Kansas City media takes issue with Eric Winston’s rant


A day after Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston should have gotten a paycheck from ESPN for all the time his face and voice went out over its airwaves, folks in Kansas City are pushing back against the notion that fans cheered the head injury suffered by quarterback Matt Cassel.

KCTV5 has raw video and audio of the play and its aftermath.  And while the article at KCTV5.com suggests that Winston’s perception of cheering was inaccurate, the video and audio are at best inconclusive.

First, there are several points where the tape skips ahead, making it less than a comprehensive picture of the events that transpired after Cassel sustained a concussion.  Second, the background noise when Cassel is laying on the ground seems much louder than “silence or close thereto,” which would have been the preferred setting under the circumstances.  Third, it’s hard to see what the fans in the stands are actually doing while Cassel is on the ground receiving attention from the trainers, since the camera focuses mainly on the field.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, it sounds like there’s a delayed reaction after running back Jamaal Charles is tackled at the end of a 16-yard catch and run.  Arguably, the crowd cheers the play, followed by a brief lull, followed by another cheer when it’s obvious that Cassel, who had completed nine passes and generated three turnovers, is flat on his back.

Some have ridiculously suggested that the fans were merely cheering the arrival of backup quarterback Brady Quinn.  (To that we say, “Brady Quinn.”)  Others have in slightly less ridiculous fashion justified the indiscretion by explaining that fans were merely venting their frustration with the current regime.

Though Winston may have swept too broadly to include fans who didn’t cheer the injury to Cassel, Winston was a first-hand witness to the incident, and the passion he displayed after the game — speaking from the heart and without notes — shows that he honestly experienced something he genuinely believed to be sickening.  No matter how upset the fans are with the current direction of the organization, there’s no excuse for celebrating injury, especially now that we know as much as we do about concussions.

90 responses to “Kansas City media takes issue with Eric Winston’s rant

  1. Any way you slice it, Winston is the only party who is obviously in the wrong here in terms of being inappropriate, and it’s nice to see the KC media isn’t afraid to stand up to this “bully”.

    I’ve been to many football games and I’ve never seen a QB that has been playing poorly leave for any reason in which a portion of fans will cheer a change, regardless of whether it’s an injury or not.

  2. There probably were a bunch of drunk idiots cheering for Cassel’s injury, but I still stand by the idea that most were cheering for Jamaal’s run and Quinn’s arrival.

    Fans rooting for Brady Quinn isn’t as ridiculous as you think. Fan frustration in Kansas City is higher than it’s ever been. They will cheer for any kind of change. I hope Matt Cassel recovers quickly and fully, but it’s time to at least give Brady Quinn a chance to prove that he stinks.

  3. For someone who makes it seem like they reviewed the tape second by second, you didn’t do a good job. You failed to mention that well after the play was over, the announcer announced what’s said after every first down, “That’s good for a Kansas City, FIRST DOWN!”

  4. I agree 100% with Eric Winston and hope he doesn’t back down due to media pressure, he needs to keep standing by his comments (which are entirely true).

    It’s not just Kansas City, fans everywhere have been getting happier and happier when people get hurt (either a rival player or a situation like kansas city). And it’s disgusting. I’m a cowboys fan and if Eli manning broke his femur it would be a massive bonus to cowboys playoff hopes but THIS IS SOMEONE LIVELIHOOD AND HEALTH, football is just a game to us, it’s their life and I would hope eli would return quick and healthy.

    Fans needs to look in the mirror.

  5. Yes there are Ignorant fans all over the Country , Same thing happened a few years back when AleX Smith was injured …!!

  6. I was there. I’ve been there for, game in and game out, for the past 28 years. There most definitely was a small percentage of fans that cheered when they realized Cassel was the player injured. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. And yes, it’s deplorable. This lame “we were cheering for Quinn” is total garbage.

  7. When you get paid like Cassel does out of our money to play a game I reserve all right to cheer or boo whatever and whoever I please. And c’mon its not like Cassel’s life was in danger or anything. When you get paid 40 million to play a game and put forth the lack of effort that Cassel does you deserve what you get.

