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Here I am, up here in the bell tower. I’m with Quasimodo, looking down at the rabid mob, swapping cries for “Sanctuary!”
We’ve arrived where we’ve been headed, where the forces of marketing and media have led us. If you’re not an active, demonstrative profane creep, why not? You’re not one of those cranky old men out of step with the march of time, no sense of progress, are you?
It’s like sports gambling. If you don’t have a bet on everything and everyone, why not?
The PGA Championship ended Sunday with an on-course mob scene, a “fan participation” display doubtless fueled by alcohol sales and now by some PGA-encouraged gamblers who wanted to get into the action and best track their action.
After being swallowed and lost in their midst, none other than Brooks Koepka, among the most publicly and reflexively vulgar players on Tour, complained about the incivility by treating it with public incivility: cussing at it.
That night, “the world’s most sophisticated basketball fans” reentered Madison Square Garden, en masse, to pay tribute to the Hawks’ Trae Young, the best player on the court throughout Game 1 of the long-awaited playoffs, by chanting “F–k you!”
That pathetic reality has long been in the making as “fans” are now more inclined to group degradation of the most worthy-of-admiration opponents rather than to support their side.
Over the subsequent two days, this classless behavior had the full support and next-game fueling of some local media, not to mention his Honor, Bill de Blasio. If any media or public figure held the conviction that the Garden’s patrons had “crossed the line” Sunday, had lost all sense of civility, none had the nerve to be heard.
What? And be mocked as an old, get-off-my-lawn crank? Better one should capitulate to the mob, appease the vandals. It’s like excusing graffiti sprayed on churches, libraries, schools, businesses, municipal buildings and residences as “street art,” a legit form of “expression.”
Here’s an old, cranky, out of step, when-I-was-a- kid truth: When my dad took me to ballgames and a loudmouth started shouting vulgarities, the entire section would shout him down, sit him down, shut him up. After all, there were kids around, kids and, before the enlightenment, women.
Now we have a foul-mouthed female star such as me-first Megan Rapinoe, who so proudly hollered “motherf–ker” into a City Hall microphone in front of hundreds of kids after a women’s soccer team victory parade. Commercial endorsements and a pandering HBO special followed.
Now, to holler, “F–k you!” is an invitation, gladly accepted, to join in. Jimmy Dolan, won’t suffer a T-shirt demanding that he sell his lion’s share of stock in the Garden, but he indulges his paying patrons who make a national disgrace of themselves to emphasize renewed devotion to the Knicks.
Then again, given the support that is bestowed on Pete Alonso’s public crudities — LFGM, expletive-laden comments — by media, they’d do the same? They’d have no problem with mindless cursing into the ears of their families?
Rising media star and proud family man CC Sabathia can’t complete a publicly spoken sentence without the gratuitous insertion of vulgarities. Once, he’d be condemned for such incivility. Instead, he’s quoted as someone to be heard.
I curse. But not in public. Not even at the dinner table. Blame my parents. Where did they go wrong?
When not selling sports gambling to suckers, Evan Roberts, now partnered on WFAN with dumpster-dweller Craig Carton, has become a verbal slob. Obviously, going low is a good business decision.
Sunday, after an ineffective start, Mets’ pitcher Jordan Yamamoto and his wife were abused on “social” media, another vandals’ playground.
Marshawn Lynch continues to land TV endorsements for no better reason than that he drew attention to himself by grabbing his crotch while scoring TDs. The NFL Store sold framed photos of him in the act.
Wednesday, leaving the court in a playoff loss in Philly, Washington’s Russell Westbrook was saluted as the best player on the Wizards by a “fan” who dumped popcorn on him. He had to be restrained from going after the perp. Westbrook publicly responded to the incivility with vulgarities.
Wednesday, as the Islanders wrapped up their series win over Pittsburgh, some fans, rather than cheer their team’s achievement, chose to resurrect their coarse, derisive chant toward Penguins superstar Sydney Crosby. That’s what being “a fan” has become.
Wednesday, a slug-out between devoted opposing fans at a Dodgers-Astros game made cellphone-recorded news and noise.
Yeah, I’m an old crank. The parade has passed me by. But small wonder Trae Young was the target of the Garden’s sophisticates, one, a court-side customer, yesterday was banned for crossing that declining “line” — spitting at Young during Game 2.
After all, in Game 1, Young even followed his own missed shot to score. You don’t see that much, these days. Ask any old crank.
Porzingis forgets he’s not a guard
It’s still called basketball. Game 1 of Mavericks-Clippers: Kristaps Porzingis, 36 minutes, 4-for-13 field goals, 1-for-5 on 3-point shots, four rebounds, no offensive rebounds. He remains a 7-foot-3 shooting guard.
Don’t know why the NBCSN/MSG feed of Penguins-Islanders cut from the feel-good live shots of the handshake line, Wednesday, to show the scoreboard declaring the self-evident — “Isles Win!” — but it did.
It never ends. According to ESPN’s NBA reporter, Rachel Nichols, players no longer run downcourt, they run “downhill.”
During Saturday’s Red Bulls-New England game on MSG, New York’s Andres Reyes was ejected with his second yellow card. Then, a New England player, with his back to the camera and the last name on his jersey in full view, “Bye” — Brandon Bye — was seen waving bye-bye to Reyes.
Reader Kenny Kaplan: “Isn’t it ridiculous that people can turn on a [nationally televised] playoff game in Madison Square Garden and recognize the visiting team as the Hawks, but not the team in black, [the Knicks]?”
As for networks that deceive viewers on starting times, reader John Pryor suggests we consult sports gambling operators for those truths. “They want patrons to know exactly how much time they have to lay down their money.” Sometimes it pays to treat suckers honestly.
So I call my lawyers, Goldberg, Goldberg & Goldberg. I ask for Mr. Goldberg. “He’s not in today,” I’m told. Then how about Mr. Goldberg? “He’s in a meeting,” I’m told. OK, then how about Mr. Goldberg?
“Speaking!” he says.
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