Oh, so you’re that fan…

So you’re that fan. You know, the one that played high school football. Well, kind of. You were on the team but never really made it on the field due to lack of ability. That, of course, is the truth. As far as people who didn’t grow up with you know you were the quarterback that led your team to a couple of fourth quarter comebacks and on to the state football playoffs. You can say that. Are they really going to take the time to look it up? No. Of course that was back in the day when you were fit and in shape. You didn’t carry the 270lb belly keg that you currently have. 

Despite never actually playing the game or coaching any team over the age of 10, you have somehow learned everything there is to know about the game and how easy it truly is. And now as an “adult” (we’ll use that term loosely) you yell derogatory things at the 18-22 year old kids showcasing their talents on Saturdays. Yes, you yell at college students for making mistakes in a game. For the life of you, you can’t understand why someone playing at the college level under the amateur status can throw an interception or miss a 40-yard field goal with the game on the line. And really the only affect it has on you is the money you wagered and lost and/or your credibility with your buddies because you “knew it all” and the players “let you down”.

The thing you fail to realize or understand is the affect it has on the young man who actually made the mistakes. You don’t understand the criticism the individual has to take. And not just from washed up couch potatoes like you…from the media, coaches, classmates….really anyone they meet on the streets. Except for their close friends and the few people who are left in the world that realize these college athletes are human.

Your response to this is likely either, “he signed up for this when he wanted to play football” or “he deserves it for the way he played” or something ridiculous. Can you imagine if every time you made a mistake at work there were reporters asking questions and you were belittled by people who didn’t have a clue? And no, you haven’t had to go through something like this….ever.

While your college experience was full of drinking ridiculous amounts of alcohol and partying until the sun came up, these kids live a much different college life. It’s full of class, mandatory study sessions, practice, meetings, film watching, etc. Yes, they chose this life. But they didn’t choose to have a washed up nobody like yourself disrespect them because of a mistake made in a simple game.

The next time you yell at one of these young men stop for just a moment and ask yourself if you know for a fact you wouldn’t have made that mistake. You probably don’t know the play call or why the quarterback threw the ball where he did but be honest with yourself for one time. And remember, base your answer off the first time you see the play happen in live action instead of the instant replay that slows it down for your brain to process. The quarterback who is actually playing doesn’t get the chance to rethink his decision based on replay.

The next time a player on “your team” makes a mistake and they lose a game get over it and move on with your life. It’s just a game.

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