I love sports fans. But I often hate the perceptions of sports fans. Especially the most dogged and devoted of the group.
Especially the adults who qualify.
If you’re a kid, and you unconditionally love Albert Pujols, well, great. You’re a kid. You see the bright colors and cheering crowds. We’ve all been there. It makes childhood fun.
But adults who worship and swoon over professional athletes—embarrassing. It’s OK to be a fan. It’s actually wonderful to be a fan. But to say, “OK, so he treats people like shit … he must be so busy” is ludicrous. And inane. And really sad. It’s never OK to treat people like shit. Never. And those who have seen Pujols up close with fans at multiple times know exactly whereof I speak. Exactly. When a kid calls out to you, there is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever an excuse to fully ignore him. Ever. Well, maybe if your relative just died and you’re consumed by guilt and dismay. But otherwise—never.
Someone suggested in the comments section that I’m jealous of athletes, hence my anger. It’s such a cliched and lazy argument, it irks the living crap out of me. Were I a fan, watching from afar, I could see being jealous. But I cover this stuff up close. I see the day-to-day life of a pro athlete. And while I love the games and love the unique personalities, I’d honestly rather be any profession than pro athlete. Dentist. Lawyer. Plumber. Writer. Yeah, the pay is a biggie. But forget that—the lifestyle is sooooooo boring. One game. Another game. Another game. Another game. We deem it exciting because, again, of the colors and the lights and the hype. But come with me inside a clubhouse. Seriously, let’s take a walk. Here’s a guy playing with his balls. Here’s another one reading Maxim—again. Here’s this guy watching a video of someone throwing pitches—again. Talk to a reporter. Drink a cup of coffee. Answer fan mail. Pack up—next city.
For those who love playing the game, it’s fantastic. Perfect. But I never loved playing the game. I love writing about it.
OK, that was a long babble. Point is—stop making excuses for people treating other people poorly. Pujols does this all the time, and no matter how great he is to his church and his wife and his daughter, for a guy known to blather on about Jesus Chrust he’s pretty friggin’ un-Christ-like when it comes to being decent to everyday folks.
Just my take. I know 99% of you disagree.
PS: Seriously, I just read an excerpt in the new Rolling Stone of Sammy Hagar’s upcoming biography, Red. Holy shit—the dirt on Eddie Van Halen is unbelievable.
PPS: The above image comes from a Cards message board. So funny.