  8. There’s also no excuse for publicly berating an entire fanbase on something that a few idiots may or may not have done. If also like to mention that at no time during the broadcast was there a mention of this “cheering an injury”. You sure did a good job of deflecting attention and blame to your fanbase Winston. You’re sickening.

  9. Eric Winston doesn’t have a job if the fans aren’t passionate enough to show up for games. If he’s so offended by the fans, then man-up and help this team put a better product on the field that doesn’t insult the throngs of middle class fans who spend hand over fist to come watch that spectacle of ugliness called “Chiefs football.”

  10. As a Chiefs fan, I wanted Cassel out of the game, and was happy to see a QB with some zip on his throws. That said, I’m PROUD of Eric Winston sticking up for his teammate and embarrassed by the minority in the crowd that cheered..

  11. wow this got more coverage then when wade wilson got knocked out of the game on a monday night years back and jim more sr ranted n a presser

  12. Perception is reality. The Chiefs’ players clearly believe the fans were cheering Cassel’s injury. Eric Winston is a class act.

  13. Totally agree with Eric.

    Just watch the game.

    Its not even remotely inconclusive.
    It was NOT just a few drunk fans.

    It was resounding… right down to the guy clapping Cassel’s face as he was going down the stairs.

    Heaven forbid… the Media is DEAD WRONG.

  14. I dont get this obsession with KC fans and the small minority that cheered Cassel getting hurt (and it was truly a small portion).

    If this happened in Oakland or Philly, we’d chastize them and then do the “Manny being Manny” thing.

    Winston was sticking up for his teammate and corrected himself on the “70k” comment. Why the heck is the media still carrying this as newsworthy?

  15. Spin control is in order for KC fans and media. BUT! I agree with Eric! Fans are fickle and need to learn we as people CANNOT LIVE trough others no matter who they are and how much they make. We don’t own the players or the team. The only thing we can do is support them meaning team or lack thee of.

  16. You know what’s crazy? This is the second time Brady Quinn was “cheered” for coming off the bench in relief of an injured QB.

  17. I can’t believe anyone would even argue the point. Let’s say he misunderstood the cheers it’s still a valid criticism by Winston. A fan shouldn’t be cheering for a first down or backup QB when a player is unconscious on the ground.

    What a ridiculous stand for a news station to take.

  18. “It’s not just Kansas City, fans everywhere have been getting happier and happier when people get hurt (either a rival player or a situation like kansas city). And it’s disgusting. ”

    What? I haven’t personally seen this at all. I’d be shocked if this is actually true. When Cribbs got his clock cleaned at Baltimore, the Baltimore fans went nuts because of the hit and fumble. But when it became apparent Cribbs was seriously injured, the entire stadium went silent, followed by a cheer when he got up and walked off.

    I’ve seen fans cheer and I myself have cheered when seeing an important opposing player limp off the field or hold his hand in pain. But if someone is laying on the ground in obvious pain, I would like to think no one would cheer that.

  19. Chiefs fans can try and justify it however they want. Everyone else heard them cheering an injury.

  20. Winston made clear he was only referring to those fans cheering Cassell’s injury. If you’re a KC fan and didn’t realize that then perhaps a reading comprehension course is in order. Then again, Missouri is the meth capital of the US.

  21. Props to Winston, KC should just stick to BBQ and drinking. It’s what they do best.

  22. I’m not sure what happen during the game because I didn’t watch it. But, Winston’s reaction seemed genuine. Now, that doesn’t mean the fans were cheering because the player was hurt but it does mean that the player believed that the fans were cheering because Castle was hurt

  23. I was at the game, I was booing Cassel all game long like most of the other fans around me that have lost faith in Cassel – and the coaching staff obviously lost faith in him as well rushing 50 times to 15 pass attempts – but no one in my section was cheering about him getting hurt, in fact, no one even realized he was hurt for quite a bit after the play. The cheers that were heard were for the remainder of the play, the announcing of the first down, and when Brady Quinn put on his helmet and took the field. While I’m sure that a few fans may have had cheers directed at Cassel getting hurt, (which was totaly wrong to do) it was MINIMAL, maybe 2-3% of the crowd (which lets be honest, if you were to take a sample size of 50,000 random people, load half of them up on alcohol, and then count the percentage of d-bags, you’d probably be much higher than 2-3%)

  24. Eric Winston was 1000% correct in what he said. Buying a ticket gives you every right to boo, scream, whatever at your team’s bad play and any player on it. It gives you no right to cheer the injury of another human being. Bad enough to do it to an opponent, but worse for your own team.

