shelton4When Jermaine Kearse caught the game winning touchdown in overtime of the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, he immediately let out 60-plus minutes’ worth of frustration, as evidenced by launching the ball into the stands. While Kearse — the targeted receiver on all four of Russell Wilson’s interceptions (two of which bounced off of his hands) — celebrated with his teammates on the field, there was a scrum in the stands for the football. It ended up in the hands of Scott Shelton, a 32-year-old father of two from Monroe (about 30 minutes northeast of Seattle).

Every local news outlet picked up Shelton’s story, focusing on his decision to pass on a potential $20,000 pay day from a memorabilia dealer and return the ball to Kearse. He’s already spoken to Kearse to set up the exchange. However, the KOMO 4 version of the story buried some personal details, like the part where Shelton currently has no job and is scheduled to go to prison next month (coincidentally, one day after the Super Bowl his beloved Seahawks are playing in):

Catching the famous football has given Shelton an emotional lift like nothing else in his life because it comes at a profoundly difficult time for the jobless father of two young children. His family says he’s had a challenging life, including serious brushes with the law — even spending time behind bars as a juvenile and facing more next month.

If Shelton does end up going to the Super Bowl, he’ll need to hurry back to Western Washington because at 2 p.m. the next day, his mother says a judge will take him into custody to start serving several months in jail.

Mentioning his life circumstances towards the end isn’t exactly what we’d consider burying the lead, but once the story went viral, concerned citizens inundated the comments section with outrage over a jobless father of two dropping god-knows-how-much money (that he may or may not have) on tickets to an NFL playoff game. If you’re in the mood for banging your head against a wall, click here and start scrolling. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Amid the vitriol and a shitload of Seahawks fans patting themselves on the back for being associated with such classy fans (I was serious about the banging your head against a wall part), Shelton’s wife hopped on the Facebook comments section to settle everyone down.

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The comments in a thread on r/seahawks, the team’s sub-Reddit, weren’t much better. But members were quick to point out that Scott actually didn’t pay for the tickets. His parents are season ticket holders, and they were Free.99.

shelton3Mr. Shelton is obviously dealing with some problems in life, but paying for Seahawks tickets doesn’t appear to be one of them. So lay off a bit, okay?