An Open Letter to Jeffrey Lange, Infamous Snowball Thrower

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 |

Dear Jeff (can I call you Jeff?),

You're a rather difficult fellow to find, I must say, especially for a lazy non-reporter like myself who didn't try very hard*. My guess is, after the unfortunate events of December 23, 1995 and their subsequent aftermath, you moved away from the area. Who could blame you? 

Still, you may have heard that the San Diego Chargers are coming to town to take on the Giants this Sunday, Jeff. Would you believe the last time the Chargers visited Giants Stadium was 1995?

I know, I know. It's crazy. I was at that game, too. And 14 years is a long time to wait for redemption, brother.

Hell, I was 20 years old then. I had long hair, two earrings in my left ear, and not a care in the world at the time. I thought Phish was really rad. The Giants, on the other hand, were not rad, Jeff. Instead, they were awful. This was year two of the Dave Brown era, mind you. The season, I'm sure you remember, opened with a 35-0 home loss to Dallas on Monday Night Football and did not get much better after that. The team finished 5-11 and did not have a single player selected to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year. Not even Rodney Hampton, who posted a career-high 1,182 yards rushing that season. So when 24 unanswered second-half points turned a promising 17-3 halftime lead into yet another agonizing loss, punctuated with the final indignity of a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown, you and I and everyone else at Giants Stadium let it be known we'd had enough.

And we reached down below our seats, filled our ski-gloved hands with copious amounts of hard-packed snow (and ice), and hurled it. Boy did we hurl it. 

That's where you come in, Jeff. And the 15 guys who got arrested that day. And the 115 fans who were ejected by police, ejections resulting in the revocation of 75 season-ticket packages. It was quite a scene.

But as you argued before the judge, you were far from the only one throwing snowballs that miserable Christmas Eve Eve. You were just the one unlucky enough to be singled out by an Associated Press cameraman and, the following day, by The New York Post. Tough break, Jeff.

As my friend Andy (who attended this game with me and The Old Man) recently recalled over email, "every single person in that stadium was throwing snowballs. Every single one." That may be little consolation to you now, seeing as how your life's been ruined and all, but Andy is 100% right. Everyone was throwing snowballs. If you know someone who attended that game, be assured that that person chucked some snow. That means your mom, your dad, your uncle Lou. Father McGuigan. Your barber, your congressman, your nanna. Sheila from accounts receivable and her husband, Irv. Your fourth grade teacher, your dry cleaner, the Harry M. Stevens guy. All the dudes in the wheelchair section. Everyone, Jeff. Everyone.**

"I hate to see this," Giants owner Wellington Mara said shortly afterward, "but I guess it's human nature. People see snow, they make snowballs."

Why nobody came forward to defend you, other than your attorney, I can't really say. I can only assume it was because the rest of us feared losing our season tickets. Or maybe it had something to do with your previous burglary and assault charges. But 14 years later, now that the statute of limitations has run out, I'll confess that I lobbed one or two myself, most likely in the general direction of the side judge. I've always had it in for side judges, Jeff.

I'm fairly certain, though, that neither you nor I was the fan whose icy projectile struck and knocked unconscious Chargers equipment manager Sid Brooks, who had to be removed from the field on a stretcher. Like Dave Brown, I am simply not that accurate (especially throwing into swirling winds) and I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. It's about time somebody did, Jeff.

I don't know if this letter will ever reach you, but if it does, be heartened by the knowledge that Sunday offers a chance for renewal. The Chargers will be in town, without Junior Seau, and there is no snow in the forecast. If you can scrounge up a ticket, consider yourself cordially invited to our tailgate near 10C.

I'll see you there, Jeff. Beers are on me.

Sincerely,
Weinstein

_______________________________________________________________________________

* = In case you're curious, Jeff, there are 112 different Jeffrey Langes on Facebook. And can you believe how old Jessica Lange got? 
** = Except The Old Man, who does not partake in shenanigans.  
Lange photo by Bill Kostroun, Associated Press. 

10 comments:

Headsnack said...

Damn, that's an obscure-ass post, brotha. Way to have a GPS to the brain cobweb zone.

996 said...
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裕瑤 said...
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開心唷 said...
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HWP said...

If I ever see that Jeffrey Lange character, I'm gonna smack him in the mouth. He's a bad example of the nice, classy white people go to Giants games.

petarbell said...

Jeffrey Lang was caught being an asshole, I attended that game with my sons and no we did not throw any snowballs. any one who threw snowballs down to the field or on the lower deck risked hurting someone. So having been there and having been on the field that day it was not some fun filled day worrying if your 11 and 9 year old was going to catch a ice ball off the head. Maybe if you were the guy throwing from the 3rd tier you thought it was harmless but not on the bottom. Most of those fans were not season ticket holders. Why don't you just say he and you were drunk douche bags and thought it was cool,,Loser

Weinstein said...

Thank you for your eloquent comment, Peterbell. In my defense, allow me to state that our seats were in the sixth row of the lower tier and that we were hit with more than our fair share of snowballs that day, most of which I assume were intended for the field of play. Also, I was underage at the time and was certainly not drinking. You can make whatever assumptions you want about me, but I was never at any time attempting to absolve Lange (or myself) for our crimes that day. The point of this post (which was written more than 6 months ago, mind you) was to shine a humorous light on an ugly incident that occurred more than 15 years ago. That's all. I am sorry that your children were in danger that day, but your anger is misdirected here. Thanks for reading.

elange said...

I see nothing wrong with your post other than the fact you brought up a b.s charge of burgary charge that was in no way shape or form a burgary and that the fact his life was ruined because that's false to. Some rent a cops decided they would trump charges on a few guys having a few beers in a abandoned building. Jeff's fine, and like most people in this world their cowards who wouldn't stand up for their mother if she was on trial.

elange said...

AMP Handle- You run a gay Jap resort I see. Your a real class act weirdo. And the the next poster peter bell. You foul mouth jerk shouldn't be allowed to have kids. You kiss your mother with that mouth? Weinstein, extend your invite for the 2014 bowl game. JL is a huge Big Blue fan.

Kurt said...

So what happened to Mr. Lange? I cannot be certain, although I think I saw Jeffrey Lange staring at random dudes pissing at the urinals in a men's room in Reno, NV back in November 2006.