It would not surprise me in the least to learn that if a room full of people…regardless of the room’s size….were asked to raise their hand if they were an Alex Rodriguez fan—far fewer than half would have hands in the air. I would be one of those few…in fact, I’d probably raise both hands just to throw off the count a bit!
Is he a bonehead? Yes. Did he deserve punishment? Yes. Is he a head case that can’t seem to get out of his own way? In my opinion, yes. And still I like the guy! And still I would have been a-ok with A-Rod had he opted to fade to black….
As we all know by now, he has chosen to return to the game he loves….the thing is, the game…correction, fans of the game….have shown repeatedly that the love is not returned–at.all! I never advocate living by the rules of others…and don’t hardly believe Alex should have let the lack of cheers dictate whether he should don Yankee pinstripes again.
What his return has done for me though, is underscore the ugliness of access. As much as I absolutely love sports and certainly find some personalities more appealing than others…I would be no less happy if we lived in the era of yesteryear whereby we knew nothing about athletes outside of their performance on the court, field, track, etc…..
Social media is the epitome of a catch 22. On the good side…organizations love the buzz created by a popular player updating fans on his/her whereabouts and/or feelings about the last game. On the bad side….this same access can pave the way for emotional fans to air their grievances in the form of personal attacks.
Then there’s the ultimate…the ugly! There are two types of people I find unsavory…one, venomous and two, cowardly…social media allows for the two to come together solely for the purpose of spewing negativity. In the last week or so alone, two NFL quarterbacks, RGII and Colin Kaepernick have been involved in spicy exchanges with fans.
In knowing these quarterbacks and all of their greatness, we also know their struggles. Who we don’t know are the fans that think hurling insults is a cool way of communicating. Throwing an interception equates to a bad day at work…we all have them. Navigating how to work with a difficult teammate…is the same as not screaming when your colleague contributes the least to a team project but is the first one in line for the boss’s accolades.
I’d be willing to bet all of the lunches eaten by co-workers that didn’t bring those lunches….that these same ugly acting fans would crumble under the pressure of having even their slightest struggle discussed for weeks on end.
The bottom line is….if I wouldn’t say to A-Rod’s face, “Dude, it doesn’t make sense you did steroids in the first place. Really was a bonehead move to mess with what was already exceptional. Now you’ve had to spend far too much time making amends for one asinine decision after the other. How ‘bout less talking and more doing?”…then I would have no business trolling the internet and sending it to some online discussion…anonymously, no less!