that on the grounds that the plaintiff consented to the searches. See The St. Pete Times editorial on that decision.
It is true that to have a First (or a Fourth) Amendment violation, you need a state actor. However, a private entity can be a state actor in certain circumstances. For example, if the private entity exercises powers “traditionally exclusively reserved to the State.” Jackson v. Metro. Edison Co., 419 U.S. 345, 352 (1974). The context in which courts have recognized traditional state functions include administering elections, Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461 (1953); and running a company-owned town, Marsh v. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501 (1946).
In the Seahawks case, the Western District of Washington held:
Because neither operating a stadium nor providing security is a function traditionally and exclusively reserved to the state, the court concludes that the pat-down searches conducted by private actors at Qwest Field do not constitute state action.
Similarly, I question whether the Yankees’ policy constitutes “state action.” Yes, the stadium is publicly funded. Yes, the goons who threw Campeau-Laurion out of the stadium were uniformed NYPD officers. However, they were being paid privately by the Yankees and not serving as public officers at the time.
Trust me, I WANT the guy to win. If there are two things I hate, they are faux patriotism rituals and the New York Yankees. I just fear that this guy has some serious issues in this case that he’s going to have a lot of trouble getting past.
I mean the OLD Patriots. The New England Patriots I grew up with. You may remember them — talent-laden teams that chalked up miserable season after miserable season because of abjectly stupid ownership and management. Remember the name “Ken Sims?” No, not unless you’re a long-suffering Pats fan you don’t. After the Patriots went 2-14 and lost the “stuporbowl” to the Baltimore Colts, they had the first pick in the 1982 draft. As Marcus Allen sat waiting for his number to be called, the Patriots selected some nobody named Ken Sims, who managed to play a full 16 games in a single season only once in his career. In his 74 career games in 8 seasons, he made 17 sacks.In other words, they would have been better off drafting a case of beer. In fact, during the strike-shortened 1982 season, Mark Henderson had a greater impact on the Pats 5-4 regular season record. (Henderson drove the snow plow during the December 12, 1982 game against the Miami Dolphins). Henderson was a convict on a work-release program. When a guy who is out of jail for a day driving a snow plow has a bigger impact on your season than your first round pick, you know that you don’t know shit about managing a football team. In all fairness to the Pats, Marcus Allen did sit on the block until the Raiders picked him up as the tenth overall pick. I was friggin’ 12 years old and I knew he would be in the Hall of Fame one day. Guess what? He is. Ken Sims highlight reel includes getting more out of shape than I am, being arrested for cocaine possession, and now holding some season tickets to the Texas Longhorns games.
Why all this history? Because for the first time since 1982, I am absolutely, positively, convinced that there is a meteor buried beneath Foxboro, Massachusetts that makes the Patriots front office behave like goddamned idiots. Maybe Scott Pioli had a way to keep it at bay, but now that he is coincidentally also in Kansas City, let the dipshit gas flow forth so many farts from the asses of the angels of moronhood that watch over Flori-duh.
I just can’t believe it. I’d rather that monkeys take over the freakin’ planet. Mark my words, this is the start of a dark period for Patriots nation.
We don’t write about sports very often here, but as editor, I’m taking the prerogative to initiate a sports discussion. Tom Brady is behind in his rehab. Well lah-dee-dah. Go figure.
He hurt his leg. The Patriots told him to go to a team doctor in Boston. He decided to go to a doctor in California.
The only reason to go to a California doctor instead of a Massachusetts doctor is if you are getting breast implants.
That little shit decided that he wanted to go to his hippie doctor, good for him. Let him bang models instead of training. Matt Cassel is a better QB anyhow. Trade Brady for a bunch of picks, and trade Matt Light for a toaster or a towel.
UPDATE: Silver lining to yesterday’s loss by the Patriots, Mangina lost his job.