Winston unfairly rips Chiefs fans
The Kansas City Star
Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston demanded that the local media pay attention to him Sunday, and they appear to be running with his story line:
The Chiefs fans were classless in booing quarterback Matt Cassel after he was injured Sunday during yet another ineffective outing in a 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium.
Unfortunately, Winston’s eloquent comments - which came right after the game and riffed on everything from football players not being gladiators to the fact he probably will have a shorter life because he’s chosen to be a football player - weren’t factually accurate on an essential point.
“And he (Cassel) got knocked out in a game, and we got 70,000 people cheering,” Winston said.
However, the great majority of Chiefs fans at the game did not cheer Cassel’s injury.
In fact, as many others have noted, fans were cheering in large part because they were finally going to see backup quarterback Brady Quinn.
And who could blame them?
Cassel once again was absolutely horrible on Sunday. He ended the day with a 38 quarterback rating, after throwing two more interceptions and losing a fumble (after a bad snap from center Ryan Lilja) at the 1-yard line as the team prepared to score.
Essentially, Winston overreacted and much of the media made a big deal out of it.
Can’t blame the sportswriters and other parts of sports media; someone actually went off-script and said something meaningful after a game.
When that happens, the media are likely to play it up.
In this case, though, Winston’s rant unfairly ripped the majority of Chiefs fans, who did not boo the fact that Cassel was injured on Sunday.
Winston’s comments also made it easier for many Chiefs fans to pay less attention to the fact that the team played Sunday as if it had no confidence whatsoever in Cassel. His basic job during most of the game was to hand off to the running backs, a tactic that helped the club move the ball well, but not score any touchdowns.
The fact remains that the Chiefs are now 1-4, out of the playoff discussion once again.
Whether a few thousands fans did or even did not cheer Cassel’s injury on Sunday is not that important of a story, no matter what Eric Winston said.