Kicker Blair Walsh Takes the Blame—and a Social Media Beating—for a Missed Field Goal

How much of this phenomenon is a product of our social media culture? I asked Robinson, who coaches young kickers and helps businesses in the Atlanta area with social media strategies, if the case of Blair Walsh demonstrates that social media has made it more difficult to deal with a bad performance.

"It depends on how much involvement a player has on social media," he said. "Most athletes these days have grown up with a social media involvement and if they are playing on the college or pro level, they hopefully have developed a thick skin. Occasionally you'll hear about someone giving in to the temptation to respond to a troll. Obviously it's best to ignore people hiding behind a computer."

Walsh, for his part, understood that social media users can be cruel.

"You know what, the people who are saying that stuff are the people who don't matter," he said. "There's so many great Vikings fans and there's so many great people in this city that care about Minnesota and understand all the situations that we're in and you know, the people who are going to say mean stuff, that says a lot about them. And I think the people who say kind stuff, and go out of their way to be kind towards me, that says a lot about them, as well."

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"People kind of show their true colors in situations like that and a lot of people reached out to me, said nice things. And I'm very appreciative of that. I really am. It means a lot. But I think it's important that people understand, as hard as this is, I'm not a charity case. I'm somebody that's really confident in my abilities. I know that sounds strange but I'll be back next year and I'll be just as good."

In the end, Robinson doesn't believe that the attacks will affect Walsh's confidence.

"Blair had a difficult stretch his senior year at Georgia, and has been really, really strong as a pro," he said. "I don't think his confidence will be affected."