Shutdown Corner - NFL

It's tough to figure out which was more stupid: Fans booing the Washington Redskins after the team earned a 9-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday or little-used rookie linebacker Robert Henson(notes) ripping said fans on Twitter with vicious insults and unnecessary barbs. 

To recap: As time expired on an ugly Redskins win, a smattering of fans at FedEx Field booed as the team left the field. This angered Henson (who didn't play a single down in the game) enough that he took to his Twitter page to properly vent his frustration:

All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won't go there but I dislike you very strongly, don't come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!! 

This led to some natural responses from followers, mainly centering around the fact that Henson is a benchwarmer. He replied:

No I didn't play but I still made more than you in a year and you'd [gladly] switch spots with me in a second.

And then:

The question is who are you to say you know what's best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds.

If Henson had stopped after the first one, all would have been fine. But he kept going and insulted fans, which was idiotic for a number of reasons, most importantly of which is that people who work 9 to 5 at McDonalds couldn't possibly afford to sit in the expensive seats at FedEx Field. (Also stupid: The law of averages says Henson will be out of the league by 2012. He may be needing that 9 to 5 at McDonalds at that point.)

This is why the NFL would love to ban its players from Tweeting. There's almost nothing good that can come out of sharing your thoughts in 140-character doses, but there are plenty things that can go wrong. It's not like any of these feelings from players are new. I'm sure backup linebackers for the 1961 Redskins were ripping on fans after bad afternoons, except they were doing it from a bar stool at Duke Zeibert's rather than from an iPhone in a gated community with thousands of followers. 

Henson eventually apologized and took down his Twitter page

Lost in the hullabaloo over Henson's comments is the fact that his initial Tweet was spot-on. He was right when he said the fans who booed after the win were "dim wits". As a lifelong 'Skins fan, I've seen the team through some lean years (otherwise known as the Norv Turner era) and never have heard fans boo after a win. So it stands to reason that those booing weren't voicing their displeasure over the ugly, touchdown-less victory but something else altogether. What though?

The fans were probably booing because after the Rams turned the ball over downs with 1:32 left in the game, the Redskins knelt on their final three offensive plays from inside the 20. The Rams had no timeouts, which enabled Washington to run out the clock and preserve a 9-7 victory.

Kneeling there is about as much of a decision as choosing to kick an extra point after the first score of the game, which is to say, it's not. You have to kneel. It's not even debatable. So if, indeed, those fans were booing because the Redskins chose to guarantee victory rather than go for a meaningless touchdown that could just as easily led to a turnover, then Robert Henson was far too kind to call them dim-wits. Takes one to know one, I guess.

Thanks, D.C. Sports Bog

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