Sticks and maybe break bones, but it's the words from fantasy football dorks that have cut Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice so deep that he's questioned his love for the game.
"I was a fan of fantasy football until today so many spiteful and hateful words I still love you all God Bless great win today," Rice tweeted on Sunday afternoon after leaving the game against Cleveland early due to an injury. Because of his injury and early departure, anyone who had Rice on their Fantasy Football teams scored less than handful of points their leagues, and Rice suffered the fury and wrath of those people. Case in point: this shiny testament to American exceptionalism:
Just wanna send out a big FUCK YOU to @RayRice27 for getting me 1.5 fantasy points this week. What the hell Ray?— YourClassicAsshole (@graham_crackr88) September 15, 2013
Rice's sad showing hit close to home. He was on our colleague Connor Simpson's fantasy team. "Ray Rice is supposed to be the most reliable running back in the league. Yesterday, he left me standing with my pants down, drenched, in freezing cold temperatures," Simpson told me.
While complaining about your favorite (or any) athlete on Twitter isn't a new phenomenon — some would argue that being able to heckle athletes to their digital face is one of Twitter's greatest achievements — an athlete like Rice actually complaining how a bunch of indoor kids hurt his feelings is somewhat of a first.
For better (or worse) Rice's injury isn't expected to keep him out long. "The Ravens are hopeful that the injury isn't going to sideline Rice long and he's not scheduled for a magnetic resonance imaging exam," The Baltimore Sun reported. That means the team will be expecting him to play sooner rather than later — good news for fantasy football fans and for Rice. Assuming, of course, his body and his feelings have healed.
The knife cuts both ways, of course. San Diego Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal found himself on the receiving end of a shower of love and encouragement after his surprising three-touchdown performance soared him to the top of the waiver wire on Sunday. But at least Royal was wise enough to recognize the fleeting nature of Twitter stardom:
Appreciate all the love...even tho most was strictly fantasy football related! lol I'm just glad we got the W...great team win #BoltUp— Eddie Royal (@EddieRoyalWR) September 15, 2013