Football tends to bring out the worst in people and this Sunday’s AFC Championship game is apparently evidence of that. While some fans come up with clever and often hilarious ways to mock and taunt the opposing team, others stick to low-brow and offensive means of getting inside the opposing team’s head.
Back in September, the morning Smith was set to play on Sunday Night Football, his younger brother Tevin died in a motorcycle accident. Smith went on to have one of the best games of his career that night and the performance is one of the most emotional stories of the 2012 NFL season. But while most fans supported Smith through the ordeal, Patriots fans used it as game day fodder when it came to their taunts.
Smith tweeted on Tuesday that Patriots fans need to shut up about being classy, because the way they acted towards him on Sunday was far from it.
Played a lot of games since my brothers death and I never received as many rude tweets after a win than Sunday…yet NE fans cry about class
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) January 22, 2013
Fans tend to amplify their vitriol during the playoffs, and that extends beyond just football. A few years back, then-Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee had a Yankees fan spit on his wife during a playoff series in New York and a fan was stabbed in the throat after Sunday’s NFC title game in Atlanta.
It’s also not the first time fans have taunted a player over a dead family member. Back in 2002 during the NFC title game between the Buccaneers and Eagles, Philly fans taunted wide receiver Joe Jurevicius over his newborn son, who had been born premature and ended up dying a month after the Super Bowl.
With all the recent stories about the trash talk in the stands on Sunday, it seems Patriots fans showed up at Gillette Stadium with more fight than their team did. So while Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason say Bill Belichick makes it easy for people to hate him, the same can equally be said about the fans of the team he coaches.