Around this time last month, the ill famous Oscar Pistorious trial was back in news. As someone who hardly knows her home run from running between the wickets, surprisingly, I’ve followed the murky trial for years now since at the heart of it lies one of my favorite role models.
It’s purely co-incidental that he is a sports person. Back then I debated how he was having it easy being a celebrity. Agreed that home invasions are one of the most dreaded crimes in SA & his disability made him vulnerable to overlook the consequences . Yet, wouldn’t he be guilty if he killed an intruder? So even though it was an error of judgment on his part to kill his live-in partner allegedly in the name of self-defense, wasn’t he getting a princely treatment from media, fans and legal system alike? I am no expert on legal matters but with all evidence in place, would he actually be living in a mansion as we speak if he was an ordinary non celebrity like you and me?
That thought was intriguing. A tainted sports personality, once the poster boy for grit, determination and glory now a fallen angel that still has the sympathies of a nation and a large part of the global population.
Sounds familiar? It did to me. So I wore my Sherlock Holmes glasses and went all investigative and this post was born.
Why it hurts us when our heroes fall from grace?
Ethics and Sports is a subject that am no expert of . But as an observer, I do find it fascinating how we love our sporting heroes to death and feel a range of emotions when we discover a fault in our stars.
But before we go any further with this chain of thought here are my two bits on what being a sports personality means vs being a socialite or artist. Agreed both are famous but the frenzy and following that a sportsperson commands is for entirely different reasons than a film star. While an artist has an aspirational persona- glammed up & surreal. The sportsperson’s imagery is that of a realistic achiever but with almost superhuman like capabilities. We may like the instagram pics of former as an admirer but in sporting heroes we ‘believe’ because their success is based on hard work, discipline, years of training and a fighter’s spirit.
The former is fuss, the latter is what we invest in .
That’s why when our sporting heroes fall they break our heart and shake our belief system in attaining perfection through hard work not sheer luck. Inspite of their fall we want to keep holding on to their perfect image but aren’t they ordinary human beings living up to extraordinary expectations?
The stars that burn the brightest, fall the hardest.
Here’s a tribute to those sports celebrities like Oscar Pistorious, whom we have loved , worshipped and now stoically stand behind secretly hoping that they would rise after the fall as phoenix.
The Rise & Fall of Oscar Pistorious – Victim or Victimized?
The first ever athlete to compete at the Paralympic games and Olympic games. Someone who could overcome his physical disability to become an inspiration for millions . But it only took a weak moment [ or misjudgment of some sort] for him to lose everything that his life stood for.
We are still rooting , like I mentioned a couple of hundred words back , for it all to be a nightmare that we can put behind while he waits for the judgment that would seal his fate 3 years post committing the crime. Fact not fiction , dear friend.
Moving on. The done to death doping scandals.
Naah, too boring you would say. They cave into the unrealistic pressure , you can understand their dilemma and their need to take performance enhancing drugs. But can you ever in your heart of hearts forgive err forget Lance Armstrong. With his victories & his denials and his confession?
Make , break or Fake it when you race like Lance Armstrong?
You may not even follow gully cricket for all I care and may assume Tour-de-France is some sort of backpacking trip across that dreamy country in Europe , but chances are slim that you have never heard of Lance Armstrong and the way he broke a thousand hearts. He was a winner – not just in sports but in life. Beating Competition & Cancer. Denying for a decade that it was not all a sham. But it was . Confession & that Oprah interview – and we have a hard time trusting a larger than life champion don’t we?
The Bad Boy personified – Mike Tyson.
Boxing isn’t for the faint hearted . Especially when you see someone take the adage an ear for an ear a little too literally like Boxer Mike Tyson . That , only a couple of years after getting released as a convict for a sexual assault. But when he made that appearance in Hangover – did any of that matter to the audience really? Hmm. I rest my case.
Not such a gentleman after all – Tiger woods.
This one is one scandal that shocked beyond belief. Scandals aren’t rare when it concerns celebrities. What is stardom if not giving in to a little temptation. But when we find our beloved Golfing Legend [with that picture postcard perfect little family – a stunning wife and angelic children ] is a serial cheater , didn’t we feel cheated ourselves? What a sad story it was and continues to be . But wouldn’t we be overjoyed if gets back to the top and gets together with the wife and live happily ever after? Shhh. I know the answer to that.
And just as a I type I see my husband get super excited about this upcoming series on TV , based on OJ Simpson. Athletics , Boxing , Cycling , Golf – the all star list here cant be complete without a mention of Football and the most famous footballer of our times.
The man of many records – Sporting and Criminal Kinds – OJ Simpson
The champion & The convict . Murder , Kidnapping , Robbery – his off field ‘criminal records’ are as strong as his on field track records. As we speak he waits for his parole in a jail , but he has enjoyed his time in the limelight as an actor and broadcaster and even today – his fans would call his being a monster a myth.
Those are the top 5 most shocking , most scandalous stories from the sporting alleys.
Do you think my take on the entire line of thought makes sense? Or you think its just the views of a small section of fans that cant be generalized. Or worse still – we all love ourselves a sensational story and they give us just that.
Whatever be your take or view – tell me about it. This is one debate I would love to be a sport about. So are you game?
This post was written as an entry [FINALLY] for the super fabulous SportChatter Contest being hosted by BlogChatter and my multifaceted BlogBuddy , Vikram Kamboj.
Okay Okay – Got a little carried away there. The mandatory line !
This blog was posted in response to the The Sports Mirror Blogging Contest in association with Blogchatter .
Have you participated yet?