  25. I saw the play live and there is no simply no question that there was a round of applause that started after the cheers for Charles’s run died down and before Quinn came on the field. It was clear, at least to me, that they were cheering after noticing Cassel was still down- and I thought that before I heard Winston’s comments.

    Eric Winston has seen dozens if not hundreds of players leave the field with injuries- don’t you think he could tell that the crowd reaction was different than normal?

  26. You should never hope or celebrate a player gets injured, especially a head injury. I still remember being sickened when Eagles fans at the Vet were cheering as a paralyzed Michael Irvin laid motionless on the ground.

    I don’t want to paint with a broad brush, I’m sure some of the fans cheering were responding to a PA announcer or Jamal Charles run, but lets not kid ourselves here. There were just as many who were cheering that Cassel was hurt. Those are the ones who need to be ashamed and those are the ones who take the game of football (remember, we’re still talking about a game here) far too seriously.

  27. Some have ridiculously suggested that the fans were merely cheering the arrival of backup quarterback Brady Quinn. (To that we say, “Brady Quinn.”)

    Not so ridiculous. As a raiders fan I was going gangbusters when Bruce Gradkowski took the field.

  28. Good for Winston.
    NFL owners are greedy cows, but an awful lot of fans are an awful lot of jock sniffers who need to get lives.

  29. Hey Eric, if it’s just a game why don’t you work for minimum wage. Didn’t think so. There was no need to mention this isn’t the Roman empire. It’s in fact the America where people cheer to see legs broken in MMA and in other contact sports. Play flag football if you don’t like it

  30. Nothing bothers me more than when a entire fanbase gets ridiculed (or praised) as a whole when it’s something that a few boneheads made newsworthy. Random Example- If a Bills fan, or group of, were to be classless and obnoxious towards me that doesn’t give me the ok to say “Man…Bills fans are the worst and they are all jerks” Instead, it should be “That Bills fan is a jerk” Maybe not the best example but I think folks get what I’m saying.

  31. If Winston would play with as much passion as he runs his mouth maybe Cassel wouldn’t take so many hits.

  32. It’s truly unbelievable how things are blown out of proportion these days with the media. I remember fans cheering an injury or cheering “for the backup” decades ago without this much controversy.

  33. Think of it this way, they were cheering for Brady Quinn.

    They were cheering for Brady Quinn.

    You really think anyone cheering for a injured player is more sickening than people cheering for Brady Quinn to replace the injured player?

    KC fans will be begging for Cassel back after one quarter.

  34. Whether it was 60 fans, or 60,000, what Winston said was spot-on. Football injuries can be very serious, and just because these guys make tons of money doesn’t justify a group of people celebrating bodily harm.

    Think about Danny Amendola. The dude suffered an injury that could have killed him. It’s a dangerous game.

    If Cassel gets benched, and you don’t like him, then by all means celebrate. But if he leaves a game with an injury, show some class. You never know how serious it could be.

  35. I was at this game. The fans were cheering emphatically for the Cassel injury. People listening to an audio tape are going to argue a man that was on the field?? Give me a break. It was absolutely sickening just as Mr Winston stated.

  36. Who cares!! Play better and the fans will be happier!!!! They are tired of paying a lot of money to watch bad football. What do you expect is going to happen?

  37. If we did our jobs as badly as Cassell does his, we would be fired! So why would fans not want him out if they are spending their hard earned money to see a guy turn the ball over 4x every game and maintain his starting job just because of economics, every other organization/company, would pull the plug on the project and save face, Chiefs wake up and pull the plug.

