Issue 1- September 6, 2013
Sweat is dripping from your forehead onto the cold, hard floor as you strain to finish one last sprint. You’ve been here for hours, always striving to become better than the man beside you. No one sees today’s exhaustion. Instead, they see yesterday’s headline; the one that says you’re on steroids and party too much.
The Texas A&M Aggies have forgotten the success of last season. Right now they’re booing their stud quarterback, Johnny Manziel, the one who gave the University of Alabama their only loss. The achievement- Heisman Trophy as a freshman- doesn’t seem to matter anymore, not after party mishaps and autograph allegations.
Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez has recently run into some similar trouble. He was making $28 million in 2013 alone. Now he is facing a 211-game suspension after the discovery of human growth hormones. Sure, he’s making headlines, but they aren’t about how many home runs he hit. They’re saying he’s a cheater.
It doesn’t matter if an athlete is a better quarterback than Joe Montana or hits more home runs than Babe Ruth, he or she will be judged by their character and what they do on Friday night.
Fans’ favorite athletes are those who fly under the radar, the ones that focus on the game instead of the headlines. Sometimes, the most hated players are fantastic on the field, but their stories are in People Magazine instead of ESPN, and sportscasters don’t like that.
There is a problem when your name off the field overshadows your work on the field. If you open the door for off-field criticism, you set yourself up for on-field scrutiny.
In order to prevent that scrutiny: don’t make decisions that would ruin your career, don’t sacrifice your reputation for one night of fun, keep your head down, don’t seek out the spotlight and, “Johnny Football,” don’t post pictures of you partying; rumors may spread. All of these decisions can lead to the downfall of your sports career.