Antrel Rolle has proven to be a nice addition to the Giants both on and off the field. They needed a safety capable of making plays, a role that Rolle has filled quite nicely. He's also been a candid voice off the field who is willing to break from the Giants' organizational philosophy that less is more when it comes to speaking to the media.
That doesn't mean he's always right, however. Rolle made a pretty major boo-boo on Tuesday when he went on the radio to complain about the fact that the Meadowlands crowd expressed their displeasure with a dreadful first 30 minutes of football against the Jaguars.
"You don't boo your team. This is your home team. We're out there playing. We're out there pouring our heart out for our team and for our fans. You don't boo your team. I don't care what the situation is. You don't boo your team. You know, we're 7-4. We're not 2-10, you know? There's going to be ups and downs during the season. Not under any circumstances should you boo your team. That's just the reality of it."
In the hours after Sunday's game Rolle and many other Giants told the media that they credited Justin Tuck's halftime speech about not accepting a poor performanc for turning the game around into a much-needed victory. It's funny that only fans need to sit back and swallow swill because it's about staying confident in the team when it's perfectly fine for members of the team to balk at the performance.
A lot of people would prefer to turn this into some "Welcome to New York" moment where the former Cardinal learns what life is like in the big city. It's always been something of a mystery as to why it's a badge of honor to be disagreeable, but that's not the problem with what Rolle said.
The problem is that when you charge people admission to something, be it a game, movie or restaurant, they are perfectly entitled to voice their opinion about it. Trying hard, as Rolle alleges the Giants were doing in the first half, is all well and good, but it doesn't begin to make up for the expectations borne of taking someone's money for the chance to watch a football game.
Fans care. Sometimes they care too much, but they care and that means sometimes they boo. You'd think that professional athletes would be thick skinned enough to understand that without crying about it days after the fact and after being bathed in cheers during a second half that came a lot closer to being worth everyone's time and money.
Can we all agree on an early New Year's resolution? Short of violence toward those on the field, let's have all the professional athletes in our fair country agree to stop moaning about the behavior those who care enough to help pay their salaries.