  38. There is no doubt in my mind the some of the Arrowhead fans cheered the injury.

    While Eric Winston’s comments were definitely accurate – he did reach a little too far. It’s one thing to call a spade a spade – but that wasn’t the case here. He should have addressed the drunken neanderthals that were cheering due to Cassel’s injury.

    I truly believe that most of the fans in the stadium were worried about Cassel.

    I’ll be one of the first to say that Cassel’s play…well…sucks. But…off the field, he’s a great guy that has done a great deal in our community. Matt was on the first bus of players that didn’t hesitate to help out in Joplin after the tornado virtually destroyed their town. He’s a stand up guy that deserved a little more fan support than what he got.

    No player should be cheered when an injury occurs.

  39. Fair or not, this incident damages the Kansas City Chiefs fans and the organization.

    People will remember this for years to come.

    Plus, the KC does not sound like it is doing itself, the fans or the team any favors in PR by pushing back.

  40. Winston’s comments were a breath of fresh air. It was great to see players standing up for one another and it will help bring them together as a team.

  41. I was at the game and many fans were cheering that he was hurt
    I have been to over 300 professional and college games.
    It was one of the most disgusting things I have seen or heard fans do.

  42. This happens sometimes and I’m glad Winston spoke up about it. I remember when the Cleveland fans were cheering when Tim Couch got hurt several years back. I remember a couple of years ago when Willis McGahee was down on the field in Pittsburgh and while laying on a stretcher, the PA system was playing ‘down on the corner’ to make fun of McGahee being on a stretcher. Classless.

    Winston was right to speak out. A small majority of fans are just low rent, trashy people.

  43. And they say the Raiders have the worst fans, pfft! Obviously that title goes to the KC Chiefs’ flock. Classless indeed.

  44. I’m glad the local KC media is “unbiased” and put forth this “unedited” version of events to “set the record straight”. They would never “twist” anything!

  45. It’s pathetic that the media as a whole (and Mr. Winston himself) painted the entire KC fan base as being sickening or classless.

    That is entirely not true, and for those of you that think it is, you’re as ignorant as the fans who cheered when Cassel got hurt.

    I was at the game. I did not cheer. I would never cheer an injury and 99% of the loyal and amazing fans in the KC area are the exact same way.

    This is a whole lot of mess for nothing. And I’m insulted to be lumped in with those people who were cheering by the national media.

  46. Keep the classiness coming KC. The only one in the right here, speaking out against the disgusting behaviors of arguably thousands of fans, yes probably 2-3k out of 80, is getting grief over speaking out and sticking up for a teammate. Oh boy, I’d bury my head in the sand if I were a KC fan.

  47. Regardless of if he got the proportion of boo’ers wrong, Winston is still right that no injury merits boo’ing… especially from the home crowd.

  48. “Though Winston may have swept too broadly to include fans who didn’t cheer the injury to Cassel, Winston was a first-hand witness to the incident, and the passion he displayed after the game — speaking from the heart and without notes — shows that he honestly experienced something he genuinely believed to be sickening. No matter how upset the fans are with the current direction of the organization, there’s no excuse for celebrating injury, especially now that we know as much as we do about concussions.”

    Mike, that was very well said!

  49. ravenator says:
    Oct 9, 2012 2:14 PM
    Props to Winston, KC should just stick to BBQ and drinking. It’s what they do best.


    ….says the “BodyMore, Murdaland” Ravens fan.

    What about B-more is so much better than KC (besides a missed call by the refs and a single field goal?)

    Crabs and gloomy poetry?

  50. Yeah, as an outside observer I am sure that Winston made the whole thing up (he was on the field after all) and is blowing this whole thing out of proportion. It does not matter if they were cheering the first down, Quinn or the damn president. When a man is on the ground injured, you dont cheer. Anyone who in any way defends that should go home, slap momma in the mouth, cause she did not raise you right. The fact that this is even an argument says alot. I hope some of those cheering experience the same thing someday. Your kid, hurt on the field, fans on the other side whooping it up, does not matter the reason. If you ever played, especially where someone did not walk away, you would know better, or, if you were brought up with even a modicum of respect for your fellow man. But, hey, it’s funny right, everyone should get over it and get off their high horse. Yeah, sure. Until it happens to you.

