At times in sports, fans often find themselves becoming prisoners of the moment, praising a player for clutch play and glorifying their ability to bring a championship back to your beloved city. However, once the parade has ended, once there is no one left in the stands to shout their praises we finally realize that they are just as human as we are. They trip over things that are not there, they get annoying hick ups, they even use the bathroom like we do, the only thing different is that when they screw up its headline news.
Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Manziel find themselves avoiding the limelight that made them stars, the same media that shouted their praises is now persecuting them for being human. Now breaking rules is never excusable but have we not gone 55 mph in a school zone or forged a signature once or twice in our lives? At the moment Rodriguez and Manziel may be experiencing their darkest hour but there is brighter more promising days ahead.
There are endless examples of athletes doing much more heinous things such as murder, rape, and embezzlement who have survived the media nightmare and have successfully regained the favor of some sports fans everywhere. Once these promising stars register another memorable highlight or make a jaw dropping putt the bitterness of their shortcoming become forgotten.
Taking risk is what separates role players from super stars, taking the shot or calling your own number when everything breaks down. Manziel’s risk taking on the field won him a Heisman, excited a Texas A&M fan base, and led to Coach Kevin Sumlin getting a multi million dollar extension. However like most athletes, his risk taking continued off the field and now his future is uncertain.
Rodriguez and Manziel’s story is far from over, there is still time for redemption. Tiger Woods, Mark McGwire, Andy Pettite, Tyrann Matthieu, Chris Carter, Warren Sapp, Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Lewis, and Kobe Bryant all serve as reminders that it’s what you do after your mistake that ultimately defines who you are and what you are made of. Woods won his 5th tournament, Lewis won another Super Bowl, Kobe won 2 NBA Titles and Carter and Sapp were inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after their monumental mistakes. What will Rodriguez and Manziel do after theirs? Stay tuned… I know I will.