Moore: Does Seahawks’ Clowney deserve hate he’s getting from Philly?
Let’s be honest, if Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney played for Philadelphia and his helmet-to-helmet hit injured Russell Wilson and caused Geno Smith to replace him, and the Seahawks were bounced from the playoffs, 12s would be as upset as Eagles’ fans.
You just hope they wouldn’t react as crazily as Eagles’ fans did after Clowney knocked Carson Wentz out of Sunday’s game late in the first quarter with a concussion.
I looked at some of the social-media comments and guess I shouldn’t be surprised. When you give frustrated fans a keyboard to air their disappointment, you’re liable to hear just about anything.
Adam Jude of The Seattle Times found the following “jewels” on Instagram from Eagles’ fans, all directed at Clowney, who was right when he said he expected death threats after the game:
“(Bleep) you and your family,” wrote one laptop lunatic. “There’s a special place in hell for dirty places like yourself.”
Another idiot said: “Leave Philly immediately after this game. ‘Cause if get caught on these streets, you’re done.”
I looked around and found a few more.
“I am smoldering with hatred toward Jadeveon Clowney.”
“Say it with me, Eagles fans. (Bleep) Jadeveon Clowney.”
And then there was Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, who tweeted: “As the Captain of Philadelphia, I am officially issuing a warrant for Jadeveon Clowney’s arrest. That was not just a 15-yarder. That was assault plain and simple.”
Again, I get it, fans can be really irrational when they feel like their favorite team was wronged. And it didn’t help when Derek Barnett was flagged for roughing the passer after he was a bit late with a hit on Russell Wilson, letting up at the last minute. Nothing was called on Clowney, and it must have been even more infuriating to Eagles fans when the referee said after the game that he thought it was “incidental helmet contact.”
Guaranteed, this issue won’t go away this week. Clowney will be fined for the second time for a hit on an Eagles quarterback in the past two years. Last year with the Texans in the final week of the regular season, he was flagged for roughing Nick Foles and later fined $40,000.
So to Eagles fans, he’s a dirty player, and that label was hammered home Sunday when left tackle Jason Peters revealed to reporters that he told Clowney he thought it was a dirty play.
Clowney didn’t help matters by waving to Eagles fans as he left the field and later called them “the worst fans in the world.” He also said he told his teammates: “This team hates me for some reason. They think I tried to kill Nick Foles.”
I’ve watched the play over and over again, live and in slow motion. I can see why Eagles fans are so irate. I can also see why my Bob, Dave and Moore co-host and former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman would say it was a football player trying to make a football play. Clowney said he was trying to finish a tackle as Wentz was going down. The referee even said that Wentz was a runner more than a quarterback at that point.
It’s certainly a questionable non-call. But here’s the thing – I don’t think Clowney was intentionally trying to hurt Wentz. He said as much afterward, and of course a player’s not going to say he was intentionally trying to injure anyone. But I believe Clowney on this one. We’ve watched him all season, and have you seen anything bordering on dirty play before? I haven’t either.
Eagles fans no doubt think their team would have beaten the Seahawks with a healthy Wentz. I highly question that premise for two reasons:
• The Eagles had a healthy Wentz for four quarters when the two teams met in November, and the Seahawks won that one by a 17-9 score too.
• Josh McCown played well, completing his first 10 passes in the second half. Would Wentz have done a better job than his 40-year-old backup? I doubt it. The Eagles didn’t move the ball during Wentz’s two series, getting one first down on a penalty and going three-and-out on the other possession.
But nothing will make Eagles’ fans feel better about Clowney right now. Know what would change their opinion? If Clowney signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles and became the centerpiece of their defense next year. Then all those fans who threatened him would love him because that’s the way it works in sports.
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