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June 1, 2009 - Steve Murch
One thing I've never understood is why in the world would someone make a death threat to an athlete. For starters, sports aren't life and death, they're a distraction from everyday life. To add to the mixture are those who make those threats to an athlete because he isn't performing well.
Now, wouldn't it make sense that if you add pressure to someone trying to perform under pressure that the person wouldn't function any better? Of course the people making those threats are morons in the first place and wouldn't understand that. Case in point, Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton.
ESPN picked up a story from the Knoxville News Sentinel (link to the right) that said Crompton received two e-mailed death threats last season. His parents received a package that had slanderous messages on the box. Crompton never reported the threats to the school.
Last year was just the second time in Tennessee's football history that the team lost seven games. Now everyone can understand fans' frustration with losing, but what drives a person to think that A. they can make death threats, and B. that those threats will make a difference? Maybe the hope was that Crompton would quit. Well Mr. Fan, if Crompton is the starter, and presumably the best QB in the program, how would the team fare better if the second, or third, string quarterback is at the helm?
We've heard of all the threats made to professional athletes, and they are in a better situation to handle those threats, at least in that they or the team could hire bodyguards, etc. But amateur athletes can't afford the additional protection. No one should have to, but unfortunately some fans are overzealous.
Millions of Americans love their sports, but sometimes when things like these death threats are made it makes you wonder what might happen to those sports if a few of the threats come to fruition. Let's hope it never comes to that.
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