(This is another funny guest post by The Virtual Biographer™, Brad Williamson.)
Let’s look back – ooooooooooh – 20 years ago when I was a fresh-faced nine year old cutie patootie…
And most of all…
That dude was my personal Jesus. On the mound at the old Arlington Stadium, he’d wind-up and knee himself in the nose one hundred times a night (damn, he had a high leg-kick!) in an effort to make my nine year old mind ooze with amazement. And at the end of each game – which inevitably produced some sort of record-breaking moment – I’d be left with a heart that was hungry for more of his heat; but, unfortunately, I had nowhere to turn for additional insight into the life of my favorite living legend. So instead of firing up a pubecent Prodigy Online, I’d reach for my “Nolan Ryan – Throwing Heat” book or my “Nolan Ryan – Feel The Heat” VHS. After all, that’s all I had to enjoy when I needed a ‘lil more of The Ryan Express in my life. Blogs weren’t born yet and Twitter was still a lame application awaiting its debut into the mindless mainstream.
Between starts, I needed me some more Nolan, but where was I to go to find my fix?
Today, there are digital ways for giddy kids, or giddy grown-ups, to gain additional insight into the lives of those they have man-love towards. Sure, there’s a googillion sports sites out there that deliver an incredible amount of insight about player’s performances, but none of them provide content about what fans really want: details into their days as a person who’s living the dream of being idolized as a sports star.
How can this be? How can we have an Internet that’s full of both brilliance and idiocy not have much Soulful content from public figures about the lives they lead? Sure, they’re busy being bad asses, but would it really be that much of a burden for them to reach out to their fans and fancy them with a little Web-love every once in a while?
I know that back in ’89, if Nolan was on the Net, I’d gladly wait the ten minutes it would take to load a single page of his blog, because I was fanatical about the guy. Now, in ’09, I can instantly load 73 tabs of individual athlete blogs and be in hero-heaven for hours on end, gaining insight into the lives I love to live vicariously through.
…Actually, scratch that. Because, now that I really think about it, I can’t do that AT ALL.
I’m not aware of any personal blogs by athletes that are worth following on a daily basis. And, in my personal opinion, that’s just pathetic and lazy. There are millions of nine year olds out there who so desperately want a role model in the world of sports to look up to, but, for some crazy reason I can’t begin to comprehend, they can’t be found on the Net, because taking fifteen minutes to satisfy an impressionable youngster’s hunger for insight into an idol’s life is just too much to ask from someone who plays a child’s game for only a few hours a night.
I’m sorry to sound so irritated by the lack of communication between athletes and their fans, but it just irks me that there are thousands of highly paid professional athletes out there who are only taking care of half the responsibilities they have as a potentially influential public figure.
Like this article? Read Brad’s last article: Athlete Twitterers are Inconsiderate Social Media Amateurs