Tags: Agreeing with Whitlock this much is scary, antiquated notions, Gilbert Arenas, Gilbert Arenas gun, put that pedestal AWAY young lady!, sportswriting
I’ve never agreed with every single word of a Jason Whitlock column before. I’m pretty sure that, at those sad times when he has attempted to dissect baseball, I’ve disagreed with every word. I do think his football columns are quite good, but I can still disagree with him even in his best football work.
But this column is perfect. The nail could not have been hit more squarely on the head, no matter how hard any writer tried. I can’t decide what quote to highlight, so I strongly recommend reading all of it. Many (most?) pro athletes* are indeed pretty rotten human beings.
We let them get that way – once they figure out they’re awesome at a sport, all they have to do is play that sport well and everything else works itself out. Girls flock to them even if they’re jerks. People hang on their every word, even if they have nothing to say. I’m guilty of it myself – the hanging-on-words part, not the flocking-to-athletes part. Just look at the people I follow on Twitter. Lots of jerseys there.
*to my athlete friends – I’m sorry! You know I don’t mean you! But you also know you can think of a few teammates whom my description fits to a T, right?
This shouldn’t be news, yet lots of people still cling to this idea that athletes belong on pedestals. It’s absurd, but I think it won’t take much longer to change. Is it always right for blogs and gossip rags to air out athletes’ dirty laundry? Nah. But at least the public can see that it’s really not OK for little Timmy to worship Tiger Woods or Derek Jeter or really anyone who is paid for sport. Emulate them as athletes, sure – I always reminded myself of some of Tiger’s philosophy when hitting endless range balls in high school – but look somewhere else for heroes, please.
Here is another link to Whitlock’s column, in case the first two weren’t enough.