Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I’ve gone off on bad fans before. And I’ll go off on bad fans again, because these people never cease to amaze me as to how low they can put the bar on what would pass for the “human condition.”
You have angry Braves fans pitching beer cans onto the field after the infield fly rule call went against them in this year’s National League Wild Card play-in game. Awful.
Then there were the angry Georgia Bulldogs fans egging football players’ homes because of their lousy showing against South Carolina in last Saturday’s 35-7 loss. Worse than awful.
Let’s not forget a faction of Berkeley Stags’ football fans either, who live by the creed, “Win or fire the coach.” I read the posts and comments with a train wreck curiosity.
I have to ask, is winning so important that when you lose you go on this pitchfork and torch rant to run the coach out of town on a rail? There’s got to be more to your life than football.
I love sports. I hate losing as much as the next guy. I am competitive to a fault.
But when fans cross the line you just want to shake your head and wonder, who let them in the front gate anyway?
So, irate Georgia fans went off on Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray after the Gamecocks drubbing last week and egged his house. Word has since come out of Athens that during the days leading up to the game, Murray had been living with the news that his father had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
There was a reason why he seemed distracted. His dad was sick.
Thick skulled Bulldog fans aren’t the exception, either. Pick any SEC school and you’ll find their cousins.
If you fly more than one flag on your car showing your support for your favorite college or pro team, or if you call yourself anything’s Number One Fan, there’s a problem here.
Life is more important than football, and Aaron Murray found himself in the middle of a real life situation last week involving his dad. I’m sure there are a couple of you thinking, “Well, he shouldn’t have played,” and feel justified in your opinion.
Murray played because he’s an athlete.
Just like the New York Giants’ Victor Cruz played and honored his grandmother a few days after her passing earlier this year, and the Baltimore Ravens’ Torrey Smith, who played only hours after his brother's death when he caught two TD passes in a win over the New England Patriots.
These guys are grown men, and this is their job, and their job is a child’s game. It doesn’t take courage to catch a touchdown pass. And they’ll be the first to tell you that.
I remember when former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffen bolted Knoxville for Los Angeles to coach Southern Cal. I remember watching a You Tube video of an irate Volunteers fan burning Lane Kiffen memorabilia in effigy, then relieving himself on the burning pyre.
After coughing one up to LSU and with Florida and Tennessee waiting in the wings, I’m waiting to see what Gamecocks fans do.
I hope Gamecocks’ fans show some class.
Just remember Aaron Murray. Aaron Murray is just a kid. A talented kid, but he’s still just a kid.
These Berkeley Stag football players are just kids, too. And they lost a classmate this week. This is just a game, remember?
Sometimes fans forget that.
So cut them a little slack, okay?