Who knew a trip to the barbershop could be so disheartening.
Well, I must qualify this by saying that it is not a reflection of the barbershop itself but a cliché staple of barbershops that reminds me just how different the Tufts University realm can be from city life.
Settling into the chair with my now-shaggy mane starting to awkwardly protrude out from behind my ears, I gaze up and see an old favorite: WABC Eyewitness News, New York City’s ABC affiliate, always on in the hour before Jeopardy starts. As the strands fall from my accidental mullet, I’m transfixed on a segment discussing the apt punishment for Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett for his skirmish in the Thursday night game the evening before. This is what’s on the evening news? Let me inspect.
If you haven’t seen it by now, well, do yourself a favor and watch it (violence warning). Here’s the short: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph gives Garrett an earful after the 271-pound lineman knocked him down in the waning moments of the Brown’s Thursday night victory. Rudolph, not enjoying the way he was hit, appears to try and dislodge Garrett’s helmet, a cardinal sin by NFL standards and a 15-yard penalty.
Now playing the world-famous “who can take off the other player’s helmet” game, Garrett wins by yanking Rudolph up by his face guard, ripping the helmet off and absolutely cracking the helmet down square on the top of the head of the Pittsburgh quarterback. Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, with a minimum penalty of through the end of the season.
So as I now sit getting the back of my neck shaved, I experience two sensations that feel oddly warm. The first is whatever sort of cream or ointment he’s using as a substitute for shaving cream (I return home to find my neck thoroughly red), and the second is from the reaction of WABC Eyewitness News.
To my surprise, four newscasters are discussing what they believe to be an appropriate suspension for Garrett, and from what my half-bleeding ears could tell, I vaguely hear the phrase “lifetime ban.” Lifetime ban? For an on-field incident? Garrett is already serving the longest suspension for an on-field incident in NFL history.
In my dismay, I’m offered a token of recompense. WABC is running a poll, asking the viewers at home to tweet in if they think Garrett should ever be allowed to play in the NFL again. Thank goodness, the good people of New York will surely grant the emotional Garrett a second chance.
The dim ticker on the bottom of the screen reads a cool 74–26 ... in favor OF NEVER PLAYING AGAIN.
This piece isn’t supposed to be a defense of Garrett, a schmuck in his own right for letting his emotions get the better of him. No. This is a critique of people who watch local news and will believe whatever their four local newscasters tell them to think. Maybe it’s not their fault, maybe I’m being too harsh; for some, these newscasters are the only news they know. But WABC, you are the schmucks of the week for ruining my haircut.