Monday, October 8, 2012

Educate, Don't Condemnate

The Kansas City Chiefs fans are getting a lot of flack today for how they reacted to their own quarterback's injury. When Matt Cassel went down with a possible head injury, the KC fans cheered the injury instead of showing the normal respect shown to a player on either the home or visiting side.

These may have been the same Kansas City fans who, earlier in the week, came out in droves to cheer on Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera as he accomplished the Triple Crown. What makes the two of them different?

I believe that it all depends on how you teach. People were keenly aware of the magnitude of Cabrera's accomplishment - and instead of booing an opposing player, they cheered the accomplishment.

On the other hand, Chiefs fans were expressing frustration in a way that may have been inappropriate - especially if Cassel's injury had been worse. But they didn't know how bad the injury was. And maybe - unfortunately - it was because these fans hadn't been educated over how to act when a player goes down with a serious injury.

When you take your children to a game (from any sport) do you set a good example? Do you show your support to players with big accomplishments? Or do you boo mercilessly even if it's your player? Have you taught them how to act when they are playing their pee-wee sport? Have you taken some time this morning, while watching the KC slamming on Sportscenter, to talk to your kids or coworkers over how they should have reacted?

I've heard people say that they have "the right" because of how much their tickets cost, or how much time they've invested in the team. And I kind of think that's stupid. Let's keep our sane heads and not put us up on a pedestal because we made a choice to pay money to watch a bunch of men play a sport. If you're going to pay the money, the least you can do is show you deserve to be there, cheering your players and the sport. Earn the chance to watch and cheer. Educate those around you the proper way to watch and cheer. Let's bring back some civility to watching and cheering the sport that you love.