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It was a simple nine-yard play.
On the 49ers second possession, Raheem Mostert carried the ball for nine yards, then noticed something didn’t feel right. He went right off the field. Diagnosis: chipped cartilage in his knee. He opted for cartilage repair surgery, which ended his season at four snaps.
Hey, it happens. We watch the clips of what happened to Joe Theismann in 1985, and Alex Smith in 2018. It’s easy to think that leg injuries happen in gruesome situations, especially when those situations are shown over and over again for eternity. Injuries like Mostert’s happens also. Can be a simple cut, can turn your leg wrong … any of those things.
If you aren’t the man’s immediate family, the normal way to handle this is, “This is unfortunate … who’s the backup?” Mostert knows this, Mostert’s family understands this. Anyone that goes in the NFL understands this fact of life. You get hurt, someone can step up and take the job. You can either find a new opportunity elsewhere, or the career can be over just like that.
Not in this era. Not for his wife, Devon Mostert.
Besides the concern for her husband, she found cruel and threatening messages from fans telling her that he should kill himself, that he’s made from glass, that he should play through pain like the old days. A lot of these came from people who picked Mostert high in fantasy football.
Yes, fantasy football.
I admit it, I play fantasy football. I think I’ve been pretty good at it over the years, but it’s not a way of life. I’ve never put together more than one team at a time, and if I win, I win. If I lose, I lose. There’s a fun bragging rights thing to it, especially this year when I am in an eight team group with friends and colleagues. That said, you watch your scores, you either have a good week or a bad week, and move on.
Not with these meatheads.
Raheem Mostert’s case is not an isolated one. This has been happening for years now. Brandon Jacobs once got a death threat before a late season game in 2013. It went something like this.
“ON LIFE BRANDON IF YOU DON’T RUSH FOR 50 YARDS AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS TONIGHT ITS OVER FOR YOU AND YO FAMILY N…”
(Notice the intelligence of the guy using the disgusting N-word)
Then it’s followed up with this.
“FULFILL MY ORDERS STATED IN THE PREVIOUS TWEET OR THATS YO LIFE BRUH AND IM NOT PLAYING”
This is over a fantasy football game. Fantasy. Means not real. Means people that failed as athletes living vicariously through real athletes getting angry at athletes being human and having a bad day…as if the athlete’s thinking about Ralph Malph’s fantasy team instead of his bonus status, place on the team next year, and family’s welfare over a couple tough weeks. Calvin Johnson’s had to deal with these. Justin Tucker has even had to deal with these, and he never misses. I always enjoyed Torrey Smith’s tweet telling how he hated fantasy football because fans take it too seriously.
I admit it, even though I play fantasy football, I hate it for that very reason. I wanted to stop this year, and I might after this year anyway, who knows. It’s my little protest over these meatheads.
The problem is that it’s not just fantasy football, and it’s not even the worst type of stories. Another story from 2013 involved Alabama kicker Cade Foster. He had a bad night against Auburn, which admittedly was not the team you want to have a bad night against, especially in that state. That said, after three missed FG, and forcing Saban to yank him for another kicker…which led to an iconic play by Auburn watched by millions of people. You all know the play.
That said, Foster got a ton of hate tweets and threats after the game. His teammates came on out and supported him. It got so bad that some Bama fans had to start a Facebook page in support of him, and they went after the fans themselves, who subsequently went radio silence and deleted their pages.
All over a kid. They threatened a kid’s life over a game.
Kyle Bambard was a Sophomore for NC State in 2016. He dealt with this after missing a game winning field goal against Clemson. Another Alabama kicker, Joseph Bulovas, dealt with this in 2019. Name the year since Twitter began and it happens.
They are threatening kids. Freshmen, sophomores. They threaten lives over their own inadequacies.
Fans, this is the thing. Threatening lives over your fantasy league, or losing in a rivalry game, doesn’t make you look cool. It makes you look like an emotional nitwit, and it makes you look like an absolute coward. Also, if you try to prove you would have the guts to follow through on the threats, these athletes will either make your face a permanent part of the concrete, or they’ll just call the police and give you a permanent criminal record. It usually depends of the financial status of that said player. Terry Crews is right…really rich people don’t waste their energy on fights. Wastes energy and way too much to lose.
Here’s an idea. How about creating your own proud legacy like these athletes did? Start a non-profit, small business, volunteer at a shelter, anything. You are all so intent on living vicariously through millionaires with a rare gift that you let your emotions go way out of control. As I mentioned, these players aren’t thinking of your stupid fantasy team. With the exception of a select few players in the league, one mistake in a game can affect financial interests and their future in the NFL.
Fantasy football is a billion dollar industry, and I respect its impact. There’s nothing that makes me want it to disappear. As I said, I play it also. College fans are also the most passionate fans on earth, especially in rivalry games. I’d never want that to disappear either.
But it’s time for the emotional nitwits out there to grow up.
Twitter – @PunditPund1Published in