Less than 12 hours removed from the sting of another game that got away, U of L fans have taken to the airwaves, the message boards, and to Twitter voicing their frustrations.  Everyone has an opinion on what is broken, and how to fix it.  Seemingly everyone would play someone else at QB, or offensive line, or…  This column is not about that.  It is not about the players, coaches, or what this team’s ultimate record will be.  This column is about you.  The fans of the University of Louisville Football Team.

When John Wallace lined up a 38 yard kick last night to tie the game, he had every intention of making it.  From some vantage points, it appeared as if he had.  The kick sailed wide left.  There is no shame in missing a 38 yard game tying field goal in the final two minutes of a nationally broadcast conference opener.  The shame comes in the responses that he received from so called U of L fans.  A quick view of Wallace’s Twitter mentions last night provided all the evidence needed to demonstrate that some of you just don’t get it.  “You had one job!!” or  “F John Wallace” are but two of the tweets that were readily available after the game.

You see, when kids don’t make plays, it’s really not just to piss you off.  Sometimes, the errors occur due to mental mistakes, or physical limitations, or to tipped balls, or to whatever…  What is never okay is to cut in on a kid for not making that play.  I often think, “wouldn’t it be nice if a national camera crew would follow some of these fans around their workplace and broadcast their failures?” “SORRY BOB, LOOKS LIKE THAT PROPOSAL DIDN’T GO OVER WELL, WE LOST THE SULLIVAN ACCOUNT BECAUSE OF YOU.” As Bob hangs his head in shame and runs out of the conference room, shareholders take to Twitter and to local call in shows to discuss what an idiot Bob is and they clamor for his replacement. Of course that sounds ridiculous right?  But we do it to 18 -22 year old kids every week.

What I am asking for out of all of the fans is a bit of decorum, a bit of humanism and compassion, if you will. It’s okay to be frustrated.  It’s okay to question coaches and their decisions. (They are paid quite well for the burden.) However, it is galactically  stupid to single out individual players and tweet at them about their miscues.  I have no doubt that many of these things said in haste are examples of alcohol induced keyboard courage.  Let’s face it, none of you would ever say anything like this to any of these kids in person.  Most internet posters don’t use their real names, and the call in shows are equally as anonymous.

I believe some of the best fans in the world are U of L fans.  I have experienced it firsthand for over 40 years now.  The camaraderie shared at tailgates, pep rally’s and ball games is second to none.  If some of you would just class it up a little in difficult times, it would be appreciated.  If that is too hard of a task, go cheer for someone else’s team.  Go Cards!

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Keith Poynter

Keith Poynter graduated from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in May of 2011. While in law school, Keith studied Sports Law as well as other core curriculum. Prior to becoming an attorney, Keith worked in the insurance industry for 6 years, and was a police officer in both Kentucky and Tennessee for 6 years. As an avid sports fan, former basketball official and current youth sports coach, Keith is heavily involved in sports when not at work or with his family at the lake. Keith's diverse background makes him an excellent source for legal opinion about issues surrounding the sporting world. Whether the matter be criminal or contractual, Keith's unique experience and education allows him to offer insight that may be missed by the casual fan. Keith is available for commentary on any legal issues that may arise in the Kentuckiana area and will routinely post articles concerning local and national sports law topics.

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