Cheap Seats Daily: If You Burn Down Your High School, Can You Show Up at Your High School Reunion?
In case you missed it: The pre-post-racial they-said/they-said-they-didn't situation from last year's Dunbar-Fort Hill football game will lead to a small, mostly ceremonial change in the athletes' Code of Conduct applied to all Maryland public high school sporting events.
The Great Dan Steinberg posts a Great Video of Ryan Zimmerman talking up D.C. United to promote next week's U.S. Open Cup championship game.
You know the U.S. Open Cup, right? That's the one where to get to the finals United had to march through neighborhood powerhouses like the Ocean City (N.J.) Barons, the Harrisburg (Pa.) City Islanders, and the Rochester (N.Y.) Rhinos, in games played at a suburban community center field.
It appears that before the promo shoot Zimmerman hit the quaalude table in the green room hard.
Either that, or like the rest of the world he can't even fake enthusiasm for the U.S. Open Cup.
AFTER THE JUMP: Keith Urban fans don't know who Ryan Zimmerman is? There is no "I" in arson? Paul Farhi goes ground-and-pound on Dan Snyder? Nats win!? Nats win!?
(Speaking of Zimmerman: I went to see country superstar Keith Urban last week at Verizon Center. He changed the lyrics of one of his many hits to include "Nationals," and told the crowd he'd gone to see the Nationals play the night before and that he'd sat in seats provided by Ryan Zimmerman. The fan response to all Urban's Nats references was equal and, well, non-existent. It was sad. Urban might as well have talked up the U.S. Cup.)
(Speaking of urban: Perhaps the chance at living closer to the SoccerPlex, host of so many of United's U.S. Cup clashes, motivated Steinberg to abandon D.C. for the Maryland suburbs. Nothing else makes sense!)
Nobody shows up for class reunions like football stars. But what if you burned down your high school — like, really burned it down? And what if your burning down your school meant your classmates had to spend most of their senior year shuttled around town to finish up at rival schools that weren't burned down by football stars?
Then, do you show up for your reunion?
Matt Musolino didn't show, according to organizers.
Musolino was a star fullback on the 1978 Fort Hunt team that won the Gunston District title. His partner in the backfield, Rocky Belk, went on to star at Miami. Musolino was going to get a free ride to Louisiana Tech.
But then he burned down his school.
Musolino was one of three kids convicted of arson for the December 1978 fire that knocked Fort Hunt High out of commission. He told the Washington Post shortly after the trials that he went to his father's service station on Route 1 and got the gas for the molotov cocktails that they used to torch the school during a night of drinking over Christmas break. (Must have been something in the water in that area: In 1971, Fort Hunt Elementary was burned down by students, too.) To add a touch of Shakespeare to what was really just a dirtball prank gone horribly wrong: Musolino's uncle was a successful architect who had designed the school.
A million kids from our generation had probably boasted about burning down their school just like the Fort Hunt kids did – That's the climactic scene in the Ramones' "Rock and Roll High School," ain't it? But these guys went out and did it.
I was a senior at Falls Church High the same year, and the burners were instant folk heroes among the dazed and confused adolescents in my small Northern Virginia circle.
But, don't try this at home, kids: These guys all got caught and did jail time, and they screwed up the lives of all their classmates, who had to finish the year at rival Groveton and never got to go back to Fort Hunt.
The other moral of Musolino's story, of course, is that if you do burn down your school, you won't show up for your 30-year reunion. Even if you were a football star.
Sally Jenkins' write-up of Little League World Series creepiness hit home with me. When I was in Little League, I practiced hard to be like Bert Blyleven. I didn't care to match the Twins' pitcher's famous curveball, Lord Charles I think they called it back then. No, I spent hours and hours trying to spit like Bert Blyleven spit from the mound during an NBC Game of the Week broadcast. And after a whole summer, I could shoot a stream of saliva a good distance without any noticeable movement of facial muscles, and without a sound. I still find myself spitting whenever I walk on grass fields. Sad but true.
Guess the ballplayers really are role models.
Also yesterday, Washington Post writer Paul Farhi's regular chat with his readers about local radio ("Station Break") turned into a head-to-toe bashing of all things Dan Snyder.
Farhi and his flock went after Lindsay Czarniak for wearing licensed Redskins apparel, after WRC for airing all those Redskins infomercials, after concession prices and parking and pretty much everything at FedExField, after management of Six Flags, after his deal with StubHub, etc.
It was less a chat than a stoning. And no stone was left unthrown.
By the time the Snyder crushing was over, there wasn't any time left to talk about radio.
But, if Snyder's looking for something to cling to, Farhi did have nice things to say about "Valkyrie." Now there's a zig instead of zag!
(Radio update Snyder might like: The must-surf dc media site DCRTV, meanwhile, posted a new batch of Portable People Meter radio rankings that show Snyder's WTEM beating rival new sportstalker WJFK. Tho, with WTEM in 19th place in the market, and WJFK the 20th most listened to station, neither's lighting up the market.)
Nats crush the next-to-last team to fire Jim Riggleman. I'm going on vacation.
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