This has been a bad time to hold an athlete as an idol. Right now, we have Brett Favre being questioned for lewd texts to a Jets employee. We have Cheetah Woods entire life crashing down after he crashed his car last Thanksgiving. We heard about the sad murder of Steve McNair ... and found out he was killed at the pad that the married McNair stashed his girlfriend away in.
Those are just a few of the examples of our beloved sports stars going off the moral track. We all know there are many, many others.
Some people will take this opportunity to slam today's athlete and actually spout "guys didn't do this kind of crap in my day." Bull.
The difference today is we all find out about it so quickly. Something gets leaked and all those news organizations and websites jump all over every detail. In our world today, everyone has the ability to be a "journalist" and like being the one to break a story or come up with a rumor. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, but it is the way the world is.
I know people who grew up with Pete Rose. My dad was one of them. When I was a kid, my dad told me some of the bad things Rose did. A lot of people knew about it ... including many journalists. They didn't report it because it wasn't news.
Think about how the exploits of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Wilt Chamberlain or Joe Namath would be handled today? Heck, think how the exploits of Mike Tyson, Wade Boggs, Steve Garvey or Shawn Kemp would be handled if their controversies happened today and not around 20 years ago?
We are all watching.
Believe me, as a sports blogging O.G., I'm not dissing the way things are now. I've always said that information is only as powerful as the people's craving for it. It's true not only in sports, but pop culture and politics as well. It's the way our world works. Fair or not, athletes must know that it is extremely hard to keep your bad deeds hidden.