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Community reacts to Ursini and top 10 list

Newport Rib Company owner remorseful after community reacts with disappointment from top 10 list of what he thought were jokes.

June 05, 2013|By Steve Virgen

As owner of Newport Rib Company, John Ursini does his best to provide food that is delicious. Yet, Ursini recently produced something that left a bad taste in the mouths of Costa Mesa High supporters. It didn't have anything to do with food. Rather, Ursini's attempt at comedy during a celebration ceremony at Estancia High left many angry and disappointed.

He wrote and read a top 10 list of reasons why Estancia won the All-Sports Cup, for the fourth straight year, on Thursday. The list appeared in a Daily Pilot story about the event that honors the winner of the trophy for the school (Costa Mesa vs. Estancia) that earned the most points from rivalry matchups.

Several people in the community took to social media to chide Ursini and some called the Estancia High alumnus and spoke to him to let him know of their disapproval. There were others who thought the list to be harmless.

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Still, Ursini responded with an apology and reached out to the Daily Pilot to have it published online Wednesday.

He wrote: "The list was meant to be light-hearted and a little funny. But I realize that humor is one thing, but when another group feels put down by the humor it's not humor at all. It's cheap and it hurts feelings and that's not worth being funny. My top 10 comments struck some feelings in the Costa Mesa community and I'm sorry."

Ursini showed up to Costa Mesa High Friday for a bit of a peace offering, as he catered hungry football players, cheerleaders and other athletes and boosters after a fundraising event.

After the story with the top 10 list appeared in the Daily Pilot, Mustangs football coach Wally Grant called Ursini.

"What he and I spoke about is between me and him," said Grant, a Costa Mesa alumnus. "Personally I think he was trying to be funny and it didn't come out the right way. I don't think there was any ill will intended, but I don't think he totally thought out the whole deal.

"Now it's a dead issue to me. He wrote his apology and I'm good with that. We have turned the page."

Many in the community are ready to move past the incident. Costa Mesa Principal Phil D'Agostino, the former Estancia principal, declined to comment on the issue, as did Estancia football booster president Steve Mensinger.

Estancia principal Kirk Bauermeister, a Costa Mesa alumnus and former Mustangs athletic director and baseball coach, did not return a phone message.

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