THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
Last week, we discussed the comments made last month during the NCAA FCS Championship Game by Alabama. This week, we're going to piggyback on that and look at the junk that happened during the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Let's start with players mouthing off so that it mimics what happened with Alabama. Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce went on a rant using expletives to explain how referee Carl Cheffers (who was hours away from probably being named the referee of the Super Bowl) shouldn't even be allowed to work at Foot Locker due to a possible missed holding penalty. Kelce, however, seemed to forget a ton of things before opening his dumb mouth, such as:
Similarly, Seattle Seahawks Defensive End Michael Bennett went on his own expletive-filled rant directed at a reporter following the Seahawks' loss to Atlanta the day prior. The Seahawks' Earl Thomas, meanwhile, went on a rant about how New England Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady has it so easy each year and suggested Brady wouldn't survive if they were in the same division as Seattle. Thomas, you might recall, didn't even play in the playoff game (which wasn't even against New England as noted, but against Atlanta) while he recovered from a nasty leg injury from earlier in the season.
The Atlanta Falcons were no saints either, however. Immediately following their victory over Seattle, Atlanta set up an event page on Facebook for their game the following week in the NFC Championship Game. The problem? Atlanta played Saturday; Green Bay and Dallas (whose winner would face Atlanta) didn't play until Sunday; the event was up Saturday evening. Atlanta posted the event as their game against Green Bay in Atlanta. (Atlanta would host Green Bay since they were the higher seed; however, had Dallas won, Atlanta would have had to travel to Dallas for the game.) The mistake was quickly pointed out as a trolling incident meant to aggravate the Dallas community and was quickly changed to just a generic game against an unspecified opponent. However, the location was not changed; it stayed in Atlanta, which obviously inferred it would still be against Green Bay.
Finally, following Dallas' loss to Green Bay (as if it were scripted and Atlanta was leaking spoilers), a camera captured a fight inside the stadium that featured a Green Bay fan on the ground being attacked by a Dallas fan who simply couldn't handle the fact that the home team lost. To make matters worse, a tornado watch had been issued outside the stadium, requiring people who were still at the stadium to remain inside and take shelter. The thought of safety to protect human life clearly did not occur to the fan or fans who decided to provoke this idiotic display of fandom.
As a bonus story, a video was immediately posted following Dallas' loss of a Cowboys fan destroying his giant flat-screen television over his team's loss. It was reminiscent of the same type of incident that followed the Seahawks' loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl a few years prior when the game was all but won by Seattle, only to have one dumb decision in calling a pass play allow New England steal the game in the final seconds.
Oh, one other one...Mike Trout is arguably one of the best players in Major League Baseball. He grew up in southern New Jersey and is a major fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. What did he Tweet out when the Cowboys lost?
HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even our best role models can't keep the poor sportsmanship at bay.
So what did we learn today? If you're a professional athlete, shut up. If you're a fan, shut up. If you're an employee of a team, shut up. And stop destroying televisions that some of us would love to have in our homes!
Baseball player, umpire, coach, fan; professional musician; founder, President & CEO of The OSIP Foundation, Inc.