PITTSBURGH - If you're reading this section of the Mirror, you obviously have some interest in sports.
You may even have a great interest in sports.
But you know there are other things in life, too: Family, friends, jobs, hobbies that don't involve watching other people play a game.
You feel good if your team wins, but you realize the accomplishment really belongs to the team.
As happy as you are, you know that you still have responsibilities and a life to live.
Your boss isn't going to give you a week off or a raise because your favorite team won a game.
Unfortunately, others don't do as good a job in managing priorities.
They think the outcomes of games are much more important than they really are.
That's why there was no shock in learning that Kyle Williams received death threats after his mistakes helped the San Francisco 49ers lose the NFC Championship game to the New York Giants.
Williams mishandled a couple of punts, which cost the 49ers points. His second error led to the Giants' game-winning field goal in overtime.
The stakes in the game were high: The Giants move on to the Super Bowl. The 49ers are finished until next season.
The disappointment level for 49ers fans had to be just as high. You only need to rewind one week to recall the sour mood here when the Steelers lost their playoff game to the Broncos in Denver.
But the game ends, and everyone - including the teams involved - gets busy moving forward.
How sad that some people can't let go and take the opportunities the Internet offers to harass someone.
There was less technology but just as much venom when the Pittsburgh Pirates lost the 1992 playoffs.
Pitcher Stan Belinda, who gave up the game-winning single, got hate mail.
There were many things that went wrong at the end of the game. It serves no purpose to rehash them here.
Let's just say that the loss wasn't Belinda's fault.
That didn't stop people from unloading on him. Did it make them feel better? Did they feel more relevant?
The Internet makes it easier to spew the hate. Kyle Williams knows that.
They're just games. Yes, they're big games, but their importance is within the context of the sport.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org