Today, Kyle Williams is learning the hard way that the Internet is an ugly, ugly place. Williams is getting death threats on Twitter due to his fumble during overtime in last night’s NFC Championship Game between his San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants. The Giants recovered the fumble, putting them in ideal field goal range, and three plays later, the Giants’ Lawrence Tynes kicked the game-winning field goal to win the game and send them to Super Bowl
I say “ideal field goal range” because those aren’t always guaranteed shots. Billy Cundiff and Baltimore Ravens fans know this first-hand, as Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal – one yard longer than Tynes’ kick – that would have tied their game with the New England Patriots and almost certainly put the AFC Championship game into overtime. Cundiff doesn’t use Twitter (to our knowledge) so he at least doesn’t get to see the threats from people who talk without fear of repercussion, hiding behind an alias behind a computer keyboard or smartphone.
Or worse, maybe they’re not showing false bravado. Maybe they would physically attack Williams or Cundiff because of those plays. “Fan” is short for “fanatic” for a reason. Continue reading The Sports Butterfly Effect