Time To Reexamine Who We Are As Fans
In sports, you learn to live with the ups and downs that come with a given game. For anyone who has competitively played a sport, even as a youth, you know the highs that come with being the star of a big play.
You also know the devastating drive home after you failed when all eyes were on you.
If you played for any significant length of time, you know that sports are never all highs, nor or they all the feeling of depressing defeat. It’s what makes playing a competitive game so great.
Emotions can run high, and you can go from the top of the mountain to a crash landing and right back up in seconds.
In the aftermath of the NFL Conference Championship weekend, I have never been more embarrassed for the “sports fan.” There were two great games, each one ending with different feelings of the “highs” and “lows” of sports, depending what side of the field you were on.
So, let’s paint the picture. The AFC Championship Game featured the Baltimore Ravens taking on the New England Patriots. Down by three, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff ran onto the field as time was ready to expire to attempt a field goal that would send the game to overtime.
Confusion on the sideline forced him out late, and instead of calling a timeout, the Ravens let the play go on. Cundiff missed, ending the Ravens season.
NFC Championship Game: Already having fumbled once in regulation, punt returner Kyle Williams, son of White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams, fumbled another punt in overtime.
The New York Giants took over with great field position, kicked a field goal and the San Francisco 49ers season was over. They continuously showed Williams on the sideline, certainly a lowest-of-the-low moment.
Sports are about successes and failures, but what followed was as disgraceful as sports could get. Williams and Cundiff, the “goats” of the day, received death threats via Twitter. That’s right, because they contributed in the loss of a football game, people felt the need to wish or threaten death upon them.
This has become a new low for the sports population. Likely, if you are reading this, you are a part of that population. That doesn’t mean you are as low as the trash that wished death upon a player, but you are a part of the general sports population, being brought down by the pathetic actions of people who have nothing better to do than wish the loss of life on others.
It is just another incident in the idiotic world of the ignorant sports fan. It wasn’t too long ago when two Los Angeles Dodgers fans decided to attack Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan.
Stow was eventually put in a medically induced coma, where he remained for an extended period of time. Remember, this was all because he cheered for a different team than the two Dodgers fans.
It is time to reexamine who we are as sports fans. Sports are a form of entertainment. It’s something to get us away from the real world for a few hours. We spend a lot of money as fans to be able to do that.
So there is an enormous problem when sports stop taking us away from the real world, and start becoming the real world. Incidents like these do just that.
So, next time you feel like knocking out the opposing fan, or sending a death threat to the player who you feel let you down, take a step back and realize that the sun will still come up tomorrow. For Stow, it almost didn’t.
This is a guest post by Chris Gasper from MidwayMadness.com. Midway Madness is a site dedicated to Chicago sports. It is written by Chicago sports fans, for Chicago sports fans. Chris Gasper grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He went to and played baseball at Columbia College. Wanna read more from Chris? Click here.
Photo Credit Ezra Shaw Getty Images