Wednesday, September 16, 2009
McKelvin scales Buffalo's fan-o-meter
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
In the span of 48 hours, Leodis McKelvin went from goat to sympathetic figure to venerated in the eyes of Buffalo Bills fans.
McKelvin was the central figure in the club's most nauseating loss since the Music City Miracle, but the aftermath will make the fans love him even more than had he never made a mistake at all.
Less than two minutes away from pulling off a monumental shocker and snapping an 11-game losing streak to the New England Patriots, he fumbled a kick return to set up another Tom Brady touchdown pass. The Patriots won 25-24.
Fans were furious. A couple of them went to fire, deciding it was a good idea to vandalize McKelvin's front yard in suburban Hamburg. Two years removed from Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor being murdered in his home, McKelvin's teammates were disturbed. Rational-thinking locals were aghast.
On Wednesday, a couple teenagers stepped forth to admit they'd painted the game's final score and, as the Buffalo News reported, "a graphic depiction of the male anatomy" on McKelvin's lawn.
But McKelvin doesn't want to press charges. The second-year cornerback wants to give the kids a break, lesson learned.
How explosive do you think the cheers for McKelvin will be Sunday in Ralph Wilson Stadium?
"I don’t want anybody to be arrested or anything like that," McKelvin said. "Our fans have been great. It’s just one incident, and hopefully it won’t happen anymore. I just don’t want anyone to get arrested."
McKelvin was astounded by the incident.
"Something like that, you don’t expect to see anywhere but on TV on 'Varsity Blues' or something like that," he said. "Me personally, I was mad. I was angry in a way, but I was laughing in a way because of what they put on there. It was just ... There’s no way that it’s ever appropriate."
McKelvin added one of his neighbors came over to mow his grass, removing the obscene message.