Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cheering injuries: How to define scumbag fans

After his release from the Browns, quarterback Derek Anderson had some choice words for Cleveland fans. "The fans are ruthless and don't deserve a winner," he said. "I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured."

As somebody who played multiple sports (albeit only through high school), I understand Anderson's frustration. The last thing you want to hear when you're lying on the turf in pain is cheers from fans who are so disgusted with your play that they are desperate to see what the backup quarterback can do. Talk about adding insult to injury.

The worst part is that a good majority of these fans have probably never played a competitive sport in their life. They don't understand what it's like to be injured in a middle school game, let alone a game played at the speed of the NFL. The small possibility always exists of players being paralyzed or even killed on the field and to me, that is no laughing (or cheering) matter.

Anderson apologized for his comments saying they came out of frustration, but that's not to say he doesn't still mean them or that he was wrong. He meant them, and he was dead on.

Any fan who cheers an injury to their own player really isn't a fan, just a frontrunner (or an a-hole). I know these players get paid millions of dollars (in Anderson's case, $7.45M to compile a 42.1 passer rating in 2009) but they are out there giving it their all on every down and anybody who thinks otherwise is ignorant. When you take a play off in the NFL, someone is liable to get seriously injured and there's a great chance it's going to be you.

I'll admit there have been times when I was "happy" a player was injured. When Jets linebacker Mo Lewis knocked Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe out of a 2001 game, I surely was not disappointed to see a sixth-round pick out of Michigan by the name of Tom Brady enter and try to lead the Patriots to victory.

Fast forward to 2010, where I am a full believer in karma and this scenario was one of the first that led me to my beliefs. My "happiness" turned to distress when I had to watch Brady win Super Bowl MVP honors and lead New England to a championship, one that I doubt Bledsoe could have won himself.

I wasn't cheering Bledsoe's injury by any means, as anybody who saw the hit Lewis laid on him knew that was an extremely painful injury. But we've all been in the spot where a key opponent loses a player to injury, and it's difficult to feel too bad for your rival.

But I digress. Regardless of how badly Browns fans wanted to see Brady Quinn at the helm, cheering Anderson's injury was not the way to get what they wanted. I hate to wish injury on any of the fans who were cheering at that game but maybe then they would know what it felt like, especially if there was somebody on the sidelines pointing and laughing at them for being injured or clapping because they got to replace them on the field.

That's about the only way I can think of for fans like that to truly understand how it feels to be on the other side. And I can guarantee it would not be a very good feeling. It's time for fans around the NFL and other professional sports league to get their acts together.

No comments:

Post a Comment