Response to Scoop Jackson Article

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Bunker

We’re reminded why Scoop Jackson isn’t allowed to write often on ESPN.com. I have no problem with Scoop Jackson generally speaking, but I now understand why he was so viciously criticized by Jason Whitlock. I read this article about the Kansas City Chief fans cheering Matt Cassel’s injury during Sunday’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

I was asked what I found problematic with the article:

This article gave a quite embarrassing justification for the fans actions. Given the state of the NFL and knowing the terrible lives most of these players live after giving their bodies for the game (dementia, paralysis, lack of pension etc.) you can’t boo a guy who has just been knocked out of the game with a head injury. Boo a guy if he performs poorly, not when he’s unconscious and we don’t know what will happen with his career. As I told Linton before, the Michael Irvin situation referenced in the article was appalling and after that nothing would shock me. I wasn’t shocked by this, but I’m shocked when people try to justify their awful behavior in the stands by saying I paid $X for this ticket. You don’t have the right to throw out decency for your fellow HUMAN BEINGS just because paid the price of admission. Much like you can’t say I’m not paying taxes, because I don’t like what the government spends my money on.

Moreover what’s not often mentioned is what Roger Goddell has done is to humanize the game a bit more. The realities of the dangerous game that football have become much more apparent and exposed in the national media as a result of the regulation of head injuries etc. The media has caught up, the NFL has caught up, it’s time for fans to do the same. Especially people who have NEVER played. There’s a disconnect with the fans where they view players through some sort of video game lens. It’s alienating and the problem is that Scoop Jackson is justifying that alienation rather than bridging the gap.

Anytime you say, “I’m not justifying, just explaining”, you’re justifying. “Kansas City should have seen this coming”? Really. Blame the GM for the fans’ frustration with a player’s performance is one thing. To blame the GM for not putting the best product on the field is one thing. To blame him for the callous response from a frustrated fan base is lazy.

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