Believe it or not, I do try to look at every situation in my life from every angle (and interestingly, this is the first time I Googled Devil’s Advocate, which is the position I seem to always take.)
I figured I should point out that I do agree with JDM’s comment yesterday to that post. I do not think that athletes are required to smilingly oblige autographs by fans 24/7. I do not think an athlete is a bad person if they don’t act like they’re best buddies with every person that walks up to them in public. And of course, the player I alluded to from Saturday night’s event is far from the first athlete that I felt acted like a jerk to fans. Absolutely, professional athletes have acted like jerks for decades, even in the halcyon days of the past.
And this emphasizes exactly why I have never approached a player, celebrity, whatever in public. I don’t care. I wouldn’t have asked this guy for his autograph because I don’t want it. I probably would have said hello to Walter Payton back in the day, especially because he was known to be a genuinely nice guy, but outside of that I’m not giving one of these guys the opportunity to be a jerk to me.
I should mention that the defender I spoke of did get up and have a smiling photo taken with a fan that asked, then immediately high-tailed it out of the bar and I presume up to his friend’s room. Ahem.
Anyway, moral of my meaningless story. Just because a professional athlete prefers to be an ass to a fan in public doesn’t mean I think he’s a bad person for that reason (he may be a bad person for a lot of other reasons, but that’s not the point). By the same token, it’s a different world now and that athlete should realize there may be a blogger sitting there that feels it’s his duty to tell the world that he witnessed said athlete act like an ass to a fan. But it’s not like I witnessed a Bear push down a woman or assault someone, and I’m not trying to make it out like that’s what it was.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Way down on my list of things to be thankful for is no matter how the rest of 2008 turns out, this season has indeed been a lot more exciting than I thought it would be.