Athletes: They're Just Like Us

Bob DuffContributor IJuly 8, 2008

As a reader of Deadspin and other sports blogs for more than a year, I have learned athletes aren't perfect human beings. Athletes were always known, thanks to the media, as perfect human beings who couldn't do anything wrong.

When I hear that an athlete like Adam "Pacman" Jones is being arrested for "making it rain," or when Matt Leinart goes to parties and drinks like there is no tomorrow, or when Roger Clemens is outed as a steroid user, I have to admit I get happy. This is because I know now that athletes aren't angels sent from above, as cheesy as that sounds.

When I was younger, I idolized athletes because of their talent. I always thought of them as innocent people who are living the dream. Now that I know what athletes do year-round, I am okay with athletes having tarnished images.

In history, even Achilles had a flaw: his heels. Every human being has a flaw, whether it be cheating in the profession, drinking excessively, gambling or drug addiction, bad personality traits, etc. So it makes sense, then, that athletes have their flaws.

Michael Vick may be the fastest quarterback in the world, but he still got caught by the police for dog fighting. Kobe Bryant could sink as many shots as he wants, but he has a terrible and violent personality. Pete Rose may have the most hits in baseball history, but he bet on baseball. Even Michael Jordan, who changed how to market a sport, is a gambling addict. I could go on and on about athlete's flaws, but I think you get the point.

I still idolize athletes, for their dedication to their respective sports, and hope that my favorite players are true to the public, whether it be steroids, gambling or whatever the vice. I just want them to know I forgive them.