  51. So basically, the KC media were the ones instigating the booing? Haha, all jokes aside, for those saying “they get paid millions of dollars”, they get paid millions to pay a tough, violent, physical sport. They don’t get paid millions of dollars to suffer broken bones/concussions/etc for your enjoyment.

    For those indicating that because you bought a ticket, its your right to cheer injuries/say what you want. Actually, its your right to cheer injuries/say what you want bc of the constitution. but its also our right to consider you classless. Basically, you’re the person cheering bc a pedestrian gets run over by a car. Awesome for you.

  52. Cleveland fans cheered when Derek Anderson got hurt… We had Brady Quinn coming in as well.

    What’s not to cheer about?

    …oh, wait.

  53. I’ve been very outspoken about my dislike of Matt Cassel as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, but I would never, ever wish for him to be injured. I wanted him benched because his turnovers cost the Chiefs a win in a game that they basically dominated. That being said, if I was at the game, I would have been silent while he was on his back and I would have cheered when he got up, like any true fan should. He’s not the Chiefs’ future at quarterback, but he’s a great human being who does a lot for the community.

  54. Cleveland fans cheered an injury to Derrick Anderson in anticipation of Brady Quinn’s entry, though they didn’t know how bad Quinn was at the time.

  55. I live in Kansas City, and have been to many Chiefs and Royals games. Sports fans here in the KC area are being completely ripped off by the Royals and Chiefs, paying huge subsidies to each team, while getting a terrible product. The Chiefs have a ton of salary cap space, but didn’t use it. The Royals shouldn’t even be in the majors. Fans here are really upset, but it does not excuse cheering for an injured Chief.

  56. The issue here isn’t IF the fans cheered Cassel’s injury, a very small percentage of people did – I was at the game, so I’m one of the FEW people commenting on here that has any basis to speak on what did or did not happen. Winston was right in his anger at those fans that cheered, but in the process painted the entire fan base as a bunch of punks. Because of the passion in which he made his comments, most of the country probably believes that 70,000 fans were overjoyed when Cassel when down. The reality of the situation is that maybe 1,000 fans were cheering for Cassels injury. Those people that did cheer are disgusting, and do not represent the opinions for all Chiefs fans. No matter where you are, sporting event or not, anytime you get 50,000+ people in the same place, you are bound to have a certain percentage of bad seeds.

  57. I really sickened by these people, why not donate the cash you made off of them for playing in that game to concussion research?

  58. Fans, with their misinformed and misguided arrogance, standing on the “We pay your salary” (which is untrue, BTW) angle, with their foolish sense of entitlement are why fans are stupider now in 2012 than they were 20 years ago, or before that. When I heard Tom Jackson and Chris Berman speak about this with Trent Dilfer, Dilfer and Jackson literally took every thought I had about this thing and articulated it on air.

    I agree with and stand by Winston.

  59. They should move this team to a city that has enough money so the owner can spend to the cap instead of being under it by $26M!

    Like Omaha or Oklahoma City or…….Johnson County.

  60. I’d rather have fans boo at the wrong times then fight or throw things onto the field. Everybody needs to relax a bit.

  61. Winston is a very highly respected person in the NFL. I have zero doubt he heard what he heard and the one poster that claims they were there heard it too. Chiefs fans getting their panties in a bunch over it is actually the most ridiculous part. A guy on the team you root for stuck up and went to bat for his teammate and somehow this pissed you off? Because he complained about the idiots cheering Cassel while he’s down? Idiots.

  62. It is really annoying to me how both sides are parsing their words to make the point they want. Let’s face it, some of us (and we are everywhere) are just poor examples of sports fans.

    I was at the game, I heard the cheers. People were cheering for the play, and then when they saw Cassel not getting up, and other round of cheers went up. This one was not nearly as loud as for the play, but they were there and it was unmistakable why. Cassel was struggling to get up and it was obvious he was in distress.

