Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Sound bite of the year

It appears that we have a winner for the best interview answer of the year. And in a Presidential election year, it's a small surprise that it came from an offensive tackle.

Last weekend, Chiefs' quarterback Andrew Cassel was injured during a game with the Ravens. Some of the fans in Kansas City, apparently frustrated by the team's inability to generate any offense this season, cheered. The exact number was impossible to guess, but the message came through clearly.

Cassel was later diagnosed with a concussion. After the game, Chiefs' tackle Eric Winston -- one of those generally anonymous players except in the places where he played -- was ready to address the media, and ready to rip his own fans. Listen to the words, and see how well he expresses himself.

This might raise a larger issue regarding football. I've written before about how NFL games are no place for the timid, how many fans who sit in the stands will hear and see vulgarities that wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else. And this sort of attitude from fans is one of the end products of that atmosphere.

This postgame speech by Winston reminded me of Phil Esposito's remarks after Team Canada was booed during a loss in the 1972 Summit Series. It's now considered one of the great speeches in Canadian history:

I'm not so naive to think that Winston's remarks might generate a few more feelings of civility in sports events. But I can hope.

Be notified of new posts via Twitter @WDX2BB.


Jane Bailey Pyszczynski said...

As a Chiefs' fan, I will emphasize that there were very, very few that cheered Matt's injury. They cheered when he was able to leave the field under his own power and supported Brady Quinn as he replaced him. You're right...there's so much frustration here, but we never want a player injured!

Jane Bailey Pyszczynski said...

As a Chiefs' fan, I agree that the attitudes in football can sometimes boggle the mind. But, the story of fan reaction to Matt's head injury has been grossly amplified. The vast majority of fans at the game were initially quiet and respectful as he was assessed on the field. When he walked off under his own power, the fans cheered the fact that he was able to walk! They also cheered Brady Quinn as he replaced him. There is incredible frustration here in KC that extends far beyond our pitiful offense, but the characterization was unfair and probably more than defensive after a really bad game!