Good Guy, or Bad Guy?
As far as I can tell, this is one of the biggest questions sports fans have to make about a given athlete. Of course, that decision often gets made for them by sports writers. Jeff Kent, while a Giant, was always perceived as a "good guy" -- this despite teammates thinking and saying otherwise. The same went for Mark McGwire who was consistently rude to any fan on the street but all smiles for the writers. This is savvy business on their part -- because guys like Barry Bonds, who refuse to play by those rules, are labelled "Bad Guys."
I'm not defending Bonds, who in many ways is as big of a douchebag as his reputation suggests. But he's also in some ways the exact opposite of his image -- he does plenty of charity work, is nice as hell to children who catch his ear and has never gotten into things we euphemistically call "off the field" issues. Of course, he almost certainly used steroids but his bad reputation long preceded BALCO.
Well there are good guys and there are bad guys
And there are crooks and criminals
There are doctors and there are lawyers
And there are folks like you and me
So let's get high while the radio's on
Just relax and sing a song
Drive your car up on the lawn
Let me play your guitar
That's Camper Van Beethoven, for those who don't remember.
In football, there are also clear good guys and bad guys. Pacman Jones is a well-deserved bad guy. Check for Tank Johnson and Chris Henry. But Steve McNair? Michael Vick? Most would have put them in the good category. But Vick has started to get into more and more trouble -- containers at the airport, and now DOG FIGHTING? And what about McNair?
Ravens quarterback Steve McNair was arrested late Wednesday in Nashville on a driving under the influence charge for allegedly allowing his vehicle to be operated by a drunken driver, police said this morning.
McNair was a passenger in his silver 2003 Dodge pickup truck, which was being driven by his brother-in-law.
The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback was arrested under a misdemeanor statute called "DUI by consent" that charges the owner if an intoxicated person is allowed to drive a vehicle.
A few things. One, who would have guessed that Tennessee has a stricter DUI law than California? Two, this looks like the second DUI related offense for McNair -- other guys would now be regarded by such boobs as Dan Dierdorf and Joe Theismann as "bad apples" and talked about with tsk tsks across the board. Will McNair face that treatment? Somehow I doubt it. Witness how Brett Favre's pain pill addiction was portrayed as an act of bravery by Favre to overcome that hurdle. It certainly was just that - but another player would have been talked about as a guy with problems, as someone battling demons and probably associating with the wrong kind of people.
One brush to paint them all, people. That's all we're asking for.