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Pitt wide receiver Manasseh Garner: "We don't play for the fans"

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As if Pitt's loss to Akron wasn't bad enough, now even one of the players is making it worse.

Per Sam Werner on Twitter, Pitt wide receiver Manasseh Garner decided to express his opinion after the team's defeat. Not on the Zips, however - Garner opined on the fans:

Well, then.

To be fair, cruel as it may sound, the players aren't playing for the fans. Let's be honest, here. Manasseh and company aren't playing because of some great devotion they feel to you and the eight-year old son/daughter that you slap a Pitt jersey on - nor should they. Players play for the love of the game, fame, and the hope of financial gain as a pro if that avenue presents itself - not necessarily in that order. But Garner's statements are extremely ill-timed considering they came after one of the program's worst losses in years.

Fans are certainly more involved as a whole when teams win and his main point seems to focus on the fact that fans are fair-weathered. But what Garner doesn't seem to realize is that a sizable chunk of them follow the team through thick and (more recently) thin.

Outside of many fans that may go to games occasionally, there is a large contingent that have had season tickets for years, despite the annual disappointments that accompany the financial considerations. People pay money to see their favorite teams - good money. His comments are a bit of a slap in the face to any fan that spends money on a program (a program that, by the way, pays for his scholarship to go to a quality university), but even more so to the diehards that follow the team religiously and funnel money regularly to the school.

And, my guess is that some of those diehards were ones doing the booing as well.

'Fan' is short for fanatic and there's a difference between supporting a team and booing an effort when it's not good enough.

Heat of the moment - I get it. All of us say things we wish we could have back and my guess is that, after sleeping on it, he'll probably feel differently. But still - saying something like that, particularly to the fans that bothered to attend the game and sit through that crapfest, isn't the smartest thing to do.

If you don't want to be booed, it's a good idea to beat teams like Akron at home - just food for thought.

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