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Leave Brotzman alone; missed kick doesn’t warrant death threats

Millions of viewers tuned in last Friday to watch what they thought would be yet another Bronco victory. But as the Boise State and Nevada scores crept hauntingly closer, a wave of fear swept Bronco Nation.

ROBBY MILO/THE ARBITER

Millions of viewers tuned in last Friday to watch what they thought would be yet another Bronco victory. But as the Boise State and Nevada scores crept hauntingly closer, a wave of fear swept Bronco Nation.

The game was down to one last kick, one last redemption. Twice. Both were missed and immediate fault for the whole outcome of the game was placed on senior kicker Kyle Brotzman as Boise State’s 24-game winning streak came to a screeching halt.

Almost instantly, Facebook and Twitter blew up with statements criticizing Brotzman and blaming the entire loss on him. Claims that a high school kicker could have made it flooded Facebook walls. Hate continues to flow through social networks days later, as if Brotzman doesn’t feel bad enough.

First of all, who are we to judge him for his mistakes? We faithfully watch the games from the comfort of our respective couches, barstools and sidelines, cheering along as if we’re one of the team.

But something that many people forget is that we’re not part of the team. We’re supporters. Though the kicks were theoretically short and “easy,” we will never know what it feels like to have the pressure of millions of viewers, loads of money and the huge hope of a BCS championship weighing down on us.

“We all have bad days,” sophomore social work major Kimberly Copeland said. “They just aren’t televised on ESPN!”

Think back to the 2009 Fiesta Bowl: Brotzman’s fake punt is what saved the game. But instead of saying “Brotzman won the Fiesta Bowl” we say, “We won the Fiest Bowl.” Conversely, after a loss, everyone is trying to dodge the blame. Instead of “We lost the Nevada game” it’s very loudly “Brotzman lost the Nevada game.”

There is no I in team. This is commonly said of a win, but is more important in a loss.

It’s not Brotzman’s fault the Broncos lost the game, it was a team effort. In society, it’s easier for people to single out one person and place the blame on him or her than it is to blame a group of people.

But is a college football game loss really worth someone’s life?

According to the Associated Press, Brotzman has received numerous death threats and hate mail about the game. When did missing a kick become a good reason to die? It’s college football, not a life-or-death situation.

In fact, many celebrities receive death threats for absurd reasons: Bristol Palin received an envelope containing white powder simply because she made it to the final round of Dancing with the Stars. Justin Bieber receives an endless barrage of hate and threats. Being a finalist in a celebrity dance competition or singing pubescent love songs is not cause for death.

“People get too worked-up over little things,” said freshman Taylor Richardson, a pre-nursing major. “It’s their life, let them live it. Live your own life … don’t take things so seriously.”

Life is a gift and you only get one. Once it’s extinguished, it’s gone forever. Wishing someone would die is a pretty big deal. Telling them how disappointed and angry you are is one thing but hoping they never walk this Earth again is an entirely different ball game. The value of someone’s life is priceless.

Society needs to lay off the hateraid. Who are we to judge people based on their accomplishments or failures? We are in no position to condemn another human being, no matter their offense. People get offended when other people judge them for their actions, yet most don’t hesitate to turn around and do the same to others.

Whether or not Brotzman missed the kick, he’s still a human being and deserves respect. Boise State may have lost a football game but it’s not worth the price of Brotzman’s (or anyone’s) life.

About Lauren Hooker (81 Articles)
Lauren Hooker is the Marketing Director at Boise State Student Media. She is a senior Communication major with a certificate in Public Relations. She enjoys piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. Follow her on Twitter: @shesahooker.

8 Comments on Leave Brotzman alone; missed kick doesn’t warrant death threats

  1. My guess is that many of the people who are showing Kyle some compassion are people who are actually a member of the Boise State community, and understand the campus is about so much more than just what went down on Friday.

    Anyone seriously giving him death threats must have been so desperately trying to fill a void by living vicariously through the university's football team that the loss was just too sobering a return to their unhappiness.

  2. John Belville // Dec 2, 2010 at 9:13 am //

    Come on BSU Football Fans, lay off Kyle. The man erred, so what? Who among you has not made an error? If you are perfect, then you can criticize, but if you are like the rest of us, just normal everyday folks, you have screwed up. How short our memories are regarding Kyle Brotzman. Who was it that helped us win against TCU last year?

  3. Jeannine Kalua // Dec 2, 2010 at 9:27 am //

    I find it distressing that students and community members would stoop to such depths, over a football game? Come on people, there is so much more to life than winning or loosing a football game, statistics of that win or loss and whether or not Boise will be some day upon the main stage of the world of college football. There is so much more to life at BSU, there is more than just football that makes this town and school great! If your criticizing the kicker and making him feel worse than dirt, than maybe your priorities need to be looked at, and your life needs to have more than just football!

  4. You all might want to stop talking about the bad response to the game and focus on the positive responses. Constantly keeping the bad in the media gives is a foot hold. Instead go check out "The Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman" if you want to see where the real fans stand. As of this post the page has over 40,000 likes and many many supportive messages. The largest detractor sites don't even come close to that. So keep that in mind before you start saying that Boise Fans have turned on him.

  5. Brooke Berston // Dec 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm //

    Awesome article Lauren! I agree completely. We take credit for the win and point the finger for the loss. It shouldn't have come down to ONE person winning the game. Our defense, as much as I love them, should have showed up at the beginning on the game and owned NV. I was upset with the outcome of the game but it should not weigh on one person, thats ridiculous! Thanks for making the point loud and clear. Great opinion piece!

  6. Good article. I agree completely about the whole team game concept, you could point fingers at any one person on the team. Although his was the most pointed out mistakes, there was mistakes all over that football field. Best.article.ever!

  7. Kermit Hale // Dec 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm //

    I was at a friend's house watching the game slip away, and when we were at fourth and something, with hardly any time left in regulation, I said something like "Well, we know who they are going to give it to to run it in." Everyone in the room said, "No, they're going to kick a field goal." I refrained from jinxing the game by not saying,. "What? Are they crazy?" When he missed, and then missed again, someone in the room blamed Brotzman. I said, "We stunk the entire second half. How is that his fault? It was a team loss." It seems no one can realize that just because a field goal could have salvaged it, it wasn't a field goal miss that lost it. It was a team effort that lost the game. It was a team effort that got us in the position to lose. Like someone above here said, we have no idea the amount of pressure he was under. That is why I thought Pererson would have given it to Martin, he deserved the win and Brotzman was still coming off an injury and wasn't really 100% like everyone thought. Everyone but me, that is. I was immediately on Brotzman's defense and still am. Those that send hate mail need a shrink's session or two to get back to reality.

  8. i have to admit, as a product designer i see a lot of products that are just designed retardedly, so bad that it might aswell have been monkeys who designed them. But this one has all the extra features needed.

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