O'malley Gets His Facts Wrong Rebels Didn't Sell Franks

O'malley Gets His Facts Wrong

September 29, 1991

From: John E. Stumpf

President, Anne Arundel Gridiron Rebels

On behalf of the Anne Arundel Gridiron Rebels, we feel it necessary to rebut an article by Pat O'Malley in the Sports section of The Anne Arundel County Sun on Sept. 18.

He begins by saying how wonderful the Gambrills Odenton Recreation Council was for donating $100 tothe new Brooklyn Park Broncos, and we agree GORC is a high-class organization. But, then he goes on to say this is in sharp contrast to the audacity displayed by the Rebels the previous week when they set up a traveling hot dog stand at the Brooklyn Park Stadium.

This is without a doubt, the most untruthful and harmful statement a person in Mr. O'Malley's capacity could put into print. As one organization to another, each realizes how much we depend on concession income to help support us. In addition, our kids played three separate games there that day and nearly our entire board of directors as well as a large number of parents were out there. Not once were we asked about a hot dog vendor. Not once did anyone ask if we would do such a thing, which is ridiculous anyway.

Mr. O'Malley should at least try to confirm the articles he writes before he decides to subject someone to public disapproval. It is extremely hard to maintain a youth organization in the first place, and publicity of this nature is certainly notbeneficial.

We wish the Brooklyn Broncos much success as one organization to another. We are all here to help lend guidance and substance to the lines of youth today.

O'MALLEY ABUSES POWER

From: Members of the Anne Arundel Gridiron Rebels

As a public service to the hundreds of parents and children who participate in youth football throughout Anne Arundel County, The Anne Arundel Sun may wish to consider publishing Pat O'Malley's schedule so that unsuspecting fans can avoid attending games where he may be present.

After all, any hint of discord, any suggestion of scandal, any juicy rumor, and (under the guise of commentary) Mr. O'Malley abuses the power of his employment to make inaccurate comments without the courtesy of confirming his facts.

This week's literary assault was focused on the feeding habits of the Anne Arundel Gridiron Rebels' youth sports organization. If one were to read Mr. O'Malley's Sept. 18 column, one might think that, in addition to providing programs in football, basketball, cheerleading, baseball and softball, the Rebels were bootlegging franks at a recent football game at the Brooklyn Bronco's field.

This never happened. More than 100 Rebels' fans spent several hours watching thegames. To suggest, as Mr. O'Malley did, that a grill had been set upso the Rebels could make a few dollars selling spiced meat byproducts is ludicrous.

The Rebels organization doesn't need that kind of money. We earn our money honestly. We would never stoop so low as to infringe on another team's concessions. For Mr. O'Malley to make sucha claim based on second- and third-hand information is unconscionable.

For 31 years, the Rebels have worked with the youth of Glen Burnie. We stuck it out because of a commitment to the youth in this community. To make such a libelous remark only serves to diminish the respect we have worked hard to achieve.

Perhaps Mr. O'Malley and hisego enjoy the barrage of calls and letters that his rude remarks often evoke. How sad that he cowers behind the First Amendment to protect his attempts to inflame the community.

We must question where are his editors? The editors must assume some responsibility for allowing such unprofessionalism to persist. Why wasn't his claim verified? Why didn't he extend the simple courtesy of contacting a representative of the Rebels organization before the story was printed? This is aslur to our integrity. While he was castigating our organization's code of conduct, where were The Anne Arundel County Sun's ethics?

Where do you draw the line? How many organizations, which don't have the luxury of a little O'Malley on their team roster, must be abused in print before your editorial staff begins to question this man's objectivity? Or do you enjoy this as a joke at our expense?

Your publication owes the 175 children involved with the Rebels' football and cheerleading programs an explanation and an apology.

You owe yourselves a new sportswriter.

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