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The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Mike SteffanosSunday, July 23, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

The title of this post was one of my grandmother's favorite expressions. I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with it, but for those that aren't it involves finding fault with someone else for something that applies equally to yourself. It's a fairly common thing, as often it is when we see our own faults reflected in others that we take the most offense.

For a perfect example of this phenomenon, please see Wallace Matthews' column in today's Newsday. After gratuitously putting Mets fans in their places regarding the achievement of their team versus the institution in the Bronx, the insufferably supercilious Matthews does put the Mets fans on equal footing in one regard with Yankees fans. He feels the booing of Orlando Hernandez after his poor first inning in yesterday's game reflects fan arrogance that puts Mets fans on a par with their counterparts in the Bronx.

Personally, I find nothing more arrogant than the attitude of ignorant newspaper columnists such as Matthews, who feel the need to paint all Mets fans with a broad brush because of the actions of a few. I wasn't there booing El Duque yesterday, you insufferable moron, and neither were the vast majority of Mets fans. Only your ignorance and arrogance would allow you to make that inane statement.

Not content with being an arrogant jerk, Matthews lets his double-digit IQ roam free with other obnoxious tidbits:

This team is enjoying its best season in two decades, as the Mets continually, and perhaps unwittingly, remind everyone with their silly "celebration" of the 1986 Mets, the last Mets team to win a world championship. Up in the Bronx, of course, such a thing would not be a cause for celebration, but of mass firings. Who ever heard of going 20 years without a World Series share?

Forgive us for rooting for a team that dares to go 20 years without a championship, you imbecile. But wait, Matthews is not yet done demonstrating his insufferable arrogance:

Yet, there is something disturbing about a fan base with such a sense of entitlement that anything less than total domination of the opponent from the first pitch is greeted with anger and scorn.

That is the kind of thing we have come to expect at Yankee Stadium, where fans are spoiled by the history of excellence and whose sense of entitlement still runs second to that of the owner, George Steinbrenner. It's annoying but at some level understandable.

But at industrial, noisy, smelly Shea Stadium, with all the charm of the garbage dump it was built on and the chop shops it rubs up against, it boggles the imagination.

While gracing us with his simple-minded biases and superiority, Matthews goes out of his way to let us know we're not the Yankees. Of that, we can only be grateful. As Mets fans, most of us made a conscious choice not to root for the soulless entity that does its business in that mausoleum in the south Bronx. It's true there is an element that shows up to games at Shea Stadium with a chip on their shoulder just waiting to jump on an underperforming player, but for the pompous Mr. Matthews to insinuate that these are representative of the true Mets fan is only a vivid display of his own ignorance.

There are a lot of very good sportswriters and columnists in New York, and then there are those like Wallace Matthews -- arrogant enough to lump all Mets fans together, let us know exactly what we're thinking and then chastising us in print for it. It's buttheads like this for which I have no tolerance, and no respect. As a Mets fan, I take the liberty of asking Mr. Matthews to stay out of Shea Stadium where neither the team nor the fans are worthy of his august presence. Please stay in Yankee stadium for the rest of the year, you pompous ass. You and Yankee fans truly deserve each other.

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Comments (6)

That a boy Big Mike, I'll watch your back. I like your "insufferable moron" tag. Can I use that too, please.I have one that was planted in my mind when I was in the navy, it's still comes to my lips and I have to sipper it up. But, "you insufferable moran" is great, I can almost use that from the pulpit( well in prison ministry anyway) I take liberty to add to your stay out of Shea Stadium,but also stay out of the Poconos to, you insufferable moraon.Thanks Mike for sticking it to him.

I actually edited a few things out of there that were unsuitable for any pulpit. I can't remember anything I've read in the sports pages of a New York paper that I found more personally offensive.

Some years ago, Fred Wilpon was a guest of Mike Francesa and Christopher Russo. I don't remember what point Russo attempted to make, but Wilpon stopped him cold with "Now you're being as silly as Wally Matthews."


Wally Matthews, failed radio host, is the most useless New York daily sports columnist this side of Filip Bondy. The essence of his work was summed up in 1999 when wrote that you could measure the vast gap between the Mets and Yankees by the 25th men on their rosters who also happened (I think) to wear No. 25. Joe Girardi was the salt of the earth and Bobby Bonilla was its scum. While I wouldn't argue the latter, it was that newspaper adage come to life that a columnist has to find SOMETHING to write about every day.

Matthews' assertion about the behavior of the Mets fans and how he wishes we'd comport to his preconceived notions of us (yea! 120 losses!) wasn't the most offensive part. That was reserved for his lazy portrayal of Shea as this horrible hunk of debris among hubcaps and floating vermin. Listen, I'll be the first to vouch for Shea's rapidly diminishing standing as a first-class facility in a world that features Camden Yards, PNC Park and that phone company field in San Francisco. But it ain't THAT bad! I can only conclude that the press facilities and amenities at Shea lag behind what Matthews has encountered in newer parks. He's got a problem with the elevator, he should say so. He doesn't like the narrow corridors, he should say so. But the 46,000-plus who were there today and are there most days of late didn't seem all that disappointed in the venue.

I doubt that he has any idea what makes a Mets fan tick, a Yankees fan tick or any fan tick. He is not a fan. He is a fourth-rate hack desperately trying to main a scintilla of the relevance he used to have when he wrote for the Post and appeared on television.

He's lazy and mostly mindless. He's quite the tough guy with nothing to back it up. He is, as Mr. Wilpon nailed it, as silly as Wally Matthews.

I was actually impressed last season, after not going for almost 15 years, how much they improved Shea Stadium. The one thing it still lacks is a Wallace Matthews ejector seat. In the words of my childhood, "What a tool."

Isn't Matthews the character who challenged.....someone, some person in the sports world, to a fistfight in his column in the Post a few years back? My memory is that Matthews was an amateur boxer or something, and he thought that was an appropriate response to someone critical of his posturing.

Culturally uplifting, that one is.

dd -- I don't remember the incident, but it wouldn't surprise me. What a jerk.

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