Fish: Chill! It's only a game

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Let's talk about sports. Not the breaking down the intricacies of the game, rather the fans that root their teams to victory or curse them when they lose.

But first let me say this: I'm not trying to pour salt into the wounds of Patriots Nation. I myself am a Giants fan so I have my own pigskin issues this year. But I am going to use this last game (Pats vs. Broncos) as my poster child to make a point. Now the "bad sport" isn't a new concept, in fact it's probably as old as competition itself. I don't like to lose, you probably don't either. But it's how you handle it at the end of the day is the difference between a loser and absolute champion.

If you didn't watch the game, the kicker for the Patriots missed an extra point attempt (actually the first one he's missed in nine years) in the first quarter of the match up. That miss determined the final play of the game; instead of kicking it through the uprights for a tie they were forced to try for a two-point conversion, which they missed. That being said, either scenario does not win the game for the Patriots, it only ties the game and forces overtime in a rival stadium that the Patriots don't have a huge success rate in. Anyway, after the game, as you can imagine, Stephen Gostkowski (Pats kicker) took his place in the goat hall of fame, next to Bill Buckner, Scott Norwood, Leon Lett — even non-pro athletes make the Hall, like Steve Bartman. Maybe he deserves that, maybe he doesn't; like I said, either way you slice it the game only winds up in a tie.

Here's what I do know however: it takes nothing for people to pull out their access key to the Internet and shove it into the idiot slot, engage their typing fingers and go! These posts weren't simple ones such as: Millions of dollars and you can't hit a chip shot #getarealfoot #PatsNation. Nope, those I understand. Rather, the ones that threaten life and safety, these are the ones I truly have a problem with. The posts that wished him dead, his children dead, his wife dead? Things that included sexual violence to his wife, cancer to his kids ... seriously? Um ... it's a game! If you are watching that game then you are a fan, not judge, jury and certainly not the lynch mob.

I can remember when the ball rolled through Buckner's legs in 1986. That poor guy had to move and lay low until 2004; he got death threats for years. Again, I understand the anger, what I don't understand is the post-game behavior. Where do you get off threatening someone's life over a game? A game that has no financial repercussions on you and the only thing you feel is disappointment, which frankly should last about 10 minutes, then you have to move on with your day. But then to double down on the stupidity with threatening sexual violence and cancer onto family members? Holy hell! What is wrong with you? Where exactly do you get off feeling as though you have the right to do that? When in your pea-sized brain did you give yourself permission to become such an incomparable jackass?

If you're a sports fan you most likely live and die with your team. I'm not suggesting that you can't break it all down for the rest of your life, I'm not saying that if you want to jokingly curse the name of Buckner or Gostkowski for the rest of your life — I guess you have the right to do that. But to threaten violence, that's taking it too far. I don't care what these guys get paid, it will never be enough to have to endure what some Neanderthal with limited brain capacity spews out on his smart (right, hardly) phone! What the hell is up with that?

Fish is the morning talent on Classic Hits 92.7 FM. He also offers up his opinion online at www.whatdahell.net. Email him at fish@wk-vt.com.


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