Last weekend, the sports world was glued to television watching NFL teams battle it out for the Super Bowl. I’m not a football fan, but I loved watching the trailer, which went viral, promoting the five stars who will be performing at halftime. I’ll be watching their performance, and also Monday’s recap of the top ads. I select what interests me and forgo the sweaty parts of the game.
I scanned the internet for highlights I had missed (need to stay informed) and saw an image of a soccer field and a shoe thrown in the air. It didn’t make any sense, until I read further.
During the final moments of Buffalo’s AFC Divisional playoff game against the Chiefs, a rogue Chiefs fan rushed onto the field with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Threw Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs tackled the fan so hard he knocked his shoe off. Another player threw it in the air.
The crash wasn’t shown on TV, but luckily everyone has a camera on their phone. When I read the story, I laughed until I cried. Then I felt guilty for laughing at what I assumed was fan pain. Then I felt that he was getting his just desserts. If it was pain, so be it.
Based on being leveled to the ground by a pro-Bowler twice, I guess it was a painful experience. As if that weren’t enough, the chokehold used by the security guard who ‘escorted’ the fan off the field added a dose of discomfort. The fan was lifted off the ground, kicking in what looked like jubilation, to the cheers of the crowd.
The phrase “knock my socks off” comes to mind. It means to affect or impress someone in a very strong and favorable way. The fan dropped his shoe, and not in a favorable way.
With everything going on in the world, this story shouldn’t even register as a blip on my radar screen. Except that yes, because a writer puts himself in the place of others, imagines what their life looks like and what transforms them.
So, questions run through my head. I wonder what the world looked like after the blow he received from a professional football player, who is paid to tackle men and inflict pain. What did the crazy fan think, when his brain stopped banging against the inside of his skull? Maybe his first thought was, what happened, where am I or am I on TV. Maybe he thought it was a bad idea. I hope he swore never to do it again. Maybe he doesn’t think at all.
I don’t know the crazy fan’s motive, but did finding out his stunt didn’t air on TV dash his dreams of Tic Toc success? The cameras cut out the moment he ran across the field and was thrown to the ground. I don’t think the potential brain damage was worth the likes it would get, or however social media platforms count clicks when users post stupid stuff they do.
I wonder if he regrets his choice to stand out or if he is proud of it. I wonder if he was hurt. Football players are protected against hard blows by a helmet and protectors covering the shoulders, knees, elbows and sensitive parts of the body. Well, I hope he makes better decisions in the future.
Was this the highlight of his life? If the fan has a job, how does his employer feel about his worker being pushed into the turf? Was alcohol involved? What will his mother think when she finds out about her son’s misadventure? A mother can’t do much. He’s too old for a time out, and the pain was punishment enough. Well, she can hope her friends won’t find out that the culprit of this story was her stupid offspring.
I wonder if he lives in his mother’s basement. Does he vote? Is he also a responsible citizen? The moral of the story is: Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoe.