Football isn’t a game of life or death

Published 6:03 pm Monday, January 7, 2019

Emotions run high during football games, probably higher than a lot of us are willing to admit.

We look at the players on the field and — at least during the game — think of them as somebody who can’t make a mistake. It’s easy too. When watching, I’ve made the mistake of saying “that man makes millions of dollars to catch the football and can’t do it.”

While part of that is true, we have to remember they are still human beings, as so, they are prone to human error.

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We have jobs that we are undoubtedly great at, but still, make mistakes. Some have jobs where life actually hangs in the balance. A surgeon can make an error on the operating table and could severely injure or even kill a person. A lawyer can make a mistake in court when defending somebody and an innocent person could go to prison for most of their life. My job isn’t as serious as to be life-threatening, but every article that comes from this keyboard isn’t error-free when it reaches the paper.

The point is nobody is beyond mishaps — even professional football players.

This ultimately leads me to Cody Parkey of the Chicago Bears. I’m not a Bears fan, but I’m from Illinois and, trust me, I know how people feel about the Bears. Auburn fans know Parkey well, as he played for the Tigers not very long ago.

For those who don’t know or didn’t watch the game Sunday night, Parkey is the kicker for the Bears, and he missed a game-winning kick which hit the left upright and then hit the crossbar and fell back into the field of play. If he had made the kick Sunday night, the Bears win and advance in the playoffs, but since he didn’t their season is over.

The kick was partially blocked which may have affected its trajectory, but that’s irrelevant to what transpired after the game.

Fans took to social media, particularly Twitter and said awful things about Parkey. He was booed as he ran off the field.

Parkey probably shouldn’t be the kicker next year, but that doesn’t mean he deserves all of the hatred being spewed his way. Football, as much as we care and are passionate about the game, doesn’t constitute life or death.

At the time of this writing, we don’t know who is going to win tonight’s National Championship between Alabama and Clemson. However, I do know there are some Crimson Tide fans in the area that will have strong opinions regardless of the outcome.

If there is a dropped pass, fumble, or field goal that affects the outcome of the game, it’s OK to be upset about the result, but taking it out of the players as far as making them feel unsafe in their own home is uncalled for.