At its heart the NFL is a business, we all know that. Players talk about this business aspect when it comes to signing new contracts, being traded or holding out for more money. Teams also understand this business relationship when it comes to cutting players, choosing not to re-sign veterans or trading players.
As fans we straddle the middle, and much like the CBA negotiations this off-season we saw splintering of NFL fans who sided with the players or the owners. Ultimately there is no true 'side' that fans are on when it comes to these issues, and this is because we have a greater emphasis on emotional attachment to players and teams.
Never was this issue of business vs. personal attachment so prevalent today with the news of Thomas Davis' third ACL tear in two years. The reaction from fans was equally heartwarming and disgusting as the initial news came across Twitter and I'll talk about this range of emotions after the jump.
It's easy to forget the human aspect of the NFL when all we concentrate on is business. When it's all said and done these are still men, husbands and fathers who are trying to make a living and provide for their families. Sure, they make an amazing living as they provide us with entertainment each Sunday, but that doesn't mean we should view players as disposable like paper towels.
I often kid that the biggest mistake a fan of the Carolina Panthers can make is reading the comments on the team's facebook feed. However, I couldn't help but be utterly disgusted by some of the comments on the announcement of Thomas Davis' injury. I've decided to remove names to protect the innocent, but this gives you a good idea of what kind of people are part of our fan base:
Plzzz cut this dude asap thank !
(on Davis and Beason) Get rid of both of them! I think they prefer riding the bench!!!!!
Exactly, just another Dan Morgan, we have to release him....
He signed a 5 year contract & turns around and have a 3 peat of the same injury.....he needs to be sportscenter C'mon man this friday
What can you say to these
troglodytes people? This is what happens when any semblance of humanism is thrown out in window in favor of some selfish motivation. I'm not saying all fans need to be altruistic all the time; after all, one of my jobs as a writer is to constantly talk about who should/could be cut, who is on the bubble and letting you know which players are 'camp fodder'. In this way it's a necessary part of the job, however, to take that one step further and immediately start calling for a player to be cut who was injured goes beyond being a steadfast fan, and becomes cruel.
This isn't a new phenomenon. Sure it happened today, and will happen each and every time these situations arise, but I just think it's so callous and wrong to begin balling up and tossing away a player like Thomas Davis, even if the unfortunate truth is that his career as a Panther could very well be over.