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Sports and Stuff: Stop Acting Stupid

Tyler Shugart

I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and I ran across something that really ticked me off.  

I know that we shouldn’t let things we see on social media bother us as it isn’t always a true representation of the population.  But, sometimes we just see things that just makes us upset.  

As most of you know I don’t like the Dallas Cowboys.  Having grownup a Washington Redskins fan that is normal. They are our division rival and heck the Cowboys are like the Yankees either you are a fan or you want to see them lose every game they play.  

However, I actually felt bad for a Dallas player the other day following their loss to the 49ers in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. Well at first I felt bad, but those feelings quickly turned into something else the more I though about what I had just read.  

The next day after the game was over Dallas defensive lineman Neville Gallimore tweeted the following, “I deserve all the hate and slander. Cowboys Nation I let y’all down.  Put it all on me, all I ask is you leave my family out of this. I played the game they didn’t.”

For those who didn’t see the game the Cowboys were trailing the 9ers with around 4 minutes to go in the 4th quarter and Dallas got a big stop on 3rd down and were going to force San Fran to punt the football and give Dallas plenty of time to score and take the lead.  However, a penalty on the play, illegal hands to the face by Gallimore, gave the 49ers a fresh set of downs.  This allowed them to run nearly two more minutes off of the clock.  

Well I admire Gallimore’s tweet owning up to his costly mistake, it is really a sad indictment on our society that he had to tweet that. First of all, obviously the tweet was made because someone directed something toward a member of his family, which is completely uncalled for and just plan sad.  Secondly, that he thinks he deserves hate and slander? Why does anyone deserve hate and slander for anything, much less a mistake made will playing a game.  Third, why does he think his penalty cost the Cowboys the game and not the numerous other costly penalties throughout the game that kept drives alive for the 49ers.  I think Cole Bryson pointed it out the best on social media Sunday evening when he said, “You can’t be the most penalized team in the league and expect to win playoff games.”

I’m not writing this to talk about the Cowboys, their penalties, or their consistent playoff failures. I’m writing this to address the sad state of things we continue to see in the world of sports. Fans are constantly attacking players, coaches and members of their families because of one failure or another.  

We see it in professional sports when teams lose.  This was a great example. Fans harassing and threatening a player and/or his family for one penalty, when the entire game was full of mistakes and missteps by numerous members of the team. What good does it do to slander, harass, or threaten a player or even worse a member of that players family? What do you gain by that?

We have seen this increasingly in college athletics, especially when it comes to recruiting.  When a teenager selects one school over another and fans of the school not selected become hostile and send hateful tweets and messages to the kid and their family. That is just plain stupid.  One, because it is a kid making a decision that they believe is in their best interest for their future.  Two, because it makes you and your team look like a bunch of idiotic jerks.  

This kind of stuff has to stop.  I know that it isn’t the majority of doing stuff like this, but this small group of fans that every team seems to have is constantly growing bigger and louder.  This kind of stuff use to be reserved for the message boards, but now in our social media heavy society it is coming more and more to the forefront.  

Be passionate, be fanatic, stop being stupid.    


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