Much is being said about the fact the Heinz Field faithful booed Mike Wallace after another dropped pass clanged off his hands early during Sunday’s 34-24 loss to San Diego. Chances were good that Wallace would have taken it to the house on the play, so the drop cost the Steelers some much needed offensive performance.
Why shouldn’t fans boo poor performance? Wallace wants paid like a top receiver yet seems to have one or two awful drops in every game. The fact he ended the day with a strong stat line doesn’t excuse the fact he made a crucial mistake while the game was still competitive. Garbage time stats are never the same as crunch time stats other than on paper.
When did we get so soft as a society that we are being told not to boo professional athletes? Are we afraid of hurting their massive egos? Are we afraid it will cause them mental anguish? Excuse me if I go boo hoo right about now.
The bottom line is that the NFL is an entertainment industry that happens to center around playing a sport. These players, even the ones making league minimum, are compensated handsomely to play a game. If you go to a concert and a singer struggles to hit notes, you can expect them to get booed. Even the great Whitney Houston wasn’t immune to this.
This is the NFL, not little league. These players are all adults. It’s not enough to show up and get your participation trophy anymore at this level. Fans expect players to play hard and produce along the lines of their talent level. Wallace wants elite receiver money, but doesn’t show elite receiver hands. He’s fumbled at crucial times this year. He’s failed to get feet inbounds on key plays, and again, he’s shown poor hands at important junctures of games.
The Steelers got blown out of their own building by a team that’s probably firing their coach at the end of the year. The whole effort deserved to be booed.
I’m tired of all the political correctness creeping into our everyday lives. If you see a player dogging it out there then BOO HIM! If you see a player have a pass hit him in the hands and not catch it then BOO HIM!
Booing is the traditional way a large crowd lets their feelings be heard. There are rules in place saying you can’t throw anything on the field, which only makes sense. There are rules saying no profanity can be used at stadiums, which also makes sense. Again, what harm really comes out of booing someone other than a little hurt pride.
If it were me getting booed, I’d bust my butt to make sure it never happened again. I make sure I prepare enough in advance before a radio appearance so I know what I am talking about. I look up relevant stats and facts before writing columns, again, because that is part of my job.
Wallace’s job is to catch the damn football. He didn’t. End of story.
Boo me in the comments if you want. I can handle it.
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