When news broke that New York Giants' offensive lineman David Diehl would need thumb surgery and would miss approximately the next six weeks it did not take long for the Diehl haters to rejoice.
THANK YOU ALMIGHTY FOOTBALL GODS FOR HURTING DAVID DIEHL— Steve Rogers (@NO_TATS_B) August 21, 2013
Lest you think I'm giving community members here at Big Blue View a pass, think again. The majority of the 180 comments (thus far) on that post were classy. There were a few, however, that fall into the 'hater' category. Like these:
"I'm not ashamed to admit I’m not distraught over his injury one iota. The DD situation has been a travesty for 3 seasons."
"I don't see how you could possibly say that this hurts us isgnificantly in any way. We all know Diehl being off the field is an upgrade."
"Addition by subtraction. the only bad part about this is he’ll inevitably get inserted into the starting lineup somewhere when he comes back."
"Sorry to say. DD sucks and he has for years."
Three weeks ago I wrote a column decrying all the Diehl hatred. A column inspired by Diehl, aware of what fans think of him, saying "I love haters, keep bringing it. I don’t care."
Here is part of what I wrote:
"No matter what you think of Diehl's talent, and we know many of you think it's a lack thereof, you have to give the man some credit. During his time with the Giants, which began in 2003, he has done everything the organization has asked. He has always epitomized the Tom Coughlin 'team before self' mentality, starting at four different positions and -- maybe more impressively -- doing it without a complaint."
Now, Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News has penned an excellent piece similarly defending Diehl.
The piece was inspired by Vacchiano noticing that Diehl, obviously stung by some of the things he knows fans say about him, taking to Twitter to shoot back. Vacchiano posted references to these first, but I will put them here because they are relevant.
For those who talk trash & make jokes. You have know idea what it's like/takes to be a FB Player. Stick to fantasy pic.twitter.com/NLM2iQHK6B— Dave Diehl (@davediehl66) August 21, 2013
Here is a photo Diehl posted of his thumb, pre-surgery.
I'm sincerely sorry I missed OL signing day for all you great Giants fans & my fans. Had to take care of this pic.twitter.com/vctqZ0bWFx— Dave Diehl (@davediehl66) August 21, 2013
What Diehl deserves is the thanks of Giants' fans for a job well done, for the selflessness that has allowed him to move to four different positions and help players like Will Beatty flourish. For being a starter on two Super Bowl teams.
Diehl's skills have diminished, there is no denying that. This might well be his last year as a Giant, and maybe the last of his career. It is wrong, however, to be happy that he is hurt. In fact, it is wrong to be happy anyone is hurt -- whether they are Giants or opposing players.
Diehl deserves your thanks for what he was done for the Giants since 2003. He has mine.