We were so damn close. Somehow, America had made it through the entire 9/11 anniversary weekend without any bullshit controversy working hack writers into a furious storm of fake outrage.
At least that’s how it looked.
Then, Bud Selig had to come along and fuck it up for everyone. If you don’t know, Bud Selig is the second worst commissioner sports, just behind Gary “Let’s Give Boca Raton A Hockey Team” Bettman. In addition to being the least powerful-looking powerful man in America (seriously, look at the guy – he’s your sad creepy uncle who doesn’t have enough self-confidence to molest you), Selig is the guy who looked the other way when every player in the league was turning into a mutant steroid monster (not that I’m judging – if you want shrink your balls so you can hit more home runs, more power to you), then suddenly started caring after every crybaby sports journalist started complaining about records being tainted.
This time, however, Selig is in the news because of hats. No seriously, hats! Specifically, the FDNY hats that the Mets wanted to wear during their 9/11 game. Apparently, Selig was trying to capitalize on sentimentality with his own special commemorative super-patriotic, America-fuck-yeah hat for the occasion (which costs 37 fucking dollars, by the way), and the Mets were totally screwing over his deal. First he banned the hats, then when somebody wore one in the dugout, he had his hired goons actually come and take them. Sheesh – dude is a Karl Rove level control freak. Especially since they’re just fucking hats!
Now, was this the wrong thing to do? Of course! The most important lesson of Good PR is Never Fuck Up Anything 9/11-related. If there’s one thing we Americans love, it’s sentimentality. If you tell a team they can’t wear their *sniff* hats to *sniff* commemorate the *sniff, wipe away tear* heroes who *blow mucus into tissue* fought and *starts completely bawling* died that day, you’re going to look like a moron.
More importantly, you’re going to give material to a ton of self-aggrandizing journalists who want to let everyone now just horrified, shocked, mortified, disgusted, whatever “I’m morally superior to this asshole”-type word you want to use, they are. Rather than just take this story for the goofy mini-freak show it is, everyone is making into the greatest injustice in the history of the world.
Take ESPN’s Matt Rubin who, evidently thinks the Mets should have said “hat chance” to the when the hats were taken away. Seriously, that’s what it says. Now, I’m writing this piece for free. If that guy gets a six-figure salary, I’ll fucking shoot myself. More importantly, he paints the Mets locker room as some type of war room. The decision of whether or not to wear the hat is treated like they were thinking about deciding if they should drop the A-bomb. Mets player rep Josh Thole is treated like he’s making Sophie’s Choice. The whole thing is ridiculous beyond belief and shows no perspective whatsoever.
Rubin also argues that the Mets should’ve just worn the hats anyway even after Selig threatened them. Why? Why should players lose money just to make a symbolic gesture than won’t bring anyone back to life? I’m not even saying it isn’t a nice gesture. Shit, if I was a firefighter I might think it was cool. But why give up thousands of dollars so just to wear a different itchy thing on your head for three hours?
This story is the all-too-common example of someone doing something stupid, and the other side looking even more stupid by how much they over-react to it. At the end of the day, a hat is nothing more than a hat. Selig was a being a control freak, and a dick, but the controversy as a whole was nothing to write home about. Frankly, it would be nice if we just did away with hats entirely. After, Men Without hats certainly believed that philosophy, and “Safety Dance” is more entertaining than the Mets have been all year.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig Launches Jihad Against America, Apple Pie, Your Mom
WE WERE SO DAMN CLOSE. Somehow, America had made it through the entire 9/11 anniversary weekend without any bullshit controversy working hack writers into a furious storm of fake outrage.
At least that’s how it looked.