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November 6, 2015

Shame on you, University of Michigan. Just a year after I was praising you all for running Brady Hoke out of town, we’re all treated to a glimpse of the worst of the fan base. And I mean the absolute worst. Before I go any further, though, I feel there is a necessity for a reminder to football fans. Football, though an amazing sport, is just a game. That’s it, that’s all. Did we get that? Cool.

Apparently, though, some folks at Michigan didn’t. By now we’ve all seen it. U of M in absolute control of the football team’s game against undefeated Michigan State. Michigan is going to punt with five seconds left on the clock, pretty much ending the game, and likely sending Michgan on its way to the top 5, and contending for the College Football Playoff. Well, until everything went wrong.

Punter Blake O’Neill muffed the snap, and Michigan State returned the ensuing fumble for the winning score. It was an absurd end to an absurd game, which kept Michigan State alive and doomed Michigan to another year as the little brother, despite a quality showing. You know, typical college football storylines. The team played well, but something bad happened. It happens once or twice a season. A mistimed jump on a Hail Mary, a missed field goal getting returned for a touchdown, a costly fumble at the goal line. It’s a part of football.

It should never end in death threats. Yep. I said it. If you threatened that punter’s life, you likely need to find a life for yourself. That is unacceptable. That is cruel, unneeded, and it ruins the sport. It ruins athletics as a whole. There, to be frank, is no excuse for this stuff. Nobody signs on to be threatened when signing a letter of intent.

But what do you expect, when you have folks like Fansided’s Cody Williams writing dumb headlines like “Blake O’Neill Fumble Cost Michigan Shot at College Football Playoff,” what do you expect? When fans let their fandom take precedence over the welfare of the players, this stuff happens. When fans like Williams scapegoats a player on a team that, to be honest, wasn’t going to make the Playoff anyway, you’re not even treating that player like a human. People make mistakes. Sometimes, they cost teams games. Sometimes, they look really bad. But they’re still people, and deserve to be treated that way. This isn’t that hard.

But honestly, there’s really only one point to be made here. Is it really worth threatening to kill someone over? If that answer is “yes,” then please turn yourself into the police. It’s just a game.

Anthony Adams
Sports Columnist

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