bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Colin Kaepernick doesn’t get it

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Sports fans are passionate. Not all of them, of course, but a pretty good percentage of them take these games quite seriously. The word “fan,” after all, is short for “fanatic.” Being a fan often means taking silly or irrational stances on things that should really have little consequence in the life of that person. Life is hard, though, and it’s often much easier to throw our energy into sports than it is to face reality and everything that comes with it. One of the things that we take seriously is the loyalty of the players who play for the teams that we so love. Someone might want to explain that to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

On Friday, Kaepernick was seen at a July 4th party wearing a Miami Dolphins hat. It made the news, and the quarterback started taking some heat about it. It has become pretty common among professional athletes in recent years to wear the logos of other teams, but it’s usually a team that plays a different sport than that particular athlete plays. I have seen this with players from Philadelphia teams, and I definitely don’t like it, but I do realize that a guy who plays for the Sixers is usually not from Philadelphia, and may well have allegiances to teams from other cities in the other major sports. In this case, though, Kaepernick was wearing the hat of another NFL team. Sure, it was a team in the other conference, but that does very little to excuse it. No fan of the 49ers wants to see the team’s star quarterback showing any kind of affinity for another team in the league under any circumstances.

Worse yet, not only did Kaepernick not see the problem in any way at all, he was defiant about it. On Friday, he posted a picture of himself with the hat on his Instagram account along with this caption:

This the hat y’all mad at? I’m goin wear what I want regardless of what you think, all you need to worry about is the fact that I grind for my teammates and the 49ers! I plan on doin this until they won’t let me in the building! #ridiculous #y’allmustbebored

There is some towering arrogance, right there. I know this guy took his team to a Super Bowl, but he has started a grand total of six regular season games and three playoff games. Sure, he played extremely well, but there have been an awful lot of guys in this league who have shone brightly only to quickly flame out. For him to the tell the fans of his team that they essentially have no right to have any opinion at all about something like this is brutal and inexcusable. Wearing the hat was a bad choice; publicly dismissing the concern about it out of hand was a much bigger mistake. I expect he lost a few fans the other day. If he continues to play well, the concern will be muted, of course, but it won’t be forgotten. As soon as his performance slips, you can be sure he will hear about this again.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Something happened this week that looks like it could be the worst “Bad Sports” story of all time. As you likely guessed, it happened in the world of soccer. An amateur match in Brazil ended about as horrifically as anything I have heard. A player argued a call with a referee and allegedly struck him. The ref then stabbed the player. As if that weren’t a bad enough story, the people watching the match lost their collective mind. They attacked the referee and essentially tore him apart, quartering his body and beheading him, placing his head on a stake in the middle of the pitch. This really happened. I guess maybe I shouldn’t get so upset about a player wearing the wrong hat.

3) If Dwight Howard hadn’t made himself look like a whiny complainer when he forced his way out of Orlando, and if he hadn’t made people question his impact after a poor season in Los Angeles last year, he sure completed the picture with his actions this week. After leading the Lakers down a path that had them expecting to re-sign with them, he changed directions and signed with the Houston Rockets. Even after the agreement went public, word is that he nearly went back on it, telling the Lakers that he might come back. In the end, he will play for Houston, and will have a lot more people rooting against him than he had previously.

4) A car pulled away from the pit with one of the tires not actually attached to the car during the Formula One race in Germany on Sunday. The tire quickly came off and rolled down the pit lane, bouncing up and leveling a cameraman who was facing the other way. Ouch.

5) The San Francisco Giants lost a run that they scored in the first inning of their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday because they batted out of order. Catcher Buster Posey batted third, which was not the spot in which he had been listed on the official lineup card (he was listed 4th). The RBI double he hit became an out. Somehow, the official scorecard then listed Pablo Sandoval as having grounded out, despite the fact that hand’t batted, and Posey actually batted again. He flied out to right field.

6) Early in a soccer match in Bosnia, keeper Dusko Krtalica hit his head on a post while making a save. Shortly after, he started complaining of a headache. He played the entire match, though. It turns out that the post was not the reason for the pain. He had been hit with a bullet that someone nearby had fired up into the air, and it had lodged in his skull. It was removed by doctors later that day.

7) BBC sportscaster John Inverdale is taking heat from all directions after he made sexist comments about new Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli during the finals on Saturday. He basically said she was a good tennis player because she had to work extra hard due to not being attractive. Awesome. I wonder if he has met Kyle Petty.

8) 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks faces charges for hitting a teammate, Lamar Divens, in the head with a bottle multiple times, as well as punching him in the face.

Good sports:

1) On Tuesday, Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds threw a no-hitter for the second consecutive season, defeating the San Francisco Giants. He had actually thrown the last no-hitter in the league back in September of last season.

2) On Sunday, Andy Murray became the first British man to win the Wimbledon title since 1936, beating number one ranked Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

3) Will Venable, an outfielder for the San Diego Padres, made a catch on Monday night that deserves mentioning. Check out the video.

4) A Korean gymnast, Shin Soo-Ji, threw out the best first pitch of a game that anyone has ever seen on Friday. Watch it.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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5 Responses to “Bad sports, good sports: Colin Kaepernick doesn’t get it”

  1. These are the three biggest problems in sports today:

    1. NFL player wears hat from another team. Doesn’t care what people think.

    2. Soccer referee beheaded after stabbing player to death.

    3. Sports fans seeing no problem with #1 being more important than #2.

  2. Thanks for reading, Bill. I think you’d be hard pressed to actually find a sports fan who thinks #1 is more important than #2. They might feel more passionately about number one, but I think that would be because number two seems so unreal.

  3. Allan, I would have to agree with you on that … it’s so much easier for me to get my head around #1 than it is #2 … not meaning to diminish the tragedy of that referee’s death, but it does seem – as you say – “so unreal.”

    May I offer a Good Sports example of fandom? … http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/09/young-buckeye-fan-names-brain-tumor-michigan-beats-it/related/

  4. Jeff – that one is already on my list for next week’s column. That said, as a Penn State fan, not sure I can use it..I hate both Michigan AND Ohio State!

  5. LOL, Alan … I was wondering about that as I was submitting the comment, and I share your feelings … well, half of them, at least. With one side of my family living in the Keystone State, I remain a BIG booster of Penn State, and have long harbored animosity towards Ohio State dating back to the Woody Hayes Days.

    But, then, the other half of my family are Michiganders, and I just don’t have the same negative feelings regarding The Blue as I do for the Buckeyes.

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