“Chris, were you hit with anything in your head as you were walking off to the tunnel?” one intrepid reporter asked Chris Baker following Sunday’s Redskins game, in which Baker was ejected for a possibly objectionable hit. “We saw some people throwing stuff.”
“Um, it just missed,” Baker replied. “I think some tartar sauce or some mustard was thrown. But it did miss me though. It’s Philadelphia. You’ve got to expect it.”
Tartar sauce? Mustard? Philadelphia? This calls for an investigation.
As you can see, Baker was already being booed well before he reached the tunnel. And rather than silently take that chorus of jeers, Baker raised his hands: First one, then both, as if to say give me your worst.
(NOT YOUR WURST, THO. GET IT?)
THE OBVIOUS REFUSE
So then Baker approached the tunnel, and you could see the faces of Eagles fans on the broadcast, and you could also see stuff catapulting out of the stands in Baker’s general direction, although thrown with the accuracy of late-vintage McNabb.
I’ve watched this a few times, and it seems as though at least two projectiles enter the frame in this shot: one some sort of liquid, and the other what appears to be a solid food object, careening on a grease-soaked path to the ground.
Luckily, I have sources everywhere, and so I had two sources who were within feet of Baker as he approached the tunnel. The sources — both media members — reported that several items were included in the barrage, chief among them, cheesesteak parts.
A second source was more specific, for very personal reasons. He reported that he was actually hit in the face with a paper cup that had been filled with “cheesesteak innards,” these innards including “cheese and big meat slabs.” The slabs of meat, he added, were “Geno’s style — not Pat’s,” which I guess makes them more slab-like.
The projectile, then, was a kind of Molotov Cheesesteak Cocktail, a flying missile of grease and flesh, meant to deposit Wiz and Wid on the non-combatants below.
The cup of innards was covered with a plastic top — “for proper tossing, I guess,” the source wrote. “Thing was flying,” he also noted.
Another photographer, he added, was in the line of fire of a wayward hot dog bun, a less messy proposition. You can watch the bombardment here.
THE TARTAR SAUCE?
But what of this tartar sauce/mustard thing mentioned by Baker? My sources didn’t mention any sauces, and no sauces were immediately obvious on the replay of Baker’s departure.
BUT WAIT. Sometimes journalism isn’t about taking a second or even a third look; sometimes a fourth look is required. And so just before the much-viewed clip of Baker narrowly avoiding that solid substance, you could actually see a container filled with a white and creamy sauce-like concoction landing near Baker’s feet.
Don’t be distracted by his upraised arms. Look at the feet.
Now look, is this actually tartar sauce? Is it mustard? Could it rather be blue cheese? Is this even the substance Baker was referring to in his postgame news conference? Might there have been a third view — available only to those who subscribe to the all-22 version of fans-throwing-garbage-onto-the-field replays — in which some additional cup of unwanted concessions rained calories and stains onto one corner of the field?
I can’t say for sure. The point is … actually, I have no idea what the point is. I just know I’m going to talk about this for about two hours the next time I’m asked to address college journalism students.