• November 30, 2020

COMMENTARY: Fan reaction to Permian loss goes too far - Odessa American: Sports

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COMMENTARY: Fan reaction to Permian loss goes too far

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Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2020 7:19 pm

There’s a difference between being a fan and fanatical and some of the Permian faithful crossed that line online during last week’s contest against Abilene High.

Upset about a play call and the ensuing result, the Panthers’ online followers tossed the players under the team bus with their comments — completely uncalled for, in every way.

If you have played the game, or been around it at any level, then you understand the chaos taking place on the sideline and between the stripes as 22 players all try to accomplish an assigned task.

Plays break down, or players provide special moments as happened in this case, when the Eagles’ defender made a diving catch to intercept a pass in the end zone.

If you haven’t played, you really don’t need to be adding anything to the conversation.

Zip.

Zilch.

Nada.

You can cheer and you should, supporting the players on every snap.

You can be disappointed, even disgruntled at the outcome, commiserating about the things that might a made a difference in the final score.

Never, however, should the 15-, 16-, 17- and 18-year olds giving 100-percent effort while having to make split-second decisions be chastised for the outcome, good or bad.

It’s just a game.

What’s not a game is what happens when posts such as this fly from brain to fingertips on the keyboard and the author decides to hit send without really thinking things through for just five more seconds.

The Panthers’ coaching staff shouldn’t have to be worried about heat-of-the-moment, thoughtless comments that are going to force it to go into damage-control mode instead of focusing on the next opponent.

That’s what happened, however, as part of Permian’s preparation for this week’s game against Wolfforth Frenship was talking through the online chatter and coming out the other side.

One positive from this incident is that it likely brought this team together as it continues to battle for a playoff spot.

The original poster eventually had writer’s remorse and removed the offerings from the social media platform he was using, right before receiving a pointed message from the mother of one of the players.

The fact is, it was a response that shouldn’t have had to be written.

If you want to live vicariously through the Permian football team, that’s fine, it’s your prerogative.

Just do it the right way.

Odessa, TX

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