So I'm watching SportsCenter this morning when I nearly shot Cheerios and milk out of my nose because I saw a highlight of Bill Buckner walking stoically to the mound at Fenway to throw out the first pitch of Boston's home opener yesterday.
And after getting over the initial shock of seeing a man that I thought would only return to Fenway strapped with dynamite or to see it razed to the ground, I began to get really indignant.
Even if this magnanimous gesture does help Buckner and his family put the past behind them, I feel like Red Sox fans and especially the Boston media don't deserve to have this conscience-appeasing moment for the hell they put Buckner and his family through after the infamous error he committed in Game 6 of the '86 World Series.
For crying out loud, the guy had to move his family to B-F-Idaho to get away from the torment and even there, he was constantly hounded by opportunistic media hacks asking him to apologize for letting his error become an excuse for their constituents' pathetic, miserable lives.
Even worse, I believe Red Sox Nation forfeited their right to make amends with Buckner forever when they didn't get it done before they won a World Series...maybe that's why Moises Allou recently tried to play damage control by exonerating Steve Bartman before the Cubs do something to remind their fans that they destroyed a man's life because he was sitting in the wrong seat at the wrong time.
But as my pride begat my fall from the soap box pulpit, I imagined Chris Simms sitting in his dorm room alone erasing 1,000's of threatening calls to his cell phone from irate Longhorns fans drunk with hate after the 2001 Big XII Championship.
And sure, like most fans, I never sent a threatening voicemail to Simms or messed up his car or did anything that could be construed as hurtful to he or his family, but I never defended him either and when fellow fans were hanging him in effigy, I stood idly by feeling sorry for myself.
So I ask you...is Chris Simms really any different than Bill Buckner when it comes to suffering the wrath of a disconsolate fan base whose ire was stoked by a bunch of media whores who'd gladly sacrifice an athlete (an amateur one no less) in the name of ratings and selling papers?
More importantly, am I or are you any different than the Red Sox fans I just patronized?
And like Red Sox Nation and Buckner, is it too late for Longhorns fans to make amends with Simms now that UT has won a Championship and the "co-starter" era has been reduced to a mere footnote in Texas football history?
The evidence suggests it as like Buckner before him, Chris' only crime was failing to live up to expectations. No matter what, Simms will always be remembered for that fateful day in December 2001, but I also remember a guy who played hard, played hurt, and played for the love of his teammates. We should all be so fortunate.
For what it's worth, I'm sorry Chris...sorry for losing perspective back then and sorry for knowing that I feel guilty now only after getting the one thing you couldn't give me.