The media has vilified Chiefs fans for cheering their own quarterback's injury. But that's not actually what happened.
Kansas City's football fans are not bloodthirsty idiots. The truth is that the fans at Arrowhead Stadium for Sunday's loss to Baltimore did not, in fact, cheer when their quarterback Matt Cassel got injured in the fourth quarter. That truth, however, didn't prevent nearly every blogger, columnist, radio talk-show host and ex-jock with suit on TV from spewing moral outrage on KC's fans, to the tune of what Chiefs offensive lineman Eric Winston said after the game.
Winston, in the locker room after another dispiriting loss, vented. He let loose a passionate, articulate denunciation of Arrowhead fans who he claimed cheered when the Chiefs' unloved signal-caller Cassel was hurt and knocked from the game.
When Cassel went down, Winston claimed that there were "70,000 people cheering."
The Sporting News called the display twisted and disturbing. SportsCenter analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge spent an entire segment before Monday Night Football competing to see who could express the most shock, horror, and contempt for KC fans. Both men also, like almost every other pundit who weighed in, declared that the incident at Arrowhead indicates a much deeper malaise in our culture and breakdown of social order—especially given that it took place in the supposedly wholesome heartland.