The national media is circling around Kansas City Chiefs fans with such brazen blood-lust you could almost call them as equally disgusting as the fans that cheered when QB Matt Cassel hit the turf and didn’t get up Sunday.
Well, not all of the national media. Just some of them.
This blanket being thrown over the good people of Kansas City is not fair and it is not deserved. It’s shortsighted, insensitive and irresponsible.
Yes, I’m talking to you ESPN, Pro Football Talk and Fox Sports.
I’m talking to Eric Winston.
When I first heard of Eric Winston’s post-game comments, I agreed with him. I wasn’t at the stadium Sunday but I figured if Winston heard some Chiefs fans cheering about Cassel’s injury then he had every right to be upset. When I actually heard Winston’s comments, I felt as if he went just a bit too far with his anger.
Unfortunately, when Eric Winston decided to have an impromptu press conference at his locker, he didn’t think through the ramifications of what he was about to say. In fact, he didn’t think at all. He reacted emotionally and spontaneously.
Let’s get something straight. I have talked to multiple people that were in attendance Sunday. Most all of them told me that the people around them were not cheering Matt Cassel’s injury. A few told me they did see some fans cheering about it but that on the whole, the fans were concerned about Cassel’s safety.
This issue is a lot simpler than some are making it out to be. Some jerks cheered. Most fans didn’t. We should all be mad at the folks who did and nobody should be slinging mud at Kansas City as a whole.
But that isn’t what is happening.
I promise you, promise you, that in every NFL stadium, every single Sunday, fans cheer when a player they don’t like or they don’t think is performing well, goes down with an injury. This crap happens. It happens in Cleveland and Philadelphia and New York. Kansas City Chiefs fans are no different than any other NFL fans. Some of them go to games and act like drunken jerks. Most of them are great people just trying to enjoy a game.
Most every Chiefs fan I’ve talked to is horrified and disgusted that some of their fellow fans cheered for Cassel’s injury. They are also disgusted that they got lumped together with people like that because Eric Winston was pissed off and decided to go on a post-game rant. They are further upset and angry that the national media is having a field day trashing them, continuing with the irresponsible blanket association that started at Eric Winston’s locker.
Yesterday, Winston came out and defended his words. He said it was obvious he didn’t mean every fan.
I’m not so sure it was that obvious, Eric. Not if you look at the headlines.
We all know Eric Winston didn’t mean that all Chiefs fans are disgusting but that doesn’t change the fact that all Chiefs fans are taking the heat for his words and for the actions of the few, stress on few, who cheered when they should have been concerned.
Eric Winston doesn’t owe fans of the Kansas City Chiefs an apology. His intent wasn’t to harm the entire fan base. We understand that. Most of us, in fact, agree with the sentiment that he was trying to express.
What Winston does owe fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, is clarification. Allow me to help, Eric. Feel free to copy and paste this bit. Perhaps you can take out an ad in the Kansas City Star. It should go something like this:
“On Sunday, in the heat of the moment, I inadvertent implicated the entire fanbase of the Kansas City Chiefs in something ugly, something most of them had nothing to do with. As I said before, that was not my intention. While I stand by my opinion that those who cheered for Matt’s injury are disgusting, what I didn’t say was that most Kansas City Chiefs fans are fantastic people.
They showed me an incredible amount of love, respect and admiration when the Chiefs brought me in for a free agent visit. They sent me message after message in Twitter telling me how much they wanted me to sign with KC and when I did, they showered me with messages of welcome and congratulations. Many of them stood in the blazing heat at training camp so they could watch me and my teammates practice. Afterwords, they stuck around just for the chance to get my autograph.
The fans who cheered when Matt got injured are not a fair representation of Kansas City Chiefs fans. They aren’t a fair representation of human beings period. My anger and disgust was aimed at those few. I regret that some of what I said has shed a negative light on a largely loyal and enthusiastic fanbase.
The good people of Kansas City do not deserve the negative attention the are receiving this week. They come out every week and spend their hard-earned money to support the Kansas City Chiefs football club. They deserve nothing short of a winner, a Lamar Hunt Trophy and a Super Bowl Championship.”
Well said, Eric.