Yankees beat reporter wronged after calendar editors display ‘Animal House’ ignorance

David Brown
Big League Stew

New York Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti of WFAN Radio is living in infamy today and all the man did was analyze the AL East pennant race by quoting a funny movie.

Anyone who received "The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said™ 2012 Page-A-Day Calendar" by Ross and Kathryn Petras last Christmas and didn't regift it, or toss it, probably turned it to Dec. 7 on Friday. It's a pretty important day in history and all.

And that's when the unsuspecting calendar readers would have read Murti being wronged by the editors, publishers and a source named "Richard Oberholtzer":

I made a "365 Stupidest Things Said" calendar because nobody there saw Animal House???

— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) December 7, 2012

Germans? As myriad movie and sports fans realize, Murti was quoting a scene in a classic comedy when a dopey college student — famously played by John Belushi — gets his Pearl Harbor facts a little mixed up. It's a video clip that many a stadium JumboTron has played (possibly ad nauseam) to inspire the fans to get excited (and laugh):

Other than Belushi's masterful comic acting, do you know why people think that's funny? Because they know he's wrong, and how absurd the comparison is. How could the editors and publishers of a popular culture calendar series that's sold "millions" of copies miss the joke? This isn't a calendar put out by some humorless historical snob at the Smithsonian. The cover of the 2012 calendar says they've been making these things for 18 years. Maybe it has been a little too long. They should know better.

This is harmful to Murti for a couple of reasons. One, it makes him appear as though he doesn't even know the most basic details of World War II. Also, by the editors not recognizing the original joke, they make Murti appear inappropriate for randomly comparing the AL pennant race (probably in the 2010 season) to one of the worst disasters in U.S. history.

Then there's the contingent of people out there who think Murti somehow is making fun of Pearl Harbor. Maybe they don't like the joke, but they need to at least locate their sense of humor. And so does the brother-sister team of Ross and Kathryn Petras, who need to get a new source who's not "Richard Oberholtzer." And the Workman Publishing Company? Well, it sure did a workmanlike hatchet job on Sweeny Murti.

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