Thursday, June 11, 2009

You Cannot Spell CLASS Without The Letters A-S-S

I have been a fan of Rick Reilly's writing for a long time. Reilly, who is also a CU Buff alum, wrote for years for Sports Illustrated. Apparently a few years ago he picked up his tent stakes at SI and now works for ESPN. I read him still on ESPN's website where he writes a piece called "Life of Reilly".

Required reading for everyone who has a mom, a sister, a daughter, a cousin, a niece, an aunt or any woman in your life or is any of the above herself is Reilly's latest piece, which spotlights a gentleman (using that term in the broadest possible definitional sense) named Alfred G. Rava. Who is Mr. Rava you ask and what has he done to warrant being the subject of a piece written by an award-winning national columnist? Mr. Rava is the concerned citizen who has sued the Oakland A's baseball team for the team's allegedly discriminatory practices. And what offensive conduct inspired the ire of Mr. Rava? I am so glad you asked. Here is the low-down, courtesy of Rick Reilly:

It so happens that on May 8, 2004, the Oakland A's had a Mother's Day promotion. There was a fight-breast-cancer 5K run before the game, free mammograms and the first 7,500 women through the gate got floppy plaid sun hats from Macy's. Nice day for the ladies.

Except that last part really hacked off a man named Alfred G. Rava. He was incensed that men weren't getting a floppy plaid sun hat for Mother's Day. He was so mad about it that he sued.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the cost associated with litigation and the uncertainty of fighting every case brought against you - regardless of the amoral nature of the person suing you - the matter is apparently being settled for more than $500,000. A judge has given preliminary approval to a $510,000 settlement -- roughly half to lawyers and the rest to the "victims" -- the poor, downtrodden gender-disadvantaged waifs like Rava who didn't get their floppy Mother's Day hats. The terms of the settlement call for each member of the "class" - men who attended the game and are willing to say with a straight face that they were among the first 7500 people to arrive for the game on Mother's Day - to receive $100, which is broken down as $50 in cash, 2 for 1 tickets for an A's game and a $25 coupon for Macy's.

To the credit of all of the other alleged members of Rava's "class", which begs the question as to how one claim to belong to something that he himself lacks, no other man has contacted the A's to claim their "settlement". Not one.

Mr. Rava, finding a way to give men and lawyers a black eye simultaneously, apparently practices law in San Diego, California, which is a considerable distance from Oakland and which casts as more than slightly suspicious his motivation for having purchased a ticket for a Mother's Day matinee game. As Reilly pointed out, "Turns out Rava is a lawyer. In fact, this is not his first men-inism lawsuit. He's been part of more than 40 male anti-discrimination lawsuits, sometimes as the plaintiff, like in Oakland, and sometimes as the plaintiff's lawyer. He has sued Club Med over a ladies-only promotion. He's sued the Angels for giving away a $1.45 tote bag to women in 2005. He has sued restaurants and nightclubs and theater companies. Mr. Rava gets incensed a lot."

Perhaps it is the recent events that my wife and our family have been faced with - including the death of a truly splendid woman at the hands of a truly despicable and insidious disease - or perhaps it is the fact that Rava appears to be - in the immortal words of Louie DePalma - the scum that scum scrapes off of its shoes, but I found myself incensed by the time I reached the end of Reilly's article. And it did not soothe my anger at all when I read that this jackass lost his own mother to breast cancer when she was only fifty-three years old. When Reilly asked him how he thought his mother would react to his lawsuit against the A's, Rava replied, "I am sure my mom would be proud of my lawsuit against this major league baseball franchise that denied male and female consumers under 18 years of age free fishing hats based on sex and age."

It is only June so it may be too early to guarantee that Rava shall emerge as the biggest a##hole of 2009 but I would wager it is a safe bet that his spot on the medal stand is secure.


1 comment:

dweeb said...

Al really puts the mutha in Mother's Day, eh?