No Shirt, Big Problem
I am about to discuss a very serious issue that has already been addressed not once, not twice, but three times on this here Web site. That's what the Internet's all about, folks; beating the proverbial dead horse, burying it and then deciding that, "Hey, this thing isn't really over yet."
The matter at hand involves indecency, obscenity and sweaty back hair (more on this soon enough), though that may be redundant. More specifically, we're talking about shirtless Nats fans.
It all started with a letter to the editor by reader Benjamin Correia of Alexandria, who was told by The Man to put his shirt back on at Nationals Park. An excerpt:
Last Sunday, a few of my friends and I decided to brave the scorching heat and watch the Washington Nationals play the San Francisco Giants. . .When we got to our seats -- $50 each, in the 100 level behind first base -- we were right out in the blistering sun. No worries, we thought. We bought a few beers, at $7.50 each, and kicked back to enjoy the game. Around the third inning, a ballpark employee informed me and a friend that we would have to put our shirts back on. We were told it was illegal and considered "indecent exposure." We pointed out the many other shirtless men, and she assured us she was getting to them as well. We were dumbstruck.
The Steinbog was all over it, looking into the Nats' official Guest Code of Conduct. A highlight: "Topless women. . . would likely be an easy 'indecent' case, but topless men will remain a judgment call. I suggested that maybe a particularly bloated topless male fan might be particularly likely to provoke cries of indecency."
Style's David Segal followed suit, exploring the ancient Shirts against Skins debate but failing to come to a decision in the now-historic case of Nationals Park vs. Correia.
So what'll it be, Shirts or Skins? Both sides battled it out, and let me just say that the following collection of comments is, by far, the greatest I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
First up, the prosecution (Shirts):
Omyobama: It's about time. Sitting behind, next to or in front of a smelly beer-swilling "fan" with sweaty back hair has never been my idea of a good time. Guys, there's a time and a place to flex your flab -- go to the beach but stay out of the stadiums.
thefrontpage: Hey, shirtless morons: Put on your dern shirts, and keep them on. No one--NO ONE--wants to see your ugly, pasty, fat, blobby and offensive chests, arms and stomachs. That's just gross--and that does not belong in a public stadium. If you're so childish, immature, unprofessional and stupid that you can't see how your ugly bodies offend people, then you need a big, long lesson in manners, etiquette and common sense.
LABC: Good for the stadium...pasty, overweight/ underweight, beer chuggging, shirtless morons- enough to put you off your hotdog. I prefer to save my revulsion for way the Nationals are playing.
mcrane01: put a shirt on or become a Cubs fan! And, you are scaring my cat.
peonymom: I'm tired of seeing so much skin at ball games, but I'll admit that I'm more tired of seeing boorish drunken behavior. There seems to be a strong correlation between the two.
Worthy of an experiment, no? Perhaps we can get the Sports Bog on the case.
This next one may or may not have to be deleted, but I'm keeping it here for now:
jethro1: I would never go shirtless. I have he-boobies on my back as well as my front.
Solid arguments, but we have to be fair, so here's what the Skins have to say:
TheodoreRoosevelt: I'M from California and shirtless 332 days a year, to me dressing up is wearing socks with my sandals. . . SKIN FOREVER!! Besides if God wanted me in cloths he would have issued them at birth, well actually he did it's called a skin suit.
Good points, but I won't count them because hippies don't watch sports.
outlawtorn103: Maybe this is why the Nationals suck - bad karma for the poor treatment of their most 'spirited' fans.
lfivepoints69yahoocom: It's insane that being shirtless could possibly be banned. There should be a major boycott till all fans are allowed to take off their shirts.
I don't want to speak for the Shirts here, but I think they'd probably be fine with the Skins boycotting games. Score update: Shirts 6, Skins 0.
dj1123: Is this really a matter of contention??? That the Lerner's have forgotten customer service??? I remember going to Diplomats games at RFK and being shirtless (as a youngster) to keep myself cooler. Then my dad would dip my shirt into the sink and put it on me. I loved that! Camden Yards and Memorial Stadium allow it. I guess when you have a nice new home you're only going to let certain people come in and look around and since the Lerner's don't want the likes of those piddly little people who make less than $1 million a year thanks to daddy's cash, then I guess I won't go.
wpost36: talk about "much ado about nothin'!!" even when someone is next to you shirtless, unless they're being noisy, you don't sit and stare at them, you take notice and avert your eyes. no one wants to look at flabby bodies, but these days guys without shirts at sporting events is as american as apple pie.
Yes, shirtlessness at sporting events is just as American as sweaty, flabby, hairy apple pie.
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