I’m not a Chicago Bears fan, especially since Super Bowl XX when “Da Bears” schooled the Patriots 46-10. However, watching Codey Parkey’s missed (later ruled “blocked”) field goal attempt for the potential win in last week’s NFL playoff game, I hesitantly admit to some compassion for him. He made it once but had to re-kick it due to a last second time out called by the visiting Eagles team. Compassion is not how one would describe the die-hard Bear fans. Oh my! Such hostility
Oh yeah, who could forget October 26, 1986, when in the wee hours of the morning Red Sox 1st baseman, Bill Buckner let a routine ground ball dribble between his legs allowing the Mets to score the winning run and forcing a game seven of the World Series, in which the Mets also won. Needless to say, the Boston anger and rage did not soon subside.
Then there was the “Steve Bartman Incident” of October 14, 2003. You have a vivid memory of it if you are a Cubs fan. It was the 8th inning of game six of the playoffs The Cubs were leading the Marlins 3-0. A pop foul sailed toward left field; Bartman, in the stands, reached for the ball, deflected it, and disrupted the potential catch. If it had been caught in play, it would have been the second out in the inning and the Cubs would have been just four outs away from winning their first National League pennant since 1945. Only recently have amends been made and the aggression eased as the Cubs awarded Bartman a 2016 World Series ring.
If messing up was just an isolated incident by an awkward few, we might have a reason for hostility, anger, and outrage. Pointing them out with derision might even be a worthy hobby. However, we all mess up. There was only one perfect person who walked this planet and he was crucified. When our team loses, we aren’t happy and we are tempted to assign fault. Remember to go easy on the poor soul who messes up, express some compassion, and offer some encouragement. Next time we might be the one who chokes with the game on the line.