Getting upset seems like a normal reaction when one happens to be kicked in the face.
But 49ers guard Alex Boone admitted he let his emotions get away from him when Cardinals nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu kicked him Sunday, while at the same time pointing to the duality of his job, saying “I shouldn’t have been in the rage that I was.”
“I think people forget that this is a physical sport,” Boone told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “They’re asking us to be like animals out there and really try to grind and grind and grind. All of a sudden, somebody kicks you in the face. Am I supposed to be an animal now? Or am I supposed to be myself?
“It’s hard to sometimes draw the line. But that’s on me. I should know better. I’m smarter than that. I can’t continue to put the team in bad positions. Had we not scored, it could’ve really hurt us. That was my fault.”
When players and coaches tried to settle Boone down after the incident, he seemed to grow more angry, screaming “He kicked me in the f–ing face.”
Boone was called for a personal foul for his reaction, while Ta’amu was not penalized. The penalty wasn’t enforced because of offsetting fouls on other players on the same play. Whether fines are doled out remains to be seen.
Boone was chastised by coach Jim Harbaugh after the fact, and Harbaugh admitted the pattern of retaliation has to stop.
But while Boone said he “hugged it out” with Harbaugh, he still wonders how he’s going to handle the next one.
“You’re out there, and you’re trying to be sadistic and impose your will, and something like that happens and you kind of lose your mindset as to the way you are and what you’re doing,” he said. “I put my team in a bad position, and I hope to never do that again. I got to control myself.”
There seemed to be a clear lack of that Sunday, and how Boone handles it next time will be fascinating now that opponents know what he’s struggling with.