Unfortunately, a snowball battle between players and fans will garner even more attention.
An aggressive and questionably timed tweet from one of the NFL's biggest stars has embarrassed some of the Ravens fan base:
Wow talking about bad officiating & the worst fan base I've ever experience! They threw snow balls the entire 4q like lil kids. Smh— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) December 8, 2013
Judging from short lapse of time from the end of the game until the tweet was sent, most fans thought this was sour grapes on behalf of Peterson. In fact, while driving home, I heard the WBAL broadcast team respond to the tweet essentially thinking the same thing — he's just mad that they lost.
More details of the snowball fight emerged as fans called in, saying that Vikings players were instigating Ravens fans, "flipping them the bird" and firing snowballs back towards them.
I sit in the lower level end zone near the tunnels and didn't see anyone throw snowballs towards players. When Peterson was carted off the field, I didn't see anyone throw a snowball at him, nor did I see it when I watched the game highlights earlier this morning.
After that, I jokingly tweeted the following:
Adrian Peterson clearly lost snowball fights when he was a kid. I didn't expect to see him react like that on Twitter after the game.— Kris Jones (@RavenManiac) December 9, 2013
Shortly thereafter, my tweet caught the eye of Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, who defended Peterson's actions.
@RavenManiac we would react the exact same way...that's not cool at all— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) December 9, 2013
I explained to Smith that I hadn't seen any snowballs being thrown towards Peterson or any other players. Clearly having a better vantage point, he disagreed.
@RavenManiac I saw a lot of them...it wasn't a lie— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) December 9, 2013
Let's do some math. 70,000 people + $8.50 beers = Idiots
Unfortunately for the Ravens and their fans, the acts of a few attending the game have now embarrassed a very proud fan base. Being labeled as "the worst fan base" by a future Hall of Fame player has "ever [experienced]" isn't something Ravens fans should wear as a badge of honor.
While the majority of those in attendance behaved well, it only took a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. Before fans continue to criticize Peterson for his shot at the fan base or being a sore loser, we should think back to last season when Smith criticized the entire Patriots fan base for the actions of only a few.
Smith was sent insensitive and heartless Tweets following the death of his brother Tevin.
From Smith, via an extended tweet posted to his account:
"Similar to when I made a comment about NE fans sending me rude tweets... I said NE fans not some of their fans which would be the correct way to address it... as a player you are going to label the fans but you understand that it's not all of the fans if that makes sense."
What Smith said makes total sense. It's unfair to criticize the entire fan base for the actions of only a few, but nonetheless it's an embarrassment as a whole. Even though the tweets sent to Smith and throwing snowballs at Peterson seems like comparing apples to oranges, hopefully you understand the common ground between the two.
The bottom line is that this situation as a whole is messed up from start to finish. Blame can be pointed in many areas.
Fans shouldn't have thrown snowballs at Vikings players. The Vikings players should have informed their head of security, not instigated and fired snowballs back. Peterson also shouldn't have tweeted so quickly after the game as his emotions got the best of him and he'll likely be fined for criticizing officials.
Two wrongs don't make a right but in this case, there were many more wrongs than that. If fans want to avoid a bad reputation, it's best that they utilize the necessary measures to ensure crowd safety and a fun atmosphere.
I don't want to sound like a parent but we all pay too much money to attend these games to have the actions of some knucklehead mess it up.
As the Ravens say before each game during their fan credo:
"Have fun, root hard, show respect for the fans around you, but....
DON'T BE A JERK!"