Monday, October 8, 2012

Eric Winson Rips Chiefs Fans For Cheering Matt Cassel's Injury

The biggest story emerging from the Chiefs heartbreaking 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens isn’t that the team had a chance to stay to knock off one of the best teams in the conference, or that Kansas City’s defense played a fantastic game. Instead, Eric Winston has grabbed all the headlines with his criticism of Chiefs fans and their behavior during Sunday’s game. Winston ripped into Kansas City fans for cheering when quarterback Matt Cassel was injured.

Winston was quoted as saying the following after the game:

"We are athletes, okay? We are athletes. We are not gladiators. This is not the Roman Coliseum. People pay their hard-earned money when they come in here and I believe they can boo, they can cheer and they can do whatever they want, I believe that. We are lucky to play this game. People, it’s hard economic times, and they still pay the money to do this. But when somebody gets hurt, there are long lasting ramifications to the game we play, long lasting ramifications to the game we play. I’ve already kinda come to the understanding that I won’t live as long because I play this game and that’s okay, that’s a choice I’ve made and a choice all of us have made. But when you cheer, when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel — it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams, I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than in that moment right there.”

Winston was not the only player to criticize Kansas City fans for their behavior. Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and the Ravens’ Haloti Ngata both expressed their displeasure with the situation through the media.

First, credit Winston for somewhat acknowledging the frustrations of the fans and that the people who attend games to watch his team play spend a lot of their time and money to do so. Fans invest a lot into their team, and Kansas City has one of the most passionate fan bases in America.

Having said that, Winston has a point. It is no secret that Matt Cassel has played extremely poor thus far, and fans have a right to criticize him and even boo him when he doesn’t play well. However, cheering when someone gets injured is crossing the line. It shows a lack of class and puts Kansas City in national headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Fans keep obsessing over Cassel being benched, and for whom? Brady Quinn, the guy who was a disaster in Cleveland and couldn’t beat out Tim Tebow in Denver? Ricky Stanzi, who during the preseason appeared to not even belong on an NFL roster? Cassel is the best quarterback on this team, which says more about Scott Pioli’s failure as a GM.

Chiefs fans need to direct their frustration in the appropriate direction. Cheering when a home player gets knocked unconscious is a classless move, and KC fans are better than that. This was Oakland Raider territory.

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