I remember seeing the movie “The Truman Show” when I was a teenager and I was really upset that not only was the show based on basically making a human being into a zoo animal, but that so many people would actually want to watch another person being dehumanized by millions of legal Peeping Toms. How could you feel right about depriving another human being of one of our most basic rights – privacy? Not just privacy of actual (legal) acts, but thoughts as well. Mind you, I haven’t never believed for one second that “reality” shows, including “The Real World” were any more “reality” than WWF.
Anyhow, I think we are rapidly coming to the conclusion that certain athletes no longer have a right to private lives or private thoughts. It has been true for a long time that when asked questions, athletes are expected to respond with certain answers and “humility” – (or is it umble-ness) giving the media the power to force people to say what they determine an athlete must say or (pretend to) think.
The screams and yells of fury after Barry Lamar Himself had the audacity to tell Roy Firestone “there’s no secret – I’m just good. It’s talent, and you can’t teach talent” that Barry had (literally) a swelled head and a huge ego and wasn’t humble enough sez it all. I seriously disbelieve that even Tony Gwynn is “humble” and doesn’t think himself that he was a great ballplayer. He may not have SAID it to a reporter, but I don’t believe for one minute that he didn’t THINK it.
But things have gotten even crazier lately. This morning, I went to Yahoo.com and the headline screamed (something like) NFL Player Harrison Being Forced To Talk!!!!
Whoa!!! I thought – hey – guess I must have missed either Congress investigating all the steroid use in football (or is it really true that it is natural for a 6’2″ man to be 350 lbs of solid muscle as long as he plays football) or maybe Harrison is a witness to yet another violent felony committed by a football player.
Harrison (according to Jason Cole of yahoo sports) http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Ah9q6q7H6cBRRZGvVMmVE8lDubYF?slug=jc-harrison012907&prov=yhoo&type=lgns is a player who, although very good, doesn’t talk much. He never has said much to the media. He minds his own business, doesn’t get in trouble with teammates, the NFL or the law. Apparently, the NFL commissioner is going to fine the team owner heavily if this man will not submit to interrogation from the 2000 media persons this weekend. Unfreakingbelieveable. Freedom of the press??? What about freedom of the individual to keep his thoughts and life to himself?
From Mr. Cole’s column: “Sure, there have been some good tales about Harrison over the years. A couple of seasons ago, The Sporting News wrote a detailed account about how Harrison was a junk-food junkie. Harrison has Tasty Kake snacks flown to Indianapolis from his hometown Philadelphia to feed his need.”
Now, it is critical for football watchers to know this WHY??? Do they need to know his favorite color is orange? That his favorite candy is Baby Ruth? This makes all the guys who watch football sound like the female teeny bops who read Tiger Beat to find out allll about dreeeeamy Harry Potter (or whoever.)
“The Washington Post did a detailed story on him earlier this year. So did the Philadelphia Inquirer and Sports Illustrated. Still, Harrison wasn’t all that revealing. He is one of only four receivers in NFL history with 1,000 receptions. He has gotten there by perfecting his moves and his pass routes the way Greg Maddux perfected his off-speed pitches. Like Maddux, Harrison reveals very little about his art. “
Ah, you KNOW I’m waiting for Harrison to say “there’s no secret. I’m just good. It’s talent and you can’t teach talent.”