I started a mini Internet flame war when I posted an STL Today link about BigBalls kickball being booted from Tower Grove Park for being drunken buffoons. My caption was something about the hipsters having to find somewhere else to pee in public. Everyone else decided to argue with each other.
Of course, it was nothing compared to the comment threads on STL Today or the RFT (which I won’t even bother reading because comment thread trolls make me itch in my private parts). But in my own little corner of das Internet, people got pissed at one another. I thought about posting a comment once everything died down, but Facebook was buggy and wouldn’t let me. So in response to everyone who duked it out on my page, I say:
1. I am aware that the majority of BigBalls participants are not responsible for the assholery that got the entire league kicked out of the park. This is an unfortunate case of some ruining it for all, and it is not fair to consider every person on every team to be a total shithead who gets loaded and runs around naked in public.
2. Even though I included “hipsters” in my caption, I understand that not everyone in BigBalls is a hipster. Jake, this means that you, Nate, and Adrian are exempt. You seemed to take the greatest offense at my caption, even though (as I have explained to people before) it was a Facebook caption and therefore not a hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism.
3. Speaking of Jake, I disagree with the comment that the people who live along the park just don’t want to see young people in the park having fun. That’s what I told my parents when they wouldn’t let me go to keggers when I was 15.
4. If there are park neighbors who take offense at people using the park, those neighbors can eat my ass. That’s like people who move to Soulard and complain about Mardi Gras. Don’t like the occasional man urinating behind a tree? Don’t live there.
5. I don’t find the sexually suggestive team names or moderate drinking to be a problem. I also don’t think it’s a problem that hundreds of young people use the park every weekend. The park is a public space for public use. If families with children take issue with shirts that say “Prom Night Dumpster Babies” (which I find freaking hilarious), they can go to another place in the very large park. Kickball doesn’t even take up 1/4 of the park’s total space, and traditionally family-friendly areas such as the playground and ponds are nowhere near the kickballers in question.
6. I most certainly do not have a problem with drinking in the park as long as it is moderate. I love drunken horseshoes, but I also know the difference between drinking in a bar and drinking in a space I must share with my fellow, non-age restricted citizens.
7. Speaking as someone who has friends on both the south and north sides of the park, BigBalls kickball was a nuisance for a lot of people. It was difficult to even drive down Arsenal or Magnolia due to people who couldn’t fucking park, people who couldn’t fucking wait for traffic to stop before sauntering across the street, and people who couldn’t fucking not drink to excess before driving home. Again, I’m aware that this is some people and not all people, but when some people can’t be bothered to respect the neighbors, they don’t belong in the neighborhood.
8. BigBalls league president Tom McClusky claims he was not sufficiently warned about a problem with league participants’ behavior. I call bullshit. The park is City property and the City loves two things above all others: fielding complains and sending warning notices. I bet you $100 worth of PBR that he got the warnings and chose to ignore them.
9. Again, it’s unfortunate that everyone is being punished for some people’s inability to behave decently in public, but the organization has to take responsibility for everyone in it. You’ll all find a new park to play in, and hopefully the shitheads among you will have learned their lesson by that time.