As most of you already know, this past Sunday at an MLB All-Star charity softball game in Kansas City, Matt Cassel was booed during introductions. If you were one of those people letting your opinion be heard that night, you should probably move onto the next article.
This column isn't about Matt Cassel the football player. It's about the person he is, and the people we apparently are not. What kind of example are we setting by booing a man who is truly a class act?
How anyone can boo a player or person at a charity event that hasn't committed a felony is beyond me. Matt Cassel certainly isn't a top-tier quarterback, but to give him a Bronx cheer in that setting? Embarrassing and pathetic.
It's fair to give him the business at Arrowhead Stadium if he overthrows Dwayne Bowe or takes a sack, but to lay into a man when he's donating his time for the unfortunate is just sad. Cassel may never win a Super Bowl, he may never start in a Pro Bowl and maybe won't even lead the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs this year.
All of that would be disappointing, but not as disappointing as the display on Monday night. I live in New York and I'm constantly surrounded by idiotic fans who have nothing better to do than complain about decent-to-Hall-of-Fame level players. It's ridiculous here, but I thought in the Midwest people had more class than us New Yorkers...I was wrong.
Cassel isn't the most gifted player in the NFL, far from it. However, he gives it his all on every play. Nobody can ever question his heart, toughness or determination. If you can, watch this clip around 0:43:
Cassel might never approach the level on the field that Larry Johnson played at, but who would you rather be rooting for on Sunday? This man gives back to the community with his time and effort. Just ask the people in Joplin, MO.
Sometimes people need to sit back and relax. It's one thing to be really passionate about your football team. It's another thing to be a lousy human being at a game being played in the name of giving. Sit in your seat and shut-up.
Personally, I think Cassel is a middle-of-the-road quarterback with some limited upside. But I'll tell you right now, I don't want anybody to win more than Cassel. It's impossible not to root for a guy who has overcome so much adversity in his career. Whether he ever plays another down in his NFL life, he's a success story for the ages.
Somedays, I really hope Cassel turns it around and throws for 4,000 yards next season. I hope he throws for 40 touchdowns and eight interceptions. I hope he finally wins a ring, and validates himself as a Super Bowl champion.
Then, I hope he leaves town. While he pulls his car out of One Arrowhead Drive for the last time, I hope he hears people pleading for him not to leave.
I hope those damn people are the same ones who were booing so loudly Sunday night.