Shaming Jerry Kill

The shaming of Jerry Kill is well underway.

“Football’s a game,” a WCCO show host declared today, suggesting that Kill took a game too seriously, endangering his health in the process.

That’s the tricky thing about people choosing to follow their passion in life; they get passionate about it.

Jerry Kill is a public figure and he’s fair game for the typical, if tiresome, judgments of media, which needs to keep a hot story going somehow.

But who are we to declare how other people should live? Who are we to dismiss someone’s passion? Who are we to suggest that the metric by which a life is properly lived, is the way we would live it?

Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse is feeling some heat from fans for appearing to question Kill’s character, if not courage.

It appears that Kill can’t deal with setbacks. His public seizures at TCF Bank Stadium were in games the Gophers were in danger of losing to lowly teams (New Mexico State and Western Illinois).

It is a great thing for most coaches to reject the reality of setbacks, but obviously not good for a man who is willing to fudge on his epilepsy meds because he thinks it gives him a chance to get a better effort from his team.

Cold, particularly since Kill didn’t really tell us that much about his meds or, really, his illness.

There are side effects to any medication, but those aimed at the brain carry particularly noxious ones. Meds give, but they also take away and we don’t know what balance Kill was seeking in “fudging” them. Psychotropic drugs often make the user wonder “who’s the real me: the one on the meds, the one off the meds, or somebody in between?”

That’s a pretty intense question that the rest of us are too ignorant to try to answer.

Like the now infamous Jim Souhan column of 2013, Reusse’s assessment didn’t sit well with some of Kill’s supporters. But Reusse was unapologetic for linking Kill’s epileptic seizures with losing to bad teams.