Monday, March 07, 2011

The pedestal of sports figures

February and March are difficult times of the year. Baseball hasn't quite ramped up yet and football is already long over. When football ends, I feel like someone has just broken up with me. Usually, it is ok because I know it'll be back. This year I'm not so sure. Collective bargaining has hit a standstill. Honestly, I haven't kept up with it much.

Everyone likes to get on the cases of professional players for how much money they make. They are getting all this money for playing a game. You know I'm a capitalist so I'm not going to complain. They deserve the money. They are in peak physical condition - better than you or I. They take a beating during every game. Their careers last a fraction of the time of the average person. AND... supply and demand. We pay the stadium prices and everything else so we're funding those salaries. So, that's that.

Yet in the same way that we are fickle about everything else we pan them for the money they make on one day and put them on a pedestal the next. We expect them to be better people. Why? Because they're in the public spotlight and are heroes to our children? That would be nice if the ability to throw a ball REALLY far made you a better person with moral acumen. We get degenerates in all professions. Politicians are the most crooked of the bunch and they make decisions that affect our lives.

So Brett Favre sent picture of his junk to a woman when he played for the Jets. Brett Favre is married. What? A married man has strayed? Say it ain't so. People condemned him for that because he's a hero and a role model. Why is he a hero? Why did you start to like him in the first place? Because he's good at his job. He is still good at his job (ok, he's old and now probably finally retired, but this event happened while he still played and went on for a while).

Everyone loves Big Ben Roethlisberger. Then he got accused of raping a girl and he was vilified before it event went to court. Then it turned out he was innocent. And everyone screamed "PAYOFF" from the rafters of Heinz Field. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. I wasn't there. All I know is that legally, he's innocent. Nobody knows the truth but him and the girl. Then it came close to Super Bowl time and everyone forgot the story and loved him again.

Meanwhile, we've got players on other teams who fall below the radar and nobody gives a shit what they do. Antonio Cromartie, who is a cornerback for my beloved Jets, can barely spell his name. And in 2011, many stars are public. He posted this on his Twitter, "Mike Miller has missed 3 open shots this is y u here let's go." Apparently, he was watching basketball. I believe it was supposed to read "Mike Miller has missed 3 open shots. This is why you are here. Let's go." The string of words and random letters required translating. Unfortunately, this is not the most illiterate of the tweets. I see it amongst most of the players - the college educated players.

Why does nobody say anything about them? Are they not popular enough as players to be required to be intelligent, decent functioning members of society off the field. Frankly, I take bigger issue with the stupidity than the poor choices of people like Favre and Big Ben. I don't condone the nonsense by either one, first of all. But I also don't understand the life they live. Being on the road, pressure to perform, surrounded by people that want a piece of you - literally, figuratively, financially, the aches/pains. I'd get lost in my own head and make a bad choice too under those circumstances.

The other ones... are just dopes. Educated but ignorant. You can't fix stupid, no matter how hard you try. The hypocrisy of fans annoys me. Holding people to different standards because they are more known or less known. That's the true ignorance. Either require everyone to be decent people or don't. Accept that people will make mistakes or don't.

For me... I want to see Mark Sanchez throw the ball far. I want to see Santonio Holmes catch it in the end zone. I want Revis to tackle someone, Mangold to protect Sanchez, etc, etc. What they do after the game is their business. Nobody is peeking in my window because I'm not of any importance to the public and I'd scream invasion of privacy if they did. Why are these guys any different? Cheer them on while on the field. Leave them alone while off the field.

As for the image they put in front of your kids, I have three words. BE A PARENT! Keep your kid off ESPN.com, away from the 6 o'clock news, and sheltered from any other news he or she is not old enough to rightfully comprehend.

1 comment:

Michelle ;) said...

You do realize its never going to stop. Once a person can be transcended into our living rooms and someone knows your name...your fucked. It comes with the territory. If your a singer, athlete or a movie star your pretty much expected to be in a different part of society.
The whole role model thing though has to go. People challenge their kids to look up to someone with skill, talent, and brains so they too can be like them one day. All realistically though if you just tell them to be all those things and teach them the way to do it you don't need a symbol of someone else. Athletes are just really awesome and do their job well. At the end of the day though, I'm sure they come home get in their comfy pants and watch tv eating nachos with one hand down their pants just like any other average male. It just comes down to that society just isn't okay to classify everyone under normalism.