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Miami writer unhappy with Nationals over ‘Eat Face’ bit, writes ‘Step off’


(image by Mark Poutenis, via Miami New Times)

Earlier in June, frustrated over the Washington Nationals going on a mini-slide, outfielder Jayson Werth eloquently stated what he believed the team needed to do in order to get the competitive fire burning again in their bellies. Among other things, Werth said, “You’ve got to show up tomorrow ready to eat somebody’s face.”

The quote developed a life of its own with Werth’s teammates hopping on board the “Eat Face” movement and a meme was born.

Count Miami New Times managing editor Tim Elfrink among those who believe the “Eat Face” trend is a terrible thing. Why? Because just a year ago, a homeless man in Miami literally had his face eaten off by some nutjob, so the entire thing is in poor taste. Another reason is because, you know, stupidity.

Holding out hope this is some kind of satirical attempt at a joke, let’s allow Elfrink to explain his bizarre position on why the Nationals should “step off” on the “Eat Face” bit (via the Miami New Times):

The “Eat Face” movement dates to June 20, when heartily bearded Washington outfielder Jayson Werth offered this nugget on how to stop the team’s long losing streak: “You’ve got to show up tomorrow ready to eat somebody’s face.”

Sure enough, the team came out hungry, began winning again, and a meme was born.

One little problem, D.C. Almost exactly a year before Werth’s pithy quote, Miami had a real guy who in fact ate someone’s face. And it was actually pretty horrible.

There’s still no real answer why 31-year-old Rudy Eugene brutally attacked a homeless man named Ronald Poppo near the MacArthur Causeway in May 2012. Eugene chewed off the man’s entire face before police shot and killed him. For that crime, he was forever branded the “Miami Zombie.”

Werth and his fans will argue that his “eat face” rant refers to America’s zombie obsession, reflected in TV shows such as The Walking Dead and movies such as World War Z. But simply mutter “eat face” anywhere in Miami-Dade, and there’s only one image that comes to mind: Poppo lying on a stretcher with his features disgustingly mangled.

Elfrink goes on to concede that fans of Miami teams have participated in movements of questionable taste, citing how Marlins fans were showing up at ballgames shortly after Eugene committed his horrible crime wearing “Don’t Eat My Face” shirts.

But to wrap it all up, Elfrink issues the following salvo to Nationals players and the team’s fans: “But that’s the whole point. It’s our horrific crime, dammit. Step off, Nats.”

So, in the end, Elfrink doesn’t mind so much that the Nationals have an “Eat Face” bit, it’s that Miami should have first dibs on any “face-eating” meme in sports. Or something.

To be honest, I’m confused about the whole darn thing. Once again, let’s hope this was some kind of jokey column that somewhat misfired. Actually, let’s go with that.

[H/T D.C. Sports Bog]