The freakishness of such injuries remind every conscious fan of the fragile nature of the game. Eagles fans that watched Cruz writhe in pain know all too well about knee injuries; after losing Jeremy Maclin for the 2013 campaign due to an ACL tear in training camp, they watched Maclin slump to the turf this past August, not contacted while running a route against the Steelers. Immediately, the Philly fans let out a whoosh of a sound that was one collective 'No!' Maclin would bounce up seconds later and resume play, but in the blink of an eye, the worst was feared.
Seeing Cruz grab at his leg, I feared the worst too, and as an Eagles supporter, I'm conditioned to hate the Giants to some degree. I don't hate them enough to wish pain and suffering on individuals, which has been a mantra attached to Philadelphia.
Yes, Eagles fans cheered as the stretcher was brought out for Michael Irvin fifteen years ago, who lay in disarray after a headhunting Tim Hauck practically wrecked his spine. Yes, Eagles fans threw snowballs at some college kid dressed as Santa Claus in 1968. That fact gets brought up the most as evidence of the town's purported scuminess, some sort of secular-albatross apparently.
I always counter by noting that Giants fans threw snowballs laced with batteries at the Chargers bench in 1995, knocking out team equipment manager Sid Brooks. Then I follow up by adding that Giants fans cheered when Emmitt Smith, on January 2, 1994, lay on Meadowlands turf with a busted shoulder. Yet it's the Eagles faithful that get flak for their hateful transgressions over the years. New York bias perhaps?
When a tearful Cruz was carted off of Lincoln Financial Field, I was happy to hear Eagles fans respectfully applauding him. Although he's a rival player that has punctuated touchdowns against us with his mocking Salsa dance, he's a human being in pain. The applause was more kindness of spirit than a self-conscious damage control move by a fanbase branded as insensitive, but I hoped, "you know, maybe people will begin to realize that Philly fans aren't bad, save for some bad apples."
Sadly, one bad apple reared his ugly head last night, and got plenty of attention for doing so.
Not that Mike Missanelli is any stranger to begging for attention. An abrasive local media personality for 97.5 The Fanatic, he's has been an antagonist for years, particularly toward former coach Andy Reid, but his vitriol hardly ends with "Big Red". It migrated over to Big Blue last night, with the following Tweet, which Missanelli has since deleted.
"Hey Giants fans: Victor Cruz is over. Dance to that."
The tweet came moments after Cruz was lying in pain with a season-ending injury. Immediately, scores of fans, including fed-up Eagles fans, lashed back at the radio host, who backtracked from his words and erased the tweet. Too late; it was captured for posterity for the world to see, (seen here).
Missanelli tried to explain away that he didn't even know Cruz was hurt, tweeting, "I apologize for the Cruz tweet. I didn't see that he got hurt on the play. Was outside the stadium and saw he dropped it walking to my car," as well as, "I would never have tweeted that had I known he got injured. Please know that."
It's funny, because Missanelli used the words, "Victor Cruz is over" to express his glee, almost a cackle set to text. He didn't tweet that Andrew Luck was over in Week 2 for throwing that pick to Malcolm Jenkins. He didn't tweet that Chad Henne was over for losing a fumble to Fletcher Cox in the opener. He didn't even tweet that Chris Baker was over for getting tossed from the Redskins game after the altercation with Jason Peters.
None of them were 'over', obviously, because none were injured. Pretty coincidental timing to use 'is over' for a player whose knee could be permanently damaged; a torn patellar tendon I understand is one of the absolute worst knee injuries an athlete can endure. And this guy not only saw joy in that moment, but had to express it.
Make no mistake, he saw Cruz wasn't getting up. From the time of Cruz's dropped pass to the time Missanelli finished scrawling out the tweet, everyone watching immediately feared the worst for the receiver.
It's garbage like that tweet that reinforces that dark cloud that hangs over Philadelphia fans, that we're all uneducated mongrels that throw batteries, scream hate speech, and shouldn't breed.
Before anyone decides to lump the good people in town in with this jackanape, lemme relay some facts about Missanelli that no other Philadelphia backer, presumably, can say about themselves, just to distance this black sheep from the herd.
-Missanelli engaged in an e-mail skirmish with an annoyed listener, and repeatedly referred to the e-mailer with various homosexual slurs. He was suspended by 97.5 for the incident.
-Months prior, on NFL opening night in 2013, Missanelli insulted TV personality Michelle Beadle, who served as co-hostess on NBC's live coverage. After Missanelli made note of what he felt was a rotund abdomen on Beadle, the popular SportsNation hostess responded with her standard playfully-acidic humor. The best part was Beadle noting Missanelli's "Google Me" hashtag in his Twitter bio, tying it in with his irrelevance.
-In August 2012, after some young listener gets Erin Andrews to call in to Missanelli as part of some contest to win Eagles tickets, Missanelli uses the moment to insult the dress she had worn at the MLB All-Star game weeks prior. Andrews handles herself well enough, even as the host barrages her with inane questions, like asking if she's dating FOX colleague Troy Aikman.
-Was fired by WIP in 2006 for allegedly striking his producer.
There are many other examples of the man's vanity and crassness overcoming his better judgment, but those can be found by simply 'googling him'.
There are great radio personalities in the area, such as Glen Macnow, Ray Didinger, and Michael Barkann. There are many tremendous fans with a love of their team and a want to see the Eagles successful, but will drop the pride for a moment to show concern for an injured player.
The city and the good people in it have spent far too much time trying to shed a negative label, especially since the bombardment of jolly ol' Saint Nick took place 46 years ago. Philadelphia doesn't need this moron speaking on its behalf, especially when he's only going to retract his words moments later and try to bend the truth, all because he didn't think before posting his thoughts.
Don't let the loudest idiot represent the respectful many. Get well soon, Victor Cruz. If there's any justice in the world, when the 2015 season rolls around, he'll be on the field once more.
Hopefully, 97.5 has somebody with a brain in their head to comment on his comeback.
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