Face it; you’re not mad at Alex Rodriguez.
You’re not even shocked.
You might be, like some sad eyed father, “a little disappointed”. But in a way, you’re kind of happy this happened to him. Why? Because you like it when A-Rod screws up.
We all do. Even Yankee fans like watching A-Rod screw up— if the rumblings of using his latest fubar to void his contract are anything to go on.
It’s not that he’s a Yankee, or makes more money than you’ll ever see in your lifetime, or plays through buxom starlets like they’re par two’s.
It’s not even that he cheated, though you might, in some greatly over dramatized way feel that he cheated you personally by doing PED’s (get over it).
No, you like watching A-Rod get caught because you know he doesn’t care, and you desperately want him too.
We all have social rules that we play by—or are supposed to play by—and we get miffed when others don’t. Things we believe in. Integrity, personal accountability, honesty… We expect these traits from other people and we certainly expect them from the icons of our society. When they screw up, we get upset, even if there are ample reasons for why they did it—money, fame, power, buxom starlets; things we’d cheat for ourselves.
And when these icons take a deuce on their reputation, publically, and we catch them squatting there, we expect them to do more than shrug. We expect that other thing we believe in as a culture: be remorseful for your mistakes. Genuinely, believably remorseful so the little trigger in our heads that lets us believe you’re what the rest of us want will flick on.
I have thought about it for a long time… Why do people hate A-Rod so much? A guy signing a massive contract (one the Yankee’s grossly overpaid on from the start) then getting old, is not a reason to hate him, though people still turn to it.
A guy’s production declining with age after giving a team so much is not a reason to hate him, though people still cite that too.
A guy’s body breaking down over time is not a reason to hate him, but people still grab at it.
Even a guy using PED’s is not a reason to hate a player. Melky Cabrera, mentioned in the same Miami Vice Scandal as A-Rod on the heels of a near comic book ridiculous website cover-up scheme is getting defended for his involvement by Jays fans. And Andy Petite, who was caught using PEDs on the same team as A-Rod: fans still like him.
I believe the reason we hate A-Rod is because he doesn’t give flip about what we think, and he lets us know it. He makes us feel like we’re beneath him. Whether intentional or not, he projects a remorseless, self obsessed, “so-f-ing-what,” persona that leads people to think he’s not sorry for anything he did, and he would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids and your stupid dog.
In a way, I wish I was like him. I wish I didn’t care about what people thought to the point I could make an incredibly ballsy move like lie about cheating, then go right back to cheating again.
It’s actually rather Machiavellian of him, when you think about it. He gets everything he wants and only has to deal with the rumblings of an industry that changes day to day.
“But this might keep him out of the Hall of Fame,” you say.
“Well, then, society won’t recognize him as one of the greats!”
Not true. He’ll still be a great in a lot of circles, circles with membership fees that you and I can’t pay to get into.
He’ll still have great people to rub shoulders with, like Bonds and Clemens (they can play poker on Saturday).
And once He’s out of the public eye, he’ll still have the people that love him and his money and his houses and his islands and his cars and, probably, a huge throng of fans that still worship him and aren’t so obsessed about dirty reputations.
I mean, Bill Clinton got a blowjob from an intern while president of the United States and I’m sure there are still women out there that want to give him his next one. Jose Conseco is a yammering Internet sock puppet and people love him.
Even Lance Armstrong, who is largely despised after his public outing on Oprah, still has fans shouting he lied about cheating to get the doubters hounding him off his back so he could have his life back.
There are worse things out there than being the bad boy of sports.
Love him, hate him, what can you do? You’re not him. You can’t make him feel bad for what he did, and you shouldn’t bother trying. It’s a waste of time.
You also shouldn’t take it personally. If anything, hope that the Yankees can dump him. Not because he’s a horrible person and will damage the Yankees reputation (*giggle* as if having naughty players has ever been a factor to them before). Hope because the cold hard facts say the team would be better from a financial flexibility standpoint without him—something they really need right now. And if they can’t dump him, hope he plays better when he returns from injury and/or suspension.
Besides, I’ll bet if the Yanks canned A-rod and paid him his salary to go play free baseball for, say, the Houston Astros, Astros fans would run out to buy his jersey. Nothing against Astros fans, but that’s the way we work as people. Because, for all the things we expected from our culture, we’ve been trained to respect and revere fame—a trigger we can’t seem to turn off.
The fact is, even if we hate the person the fame is attached to, we still follow everything they do, which is more than we do for some of the famous people who play by our rules.