It looks like Terrelle Pryor is going to try to rehab his image with the help of retired NFL personnel exec Ken Herock. I don’t know why he would bother. And not just Pryor, but in the American sports culture we live in today, there is no need for ANY athlete of ANY sport to worry about rehabbing their image – as long as they and the team they are on are winning.
Those like me, those who think that serial rule breakers, serial criminals, serial offenders even if they are winning shouldn’t be given a pass are few and far between anymore. The majority of American sports watchers just simply do not care what these athletes do if they and the team they are on are winning. And the bigger the “star power” the more true it is. Yes, they might get a little play in the news media or they might get someone who says, well that’s not good. But most are not going to stop watching them play. Most are not going to want them off of teams. Most are not going to want the criminal ones in jail, unless they kill dogs of course, but not people that’s okay. Most are not going to care one bit what these athletes do as long as everybody is winning.
In fact, in some sections of the sports watching culture, these missteps are just another reality show for people to watch. They expect it and accept it. It’s okay if rules were broken in college, who cares there shouldn’t be rules anyway and everyone is doing it right. Who cares if they get drunk and run a guy down in the street killing him, they should be given a pass on jail time. Who cares if they have been arrested multiple times, never been to jail, but they can really run fast on the field. It’s all good as long as they are winning.
Character is a trait that only the prudish few believe in anymore. Since not many in American society have any anymore, politicians, entertainers, actors, musicians, judges, athletes and your everyday citizen, why should it matter if your star player shoots someone or himself, takes thousands of dollars for selling memorabilia or gets arrested over and over. If they are playing well on the field, if the team they play for is winning, none of that matters.
It does make one start to wonder why even are these stories even covered in the sports media or by writers like myself. It doesn’t matter what these athletes did. So why talk about it. Just skip on and move to the next game, the next win, the next championship. Oh, that’s right, I forgot, because the American sports watching public has to have it’s reality show along with the winning. They still want to see the beat down but punishment of any kind is out of the question. Just play the reality show out and then get back to the winning. Skip over the part where responsibility and character are involved, those are just words – kind of like the Constitution to some people. Just an outdated sense of values and expectations of those who aspire to greatness.
It’s all about the winning, right?