Chris Laviano Lashing Out At Rutgers Fans Is Just Another Reason That His Biggest Fan Needed To Be Fired
I'll admit it. A part of me was a little bit happy when Chris Laviano lay writhing in pain. I was a little excited when Hayden Rettig came into the game to replace him. I couldn't have been more disappointed when Kyle Flood put a quarterback, who looked like he was destined for a surgical table no more than 90 seconds earlier, back in the game after just one play. I may not have voiced my displeasure like the fans that mercilessly booed Chris Laviano's return, but I can certainly relate to how they felt at the time. That doesn't mean I endorse openly disrespecting a kid that has given his all, even though that's not saying much, for Rutgers football. In fact, even after 5 hours of tailgating, I was extremely vocal in telling those around me to quiet down as they made fools of themselves and the University. The problem I have isn't that the booing wasn't warranted, it's that it wasn't the right time for it. I actually felt bad for Chris Laviano, obviously less so after this completely misguided Instagram post, but still, he was put in an impossible situation. His Head Coach was so stubborn in his support of him, even after his repeated failures, that the fans almost had to boo. As hard as it may be for Chris Laviano to believe, those boos weren't directed at a quarterback who has struggled for a large majority of the year. They were directed at a head coach that never had the sense to relieve him of his duties when it likely would have taken some of the pressure off of him.
I have always bought into the 'F.A.M.I.L.Y.' mantra that Kyle Flood has continuously stood behind. It seemed like a nice rallying cry for a university, and it's fan base, that has experienced so much disappointment over the years. The idea that the coaches, the players, and even the fans were thought of as one united entity was something that made it easier to stand behind Rutgers during the tough times. Unfortunately, Chris Laviano's frivolous use of social media has shown that's not truly what existed behind closed doors. I don't know what Kyle Flood slipped in their 'Kool-Aid', but this whole 'F.A.M.I.L.Y' thing is starting to feel more like a cult mentality between the coach and his players, than a slogan that the people who support them can embrace.
Chris Laviano saying he doesn't give a fuck about the fans, that make it possible for him to get a free education playing football, shows that Kyle Flood had instituted an 'us against the world' attitude. An attitude in which the people that wanted the best for the program were also thought of as the enemy. Successful college athletics, more so than any other sport, are predicated on having a strong, loyal following. Spitting in that following's face, proverbially speaking, is how you lose their undying support. Kyle Flood didn't just sacrifice meaningful football games by standing behind a faltering quarterback, he drove a stake between the team and their fans. I understand why Chris Laviano felt so wronged when his supposed health was met with verbal animosity, but it was symbolic of so much more than that. It was the culmination of Kyle Flood's failures as a head coach. It's a shame that a young player that doesn't know any better had to feel that wrath, but his decision to voice his displeasure to the masses was just another sign that the coach that was in his corner needed to be fired. I won't find a new team, and if Laviano really believes that's the answer then he should ready his walking papers, because the person that let him get away with this stupidity already got served his.