In Minnesota, Blair Walsh’s shanked 27-yard field goal Sunday has been turned into a teachable moment for first-graders — helping spin the narrative, as far as I can tell from most of the online comments, from Walsh the Goat to Walsh the stand-up guy.
Once you get past the cynical urges to wonder if Walsh would have gotten a parade had he missed one more field goal, you realize that this outpouring and reaction is in fact a nice story. We’re human. Walsh is human. He messed up at his job, but life will go on — as long as we will let it go on.
That said, there is another segment of the world that — fairly or not — will continue to blister Walsh for that kick. One of those corners of the world, it would seem, is the one occupied by whomever runs the social media for EA Sports and its popular Madden football game.
On Twitter and Instagram on Thursday, one could find a frame grab of Walsh, in the video game, lined up for a 27-yard field goal with the directional arrows for the impending kick pointing far left (the direction, of course, that he missed).
— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) January 14, 2016
That’s pretty harsh. Then again, maybe we need the push-pull in both directions to land somewhere in the middle. Walsh isn’t a hero for how he reacted or a goat for how me missed. He’s just a man who kicks a ball.