The year is 1979. Mean Joe Greene of the vaunted Steel Curtain chugs an ice cold glass bottle of Coke, & tosses his grass stained jersey to a kid.
That's all we knew.
Because that's all we needed to know.
It’s a far cry from today. When guys like Bryson DeChambeau are telling us that they, “nuke it” for a living, at some point as a sports society we’ve gone too far.
I’ve never felt the need to keep tabs on the endless upkeep professional athletes are willing to supply the world through their social media accounts.
Don’t get me wrong, some insight is cool. The creation of shows like Hard Knocks that’ve provided us with an inside look at the locker room since 2001; have been, at times, a breath of fresh air.
Key words being, at times...
Enter the Antonio Brown 2017 Instagram Live video.
Or maybe it was the frost-bitten feet…or the Schutt AiR Advantage helmet debacle…or the 3rd quarter Jets take-off…or the burgeoning musical career.
Or, maybe, it was all of it rolled into one, and packaged as a painful display of an athlete revealing too much of himself to the public. It’s enough to take the wind out of your sails.
Granted, the former 7-time Pro Bowler is absolutely insane. So, turning a blind eye to all aspects of a guy’s life isn’t ideal either.
I mean, look at O.J...
If we only paid attention to the Hertz commercials and Naked Gun movies, who knows how many more size 12 Bruno Magli footprints we’d of found in backyards across America.
There’s a fine line.
Take Wade Boggs for example. What do we really know about the Hall of Famer, other than he batted .328 and enjoys a delicious adult beverage.
Or Walt Frazier. A guy that I’ve been watching on MSG Network for virtually my entire life. I couldn’t tell you much about Clyde, other than he’s got two rings, dominates the fashion industry, & has a vocabulary almost as extensive as The Encyclopedia.
Ignorance isn’t bliss. Someone much smarter than me said that it’s better to be hurt by the truth than to be comforted with a lie…but we’re talking about sports here.
It’s tough for professional athletes to build mystique when they’re an open book, but you can’t seem to get past the first page.
Take The Encyclopedia for example. Being anonymous online comes with advantages. Mystery builds interest, and curiosity. All that’s visible is my above-average ability to write unlike any mere blogger. That, and my severely underrated Twitter account.
But the writing thing, that’s a sight you can’t unsee.