Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Should QB Matt Cassel Have Played So Soon After His Father’s Death?

New England Patriots Quarterback Matt Cassel is being hailed for his performance just six days after his father’s death, leading his team to a 49-26 victory.
I’m curious: would the reaction have been as positive if the headlines had been, “Cassel Skips Game to Mourn Father’s Death”? Shouldn’t that be the headline we want and the action we truly honor?

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posted December 16, 2008 at 10:14 am

you were on the verge of having a valid point and then you blew it. None of us know him so we cant answer that question. Insinuating that the better moral path would be skipping the game is moronic. It would be like asking picasso to not paint a painting in tribute to his father because it would take away from the grief process. you fail to realize that this game for him was part of the grief process. would it have been ok if he had skiped the game, sure. everybody would have understood. if he wanted to play a game as a tribute to his father or whatever, who the hell are you to judge? quit being a hater.

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posted December 16, 2008 at 11:49 am

Everyone handles the death of a parent (or others) differently. What was the problem with him playing “6 days” after his father died? I went back to work a week after my parents died…life goes on, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t love and respect his father. Would it have been better to skip the game, and sit and cry instead? He will have his moments…I still do…and it has bee 6 and 3 1/2 years repectively. (and I’m a lot older than Matt).

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posted December 16, 2008 at 12:21 pm

IWhen I left on a business trip in 2004 I pretty much knew my father would be dead from Alzheimers and heart failure before I returned. My mother said to me, you’ve been here every step of the way and you know how your father felt about work and your career, so if anything my going on with my plans honored his memory. Three days later, my husband called to tell me my father was dead and I wanted nothing more than to come home, if I hadnt had good friends and colleagues at the conference I would have because needed the support system. Otherwise the folks at home, my momther, sister and children were fine. I found out my father was dead and had 15 minutes to put my game face on and host a professional reception for 300 or so people. There may have been some that said I didnt do the right thing but for me and my family it was the right thing, so Matt Cassels made the decision that was best for him. As my mother said, you’re being here or not being here wasnt going to make him any less dead.

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posted December 16, 2008 at 3:27 pm

What’s the basis for your question/point? Are you arguing that it would be inherently ‘more noble’ if Cassel had skipped the game? I’m finding it hard to understand considering you didn’t elaborate, and rather than put words into your mouth, would love to hear more of your thoughts as to why this is a right/wrong issue in your mind.

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posted December 16, 2008 at 3:34 pm

What disturbs me is that there was no mention of what the father died of. Had he a long, debilitating ailment then Matt Cassle may have been well-prepared for his eminent demise. Even though they’re only playing against the Oakland Raiders, the Patriots are in a tight division race with Miami and the Jets and playoff implications are a plenty, aside from the fact that they’d have to rely on a third-stringer whoever that happens to be.

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posted December 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Although you were making a valid point, you failed to acknowledge the individual, and/or circumstances involved.
Case in point: If one of my parents were to pass away, I would only get 3-days off before I would have to return to work. ALSO, I would have to SHOW PROOF of the funeral to get PAID for those 3-days.
I get NO CHOICE in any extra days off to mourn.

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posted December 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm

My heart goes out to Matt Cassel in this time of grief. May he find peace and comfort with his remaining family and friends.
Steve, had Matt been a factory worker it is quite likely that he would have had only three days bereavement leave, and that unpaid, before he had to return to work. In that case he would not have had an option to extend his time away from work without penalty.
The fact that Matt Cassel had the choice is a blessing for him. Many, many others do not have that choice. Perhaps we need to remember that as we analyze the appropriateness of the choice that Matt made.

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