Charles Barkley, NBA Hall of Famer and outspoken media darling, once said that 10 percent of fans are idiots. While many people disagree with Barkley on many of his other slightly eccentric theories, I happen to think he is way off base here.
In fact, the number should be much higher.
Take this latest example, and then judge for yourself.
Josh Morgan made perhaps the biggest mistake of the 2012 NFL season thus far when he let his emotions and his temper get the best of him when his Washington Redskins took on the St. Louis Rams. Morgan let defensive back Cortland Finnegan – who has gotten under the skin of every wide receiver he has ever covered – get to him and instigate a fight. He was clearly provoked but, like you tell the kids in school, it is always the one who retaliates who gets caught and punished.
That was the case here.
The rest is history. Morgan got flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, costing the Redskins 15 yards and Billy Cundiff a shot at a 47 yard field goal. It turned out that Cundiff would miss the 62 yard field goal that could have tied the game, and the Redskins lost bu three points to the Rams.
It was bad. It was foolish. It was almost unforgiveable. I even wrote that the Redskins could consider cutting Morgan. But the fact that Morgan has received actual death threats at least through his Twitter feed is absolutely ludicrous.
Fans who cross the line and cannot tell the difference between sports and real life are beyond reprehensible. People who attack others who root for the opposition. People who start brawls at stadiums. People who don’t realize that this is entertainment. These people should not be given the right to call themselves fans.
When in fact, it would be far more accurate to call yourselves idiots. Morons. Ignoramuses.
Hell, I’m feeling generous. You can call yourself all three.
Morgan is choosing to take the high road. He knows that you can not argue with idiots. It is a no-win situation. Even if you make a valid point, they are simply too stupid to realize it any way.
“I heard everything, especially when they get you on Twitter and are sending you death threats and wishing you bad things and your first born,” Morgan said. “You see it all, you hear it all. … They treated me like they did Kyle Williams last year. It’s all over my Twitter.”
I won’t even get into the vulgar and sickening things that certain people threatened against Morgan. I will not mention their Twitter handle, as they do not deserve any more publicity. But Morgan is thankfully smart enough to not go back and forth with these creeps.
“You’re not supposed to respond,” he said. “You’re supposed to respond with your actions. And that’s what I’m going to do.”
For Morgan’s sake, he had better hope that he does play much better for the Redskins, provided they do indeed give him another chance in a key situation. But even he admits that this is still a game, and he does have his priorities straight.
“The only thing I take seriously is football and family,” he said. “Nothing really scares me. I’m from D.C.”
It truly is revolting. Yes, Morgan screwed up. He screwed up big time. But he screwed up in a football game. He screwed up playing a game that we all love. It is a game. Just a game. No matter how serious you take it or how hard you root for your favorite team, the fact remains that it is still just a game.
Barkley was on to something when he said that 10 percent of fans are idiots. He just grossly underestimated the true number.
It is far greater, and only seems to grow with each passing year.