Jan 16, 201810:58 AM
Full Sport Press
'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'
In Defense of Marcus Williams
A great year by the rookie safety
New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) intercepts a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) during the second half of an NFL divisional football playoff game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
A loss is a loss. But my god this was an awful loss. The city of New Orleans is watching the seconds wind down to a date, and great chance to win in Philadelphia, but the city was left with nothing. In a play that has already been burnt into the history books, the Saints, and Marcus Williams, were left standing looking up at the scoreboard wondering what happened.
The feeling is an awful one to have and it was a boneheaded rookie mistake at the worst possible time by Williams. All of that is the absolute truth and a bigger than major mistake that is unforgivable on the football field. William told you the same.
What is not forgivable is how quickly some of the city of New Orleans turned on Williams.
Yes, I get it, not all of you turned on Williams but there was enough of vitriol and social media trolling of Williams that would make a real fan of the Saints sick. As a true Saints fan, how could you let so many turn on one of your team’s most solid players?
Marcus Williams, the same rookie that started the entire season for a rejuvenated Saints defense that improved in all areas, even ranking in the top 10 in points allowed. Williams, the same player all of the internet turned on and acted like, all of sudden, Williams had no idea how to play pro football.
This is also the same Marcus Williams that everyone thought was playing pretty great in Week Three when he got an interception in the Carolina Panthers rout. This is also the same Williams that had 29 tackles at the mid-point of the season and Pro Football Focus named to its Mid-Season All-Rookie Team. This is the same Williams that had picks against the Falcons, Buccaneers, and Vikings. I guess a lot of New Orleans forgot about this awesome addition to the safety corps with one play to end the year. Yet, in a way, I get it. It’s a play that will hang on this young man’s head, and in the video vaults of the NFL forever.
What I don’t get is a person that thinks it’s OK to direct a message at a person in a public forum saying that they are trash, or should get immediately traded or cut by the team or a LOT worse. What I don’t get is crowds of people thinking it’s decent to attack a young man who celebrated his 21st birthday roughly four months ago for one bad play just because he’s in the NFL. What I don’t get are people who stand by and watch this happen and don’t say anything about it either.
This is why people point their finger at football and say it’s gone too far and it’s becoming increasingly common for me, and many other folks, to say, “You know what? They’re right.”
They’re right because we, as sport fans, let the bar be lowered by those around us. We act like some people around us, whose actions are completely uncalled for, are fine because “of what happened in the game” or “it was a big play.”
The New Orleans Saints, the team you act like you love (yet felt perfectly fine to turn against one its brightest prospects) has a beautiful future.
Look at the names that are either completing their first or second year. Alvin Kamara. Michael Thomas. Marshon Lattimore. Marcus Williams. Ryan Ramczyk. Vonn Bell. Ken Crawley. Sheldon Rankins. David Onyemata. Trey Hendrickson.
To be honest, there are others on that list as well that you could talk about. You could also talk about the fact that the New Orleans Saints just had a 12-win season. You could also talk about that it was only the sixth time in club history that they’ve had 12 wins. You could also talk about how the Saints have players in the running for Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as Defensive Player of the Year. You could do that, but you want to get online and blast Marcus Williams, a player that had an absolutely outstanding rookie season.
Enough of that. Life is too short to deal with that garbage. It’s a game, folks. Even before you started watching it and up to this very second — it’s always been a damn game.
And if you don’t realize that then I have nothing else to tell you.