As practically everyone who follows football in the world knows, O’Neill fumbled an attempted punt, that was scooped up and ran into the end zone by MSU on the final play of the game, giving the Spartans a victory.
I knew at that moment that kid’s life was never going to be the same. I knew he was going to get death threats, be the brunt of jokes, memes, and scorned to no end.
And, sure enough, it didn’t take long for news reports of O’Neill being the target of death threats, and cyber bullies, who urged the 22 year old kicker from Austraila to kill himself.
And for what? A damn football game? Really? A football game?
I wish the people who hide behind their anonymous attacks could be outed publicly. If they were, I would offer them the same compassion they have offered O’Neill.
Trust me, I enjoy the competition and excitement of athletics as much as anyone. However, I also know that at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean very much.
Consider that Michigan plays Michigan State every year. If your team didn’t win this time, maybe they will win next time, or the time after that.
It is a great rivalry, and I understand the disappointment of a loss, even one as hard breaking as Saturday’s game. But it is hardly worth the sick reactions of some fans.
I can only think they:
1. Are dumb enough to place a bet on a game played by 19 and 20 year old kids.
2. Have no life outside sports, the computer, and the porn websites.
3. Never played sports, and lies to their adult friends about how great they were in high school.
4. Were the big man on campus in high school, but was never good enough to play in college.
The nonsense that O’Neill is having to deal with is yet another reason why college athletes should be paid. Not only do they put in the sweat equity year around, they are covered and criticized like professional athletes. He has handled it all amazingly, well. The native of Australia told reporters on Tuesday that he made a bad play, but he is not going to let it define his career, or his life.
“Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go again, that’s the beauty of sport,” O’Neill said. “You get a chance to prove yourself against Minnesota (Oct. 31). That we’re improving and we’ve learned from the stuff we did against Michigan State.
That kid can play on my team every day. Not only is he a heck of a punter (44 yards per punt average), he has high character and courage. You got to be in order to handle this situation.
Nonetheless, If O’Neill has to deal with all the things a pro does, he should at least earn some money like a pro does.
However, the NCAA has set up this system that pimps these kids. Jim Harbaugh will make $7 million coaching the Wolverines this year. His coordinators and assistants are very well paid, and the university rakes in millions for football.
But O’Neill, the kid who made a bad play, the kid that can’t get even a stipend for the hours upon hours of work that he puts in so all these other people can make money, has to catch the wrath of some sorry ass losers, ranting from the basement of their mom’s house.
That is just total B.S.