Editorial: N.Y. bartender whining is not worth our time

Editorial Board • Updated Jun 19, 2019 at 1:28 PM

The first thought? “This is a joke.”

The second thought? “ Surely this is a joke.”

But apparently the press release that flooded our email — an annoying number of times, we might add — early Monday morning from a group of disgruntled New York bartenders is to be taken seriously. At least that’s how they wish it to be taken.

We’re still laughing, as all of Kingsport should be.

The bartenders who participated in the third round of the Long Island Ice Tea challenge last week are crying foul. They lost, of course. One must ponder what their reaction might have been had they won.

So how did Kingsport allegedly run afoul of good sportsmanship and fair play?

The boys from up north contend they were excluded from location negotiations, were placed away from visitors and that the judges didn’t wear blindfolds as in the prior two rounds.

We respond with, “Where were you guys in the competition rules and regulations negotiations?” You can’t have a competition without at least two parties involved, so if you didn’t like any part of the plan, why not negotiate something more palatable?

The New Yorkers in the news release called for an investigation and added they are “evaluating legal avenues against the fraudulent contest and intend on sending Visit Kingsport a cease and desist letter as they claim to have won the contest.”

Good grief. An investigation? Legal avenues? Cease and desist letters? One would think these guys had been defrauded out of millions of dollars. But no. Instead, they received essentially hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars of publicity that cost them no more than a trip to Kingsport and a trip to Maryland.

Yet, they whine.

Hudson’s on the Mile owner Bruce Yamali even went so far as to offer up a not-so-veiled threat, saying that Kingsport “has not heard the end of this fight. In fact, it’s just the beginning.”

But we suppose there should be no surprise in all this if these guys truly do have their hackles raised because they lost. If their feelings are hurt because they lost and they are going to pout publicly, it’s indicative of the society we’ve allowed to emerge where graceful losing is a lost art.

Of course, the good folks at Visit Kingsport are surprised by the latest playground bullying tactics of those they once believed were friendly competitors. Like us, Visit Kingsport Executive Director Jud Teague thought it was just their way of extending the competition.

We’re not 100% convinced this isn’t a publicity stunt designed to get more ink and air for all involved.

But the tone of the comments from up north and the threat of legal action and cease and desist letters unfortunately indicate otherwise.

Lots of retorts come to mind for these complainers. We’ll leave each of you to your own.

Our thoughts? Move on. Time spent on this threat is time wasted. Both parties got exactly the nationwide publicity they initially sought; far more than either could surely have imagined. Energy going forward is best spent elsewhere.