    I had been watching the sideline all game to see if they were going to start warming up Quinn so I shot a look right over there after I saw Cassel was down. Quinn ran onto the field to warm up so he could be away from the clutter of people on the sidelines and was maybe 5 feet onto the playing field as he warmed up. That came AFTER the cheers when Cassel was hurt.

    I felt bad that there were fans cheering this injury. But there will always be morons who do that regardless where you live. KC just happened to get called out on it in a big way. What made it bad was that it was a small but vocal group scattered throughout the stadium, along with Winston saying 70,000 were cheering the injury.

    I can’t blame him for calling out the dunderheads. I just wish he hadn’t lumped us all into that category.

  63. For those of you that say it is your right to boo/cheer when and who you want because you pay all this money and the product on the field is bad. Here’s a thought. It’s also your right to NOT spend that money until the organization puts a better product on the field. Cheering an injured player is not making the team any better. In fact it is disgusting. If you want to make a point to the front office, stay home and don’t give them your money.

  64. Morally speaking its not right to boo anyone that has any injury, you support your players and team.

    Also, Winston probably wishes he had a concussion so he could dream easier of being back with the Texans and being undefeated!!!

    KC fans have been a joke forever!!!!

    signed oakland raider fan 4life

  65. Dear Chief fans… you’re all a sad bunch. You knuckleheads couldn’t leave this alone huh? Way to throw gasoline on a flame fools.

  66. If the fans in KC were cheering for Quinn coming into the game and not Cassell’s injury, then that is the most cheers Brady has had since his college days!

  67. Do Chief fans need a PA announcer to tell them it’s a Chiefs 1st down before the fans cheer?

  68. I’m so sick of this story, people do dumb things while in groups. There are 31 other cities that would have done the same thing in similar circumstances. All hope in humanity isn’t gone and the city of KC isn’t full of bad people.

  69. The first time I saw the vid I heard the PA guy doing his schtick and said, “Well, that’s what the fans were cheering about.” Maybe some of them kept cheering because Cassel was down, but if they’re dumb enough to think their team has a shot this year, they’re idiots.

  70. The lack of class being shown by Chiefs fans right here and now proves what happened on Sunday.

    No class at all.

  71. It’s too bad that the first comment for this story is obviously a from a troll, but that aside, it does show no class from a segment of the fan base to cheer Castle’s injury.

  72. “Kansas City media takes issue with Eric Winston’s rant”
    The KC Media should take issue with Winston acting like a turnstile and allowing Cassel to take the hit in the first place.
    Surely Winston wouldn’t run his mouth to deflect attention from his poor performance on the field.

  73. “KC fans have been a joke forever!!!!

    signed oakland raider fan 4life”

    Pot meet Kettle.

  74. I understand KC’s frustration at how Cassel has been playing. He’s a better QB than this and, I will admit, I wasn’t at the game. Maybe there was a cheer for a first down.

    But, if someone who was AT the game (Winston) didn’t hear it (concern for his QB or whatever) didn’t hear it, I’m going to take his side until the proof is there that they were cheering for the first down and not Cassel’s injury.

    I watched on TV where Rich Baldinger criticized Winston, telling the linemen HE owes the fans an apology. Wait. WHAT THE WHAT? The fans (70,000 or 7,000 – when you’re on the field, it sounds like everyone is cheering) CHEERED when Cassel went down. The fans who booed (and ONLY those who booed!) OWE Matt Cassel and his family an apology.

    Concussions are NEVER funny and should NEVER be cheered.

    Let me say this: I HATE Tom Brady. Have since he was at Michigan. But…in 2008 when he went down with that awful knee injury, my heart broke. Whether or not I like the guy, he was in obvious pain and would not be able to do what he may feel is his obligation to his family. I’ll cheer ONLY when Brady goes down and gets back up. When he doesn’t, I sit silent, hoping for the best.

    Eric Winston was not out of line for his comments. But, the fans (who booed) were out of line for cheering.

  75. So if Kansas City gets hit by a massive tornado, can the rest of the country cheer about it? Since that seems to be their MO. Celebrating someone else’s misfortune for your own benefit and personal gain. It’s the American way.

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