Sometimes, fans of NFL teams get a little off-kilter when discussing or thinking about (or obsessing) about their franchise of choice. And that's OK, because, sometimes, that's what keeps sports interesting.
Fans can complain about their team's general manager or about their coach's clock management or about why the owner kept the general manager and the coach for another season in the first place, and in reality, it's their right to do so.
Which makes this article interesting. It's written by Chargers public relations director Bill Johnston, it appears on the team's official website, and in it, he advises the San Diego fan base to “take a chill pill.”
“What's with you people?” is how the story begins. “Yes, Monday night's loss was bad. Horrible. Embarrassing. Ok…enough already. No mas. I get it. Now get over it. It was a loss. One loss.”
To be fair, it appears Johnston was directing part of that to unnamed members of the media, especially because he believes some of us are writing off San Diego's chances for the rest of the season. Hmm, I don't know why he'd say that.
Anyway, Johnston continues: “Time to take a chill pill. No one knows what will happen this season, yet alone the next game. That's the beauty of the National Football League. I don't know, you don't know, no one knows what's going to happen.
“If you want these players and coaches to succeed, then support them. Don't tear them down. What you want and what we all want, including your team, is to know people believe in them.
“Look at it this way. We want our loved ones to succeed, and we'll do whatever it takes to help them. But when they make mistakes, like we all do, we would never criticize or belittle them publicly.”
That depends, I suppose. If my father had a Facebook account, I'd consider trolling on his wall all day long, and if my mom was on Twitter, I'd probably be ripping her views on, I don't know, the English Premier League. And the day I can't belittle my younger brother publicly on a message board is the day I don't want to fire up my Netscape browser any longer.
Look, I like Johnston's message, and I think it takes courage to pull it off in the noncondescending way Johnston does. But in this modern-day world, where fans feel like they can rip a player or team for any reason, I fear his post will be lost in the swirl of these Inter-tubes the next time the Chargers lose.
Because if there's a singular truth online, it's that people will complain about anything, and it doesn't matter if those complaints are rooted in reality or fantasy. Which I guess is one reason the Internet is so fantastic, yet so disturbing.