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Jack Allen Has A Thing Or Two To Say About Jack Allen's Ordeal

When I first saw the title of this article I seriously thought to myself "Wow, I had no idea Usher was such a big SU fan." A multi-platinum recording artist may not actually be at the center of this brew-ha-ha but then again, whose to say that the usher in question isn't "in the club with his homies trying to get a little VI?"

That usher is, er, was
Jack Allen. The 78-year-old Korean War vet has worked as an usher at the Carrier Dome for the last 18 years. It was only recently that a change in Dome policy...well...I'll just let the article explain:
He says his bosses ordered him and the 250 other Dome ushers to form a gantlet a couple hours before every home game last season. They had to applaud the Syracuse University football players as they walked across the field to the locker room, Allen said.
Allen didn't feel like that was part of his job description so he did what any good employee would do. He wrote a letter to the local paper. Who then published it. And it was read by his employer. Who was less than please. So they told him not to come back.

Now originally the ushers refused to do it because doing so would have required them to work during hours for which they would not be paid, which I get. However, then the Dome granted them payment for the extra time and thereby made the event part of their job description, so I don't see what all the fuss is about. Allen says the whole thing is dumb, and he's correct. But so is doing the YMCA and I see ushers doing that all the time (at least that one guy up in the 300s).

In a shocking development, SU is being coy about the whole thing:
Kevin Morrow, an SU spokesman, said Thursday that Allen was dropped with others in a cost-savings move. Morrow said the university would not be more specific about Allen.
Of course, what Allen kinda forgets to mention in his attempt for some goodwill is that he also criticized the football team in his letter and this after he wrote another letter a year previous telling the local newspapers to "get lost...we do not need you" when their coverage of the football team was too negative. Clearly, when Jack Allen gets something stuck in his craw, he's gonna put pen to paper, gosh darnit. And God have mercy on all yer souls.

Honestly, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm with the Carrier Dome on this one. Allen has every right in the world as an American citizen to voice his opinion the same way we bloggers do. But I don't work for SU or the Carrier Dome and Allen did. They have as much right to can him for publicly trashing them as he has the right to say it.

NOW...should SU have perhaps taken a gentler approach, like say re-educating Mr. Allen on company procedures, talk to him about what it means when an employer pays you to do certain tasks, perhaps put him on some kind of suspension and then move forward? Sure. Especially considering Allen's longtime service to the Dome and its fans. But I think we all know going in what they're like, especially when it comes to stupid promotional add-on's like "the usher gantlet" which is clearly a Gross-inspired idea. When the edict comes down from Mt. Gross, you're either with us or you're against us. And unless your name is ends in -oeheim, you don't just get to go talkin' publicly all willy-nilly without his approval. Just ask Mike Hopkins.

Obviously, the answer for Jack Allen is clear. Get this man a Dell Dimension 4600, a Blogspot account and let him rip. This man was made for blogging! Is taken?

(Update: Yes. Yes it is.)