Reputations trashed

Fans hurt themselves, teams with outrageous stadium behavior

Longtime Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski actually finished his National Football League career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He fell in love with the city, as a great place in America’s heartland to live, work and raise a family.

He may think a bit less of it today after how Kansas City fans Sunday cheered a head injury to unpopular Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel.

“I thought it was awful,” Jaworski said with disgust on ESPN. “It’s totally unacceptable. To see that in Kansas City – what is happening in this
country? Where’s our compassion for people? It’s a game!”

“To cheer somebody in that situation is almost unthinkable,” added fellow ESPN commentator Merril Hoge.

“What are the lessons we’re teaching our young people?” Jaworski asked.

Good question. The lesson is that winning is more important than being human.

While not inhumane, the behavior of Atlanta Braves fans last weekend was similarly boorish: After a particularly controversial late-inning call that may have cost the Braves a shot at a postseason run, fans threw so much debris on the field that the game had to be stopped for a cleanup.

The two incidents reveal something not very flattering about the state of sportsmanship today. More important, they demonstrate many people’s lack of perspective – about the relative importance of sports, about civility and, yes, about humanity.

Cassel may have looked bad as quarterback, but nowhere near as bad as the fans who applauded his being seriously hurt.

Such fans only trash their own reputations.

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