bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: High school kid is harassed by Auburn fans

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What’s wrong with people? I really need to know. Perhaps I should run a contest…people could send in their answers and the best answer would qualify the sender for some sort of fabulous prize, like maybe a lifetime subscription to Bad Sports, Good Sports (you really can subscribe). It’s a tough question, though, and I reserve the right to decide that none of the answers are suitable. As an example of how hard this question is, consider what has been happening to Rashaan Evans, a high school football player from Alabama, over the last couple of weeks.

Evans is a linebacker from Auburn High School in Auburn, Alabama. He is rated a five-star player by most of the services that cover football recruiting, and had scholarship offers from over two dozen big-time college football programs. On National Signing Day, February 5th, he signed a letter-of-intent to play at the University of Alabama. If you follow college football, you know that Alabama has arguably been the best program in the country over the last five years. Auburn University, which is obviously located right where Evans grew up, has been no slouch either, winning the national championship four seasons back and making it to the title game before losing to Florida State this year. Fans of Auburn were understandably disappointed when the kid chose to play for the Crimson Tide, as I guess they felt he was a slam dunk to play for the hometown school. I have no issue with people being disappointed, but the way some fans have treated Evans and his family has been so far over the line of reasonable behavior that it makes me sick. According to the linebacker, a local article was written about his family’s business (a small grocery store) that told Auburn fans to avoid the place as a punishment. He was attacked on social media, including some people on Instagram telling him they hope he tears his ACL in his first game. He said others have tried to get local restaurants to turn him and his family away.

Can you imagine being one of these people? I am more into college football recruiting than anyone I know, although the majority of my interest in it revolves around one school. I am happy when a good player decides to go to Penn State, and I am bummed when one gets away. If I ever got the point where I would confront a kid about choosing a different school, in person or on social media, I would hope that someone would find some very expedient means to knock some sense into me. These are kids, people…some as young as sixteen-years-old at the time they are making this choice. Even when one of these athletes makes a fool of himself while making his choice, which happens relatively often, I never lose sight of the fact these guys are children. Anyone who would advocate a boycott against a family business because of a college choice needs to wake up and get a life.

College football is fun. In many ways, I like it better than professional football, as most of these kids have not yet been fully jaded by the non-stop adulation that a top player receives on a constant basis. At the high school level, even considering the level of attention that a five-star player gets, we are still talking about children and where they are choosing to go to college. Fans, particularly those of the adult variety, need to back off. Tweeting at a kid, or doing anything of the like, even when it is words of encouragement, is not something a grown-up should be doing. Go back to your own miserable life.

Bad sports, continued:

2) I guess Kyle Petty is not the only sexist member of his family. Following on the heels of Kyle’s dopey comments about Danica Patrick late last season, father Richard Petty took some shots at her this week, claiming that she could only win a race “if everybody else stayed home.” Classy.

3) I take back anything I ever said about a touchdown dance being stupid. This soccer goal celebration is the the dumbest thing I have ever seen.

4) The Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin mess continues to make headlines, as Incognito refuses to shut his mouth. This week, he went on a Twitter tirade, ripping Martin as well as the upcoming report on the situation from Ted Wells.

5) New York Jets safety Ed Reed had $50,000 in cash stolen from his car in Houston on Wednesday. In related news, Ed Reed is an idiot.

6) Maria Kommiserova, a skicross racer from Russia, broke her spine will practicing for an event she was to compete in next Friday in Sochi. She had surgery over the weekend and will likely require additional surgeries in the days to come.

7) The pace car caught on fire during the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night. That is a non-points race that opens Speedweeks every year at Daytona. Chevrolet believes a battery pack may have caused the blaze.

Good Sports:

1) The Syracuse basketball team is living a charmed life lately. They are 25-0, which is not by accident…it is a great team (despite my disdain for coach Jim Boeheim). The last two wins, Wednesday against Pitt and Saturday against North Carolina State, were both accomplished in thrilling, last-gasp fashion. Tyler Ennis hit a very deep three-pointer at the buzzer to beat Pitt, 58-56, while Rakeem Christmas made a steal that he passed to C.J. Fair for a layup with six seconds left to defeat NC State, 56-55.

2) It has been years since the number three raced in NASCAR’s top division, as car owner Richard Childress held Dale Earnhardt’s number out of competition since the driver’s death at Daytona in 2001. On Sunday, the number returned to the track in style, as Childress’ grandson, Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon, drove it during qualifying for the Daytona 500, winning the pole position for this Sunday’s race.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

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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