To reach the highest levels of any sport takes a dedication and commitment that few of us are able to make. It’s more than just wanting to win, everyone wants to win. The best athletes hate to lose, and are willing to do things most us aren’t in order to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ve written this before, but every athlete is completely crazy.
Bonkers. Certifiable. To their very core.
They are so singularly focused on winning that the only difference between Derek Jeter and that nut-job at the end of the street wearing a tin-foil hat is that when they were kids one of them picked up a baseball bat and the other was told that the government spies on you through your toaster.
Up till the last ten years or so their existed a barrier between us (the fans) and the athletes. The media shielded us from a large amount of their lunacy. Some athletes were so wildly popular and iconic (Babe Ruth) or so spectacularly insane (Ty Cobb) that we became privy to some of their more distasteful qualities. But for the most part the general public never knew that their heroes and idols were one or two-steps removed from being that crazy old man that owns 30 dogs, thinks the moon landing happened in a Hollywood studio and lives in a van down by the river. The internet, social media and 24/7 media coverage has exposed athletes for the people they are. And that’s almost never a good thing. For anybody.