They say a bad apple spoils the bunch, but that’s not always true.
There have been horrific stories of nurses who doubled as angels of death, yet nurses are still held in high regard and nursing is rightly considered a noble profession.
Ever seen a movie or read the tale of a firefighter who was also a fire bug? Probably. Think a large number of firefighters are also arsonists? Probably not.
Canadians are largely considered a nice and thoughtful lot, but when Alex Trebek says, “Oooooh, I’m sorry wrong answer,” he sure sounds like he’s saying, “Your continued existence is an assault on reason.”
The key in all these cases is that the good vastly, vastly outweighs the bad.
It’s unfair that a handful of Ohio State fans have garnered headlines this week by sending Michigan verbal commitment Logan Tuley-Tillman death threats, but there is a solution: More visible examples of what polite, considerate Buckeye fans are capable of.
I wonder how many journalists actually searched through the hundreds of tweets being sent to Tuley-Tillman before weighing in on the death threats. It’s an enlightening exercise.
For instance, I was struck by a few things.
- No, Tuley-Tillman was not lying or exaggerating when he said he was the recipient of some truly inexcusable hate.
- At the same time, any report that makes it sound as if Tuley-Tillman received a vast number of death threats appears to be really overstating things. That’s not a defense (one is clearly way too many), just a little perspective.
- For every one inappropriate message Tuley-Tillman was sent from a Buckeye fan, he received a hundred more from Michigan fans saying “We’ve got your back.” Twitter may have a reputation as being a breeding ground for vulgarity, but the vast majority of people sure seem to be using it to be positive and supportive.
- Those sending the most disgusting messages are not being vile because they are Buckeye fans, they are being crude because they are horrible human beings. As one example, there’s a gentleman (using the term loosely) who hoped Tuley-Tillman would be the victim of a sexual assault. This guy’s Twitter bio clearly indicates he hates black Americans. So to blame this on the rivalry might be missing the point, then again…
Playing With Fire
Michigan’s recruits have actually poked OSU fans a number of times this year. It started with Kyle Kalis saying that when the two teams meet, “There will be blood on the field and it won’t be mine.”
Tuley-Tillman then sent out his now infamous inflammatory tweet. While there were obviously some who did not react well to the photo of burning Ohio State recruiting materials (see above), there also seemed to be a number of Buckeyes who were willing to regard this as more of an act of support for UM than a slap in the face of Ohio State.
Most definitely directed at OSU fans, though, was this post from this afternoon by Michigan’s Kyle Bosch:
Bosch has since apologized and tried to explain that he simply means to get to his teammate, you’ll have to go through him first, so you better “bring a gun.” (I’m not sure that this also explains, “I’ll show you what a death threat is,” but okay.)
At this point, one thing I think both sides can agree on, whether it’s by an out of touch fan or an immature recruit, the flames don’t need to be fanned any more at present.