The Baltimore Ravens convincingly beat the New England Patriots in Foxboro on Sunday night in the AFC Championship Game, 28-13.
However, instead of simply going quietly into the night (as their team did) Patriots fans embarrassed themselves in their reaction to New England’s loss.
Torrey Smith finished Sunday’s AFC title grudge match with four receptions for a team-leading 69 yards. He is one of the league’s up-and-coming wide receivers, but he was forced to play the entire season with a heavy heart.
In September, his younger brother, Tevin, was killed in a motorcycle accident.
It is rare to see real rivalries in sports these days, with the huge prevalence of trades, free agency, contractual holdouts and the like. But in the case of Baltimore and New England, no, the Ravens and the Patriots do not like each other.
But that competitive hatred should stay exactly where it started, and that is on the football field.
Making fun of the death of a loved one — and it is not as if any of these fans would be brave enough to say anything to Smith’s face, they’re only comfortable tweeting things like little kids — should never be considered an acceptable reaction to the result of a game.
And at the end of the day, family is far more important than a game. Any game.