Why I Couldn’t Care Less About Adrian Peterson or Ray Rice
I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions.
Well I wasn't until a couple of years ago, when I decided it was time for me to actually try to make a goal to better myself, and to attempt to stick to it for 12 months (or hopefully longer).
Here's what I came up with:
I will no longer allow myself to be upset by things - or people - who I knew would disappoint me.
It's been difficult at times, but I'd say for the past 21 months or so I've been pretty faithful to that promise I made myself at the beginning of 2013.
Let me go on the record first and say this: If the alleged actions of these 'bad apples' are in fact true, they should be arrested and locked up until they serve their sentences for their transgressions. After they have done their time, they should be allowed to re-enter society, and even return to their chosen professions, if there are no restrictions on employing ex-felons.
That being said, let me make one other observation: Unlike a lot of people, I refuse to allow myself to be upset when an athlete, entertainer, or politician behaves badly.
How is that possible, you ask?
I was never rooting for these individuals as people in the first place.
When Tiger Woods was repeatedly breaking his marriage vows to his wife a few years ago, people came unglued in their almost universal condemnation of him.
I hadn't cared about Tiger Woods as a person before then, and I certainly didn't after that. I appreciated, and rooted for, Tiger to hit a little ball a long way and to do in fewer strokes than anyone else he was competing against four days a week.
When Alec Baldwin would get in his latest dust-up with the paparazzi or tussle with a flight attendant over a game of 'Words With Friends', it didn't matter to me, as long as he made me laugh on '30 Rock' or on his next hosting gig at 'Saturday Night Live'.
I know those examples pale in comparison to what Rice and Peterson are accused of, but admit it, we shouldn't really care about either one of those guys, or others who engage in similar behavior.
People are famous for a whole host of reasons: playing a sport, signing a song, writing a book, making a speech, or playing a part, but let's be honest, we don't follow them online, put them on magazine covers, or buy their stuff because of their character, only because of the specialized skills they possess that we wish we did.
Charles Barkley had it right years ago when he said: 'I don't want to be a role model'. Moms and dads, if you want your kids to take after their favorite athlete, actor, or singer, fine. Just make sure it's understood that it's the talent they should be admiring, not the behavior when that superstar is 'off the clock'.
If you think because someone is more rich and famous than you they should behave better than you, you're sadly mistaken. The world is full of famous people that are as flawed, or even more flawed, than us 'regular folk'.
The sooner we all accept that, the easier it will be the next time one of our 'heroes' turns out to be a creep!