Sausage race becomes meaty subject linked to laughs

July 13, 2003|by MARK KELLER

As if you didn't already need a Rolaids after consuming so much sausage the last three days, here's some more brat for your buck.

I know it's not nice to laugh at somebody else's misfortune, but how could you not laugh - out loud - when you saw "The Mauling at Miller Park," or the "Sausage Slam."

Come on ... I get a chuckle every time I see the sausages run. What's not to laugh about?

Nobody was seriously hurt. Mandy Block, the girl in the italian sausage suit - the one that Pittsburgh's Randall Simon knocked with his bat - laughed about it and said she felt bad that Simon was being looked at as a bad guy.

Her quote: "I'm just a sausage, guys. It's not a big deal. I'm fine."

Even the sheriff had trouble keeping a straight face when he was interviewed after Simon was booked and fined on Wednesday night.


I'm not condoning Simon's actions. I'm just saying his actions were ill-conceived.

But we've all done the same kind of thing, right? Sure, most of us haven't hit a 7-foot sausage over the head, but you know where I'm going with this.

Passing on the right.

Playing hooky from school.

Sticking a broomstick through the front wheel of a tricycle.

We've all done things that seemed like good ideas at the time, and that's all Simon did. He just happened to do his in front of a crowd of 22,000 people and a slew of television cameras.

Perhaps the funniest part of the entire incident was the report on the late news in Milwaukee. The cast of "Saturday Night Live" probably couldn't have pulled off this kind of story while maintaining their composure.

Somehow, the reporters at this Milwaukee station did. Complete with a "Breaking News" banner, the anchors sent the story to the newsroom.

"That's right, Mike, and nobody's laughing now."

Ummm ... I am.

The report continues with multiple camera angles and slow-motion shots of the attack, while all along, the reporter keeps a straight face as he describes the sausage race.

I saw a bumper sticker on a car recently that best describes this situation: "It's all funny until someone gets hurt, then it's hilarious."

Obviously, had Block been seriously injured, this story - and this column - would carry a much different tone. There's no doubt players will now certainly think twice before they try to mix it up with team mascots.

Simon has issued his apologies and has served a three-game suspension. He's given Block a bat (not to the back of the head this time). And Block has forgiven him.

In this case, the no-harm, no-foul rule should apply.

Besides, they're just sausages. It's not a big deal.

Mark Keller is sports editor for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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