Life isn't fair. Anybody who lives with their head above the sand knows that.
People are sometimes unfairly tagged with the reputations they can never
shake, while others get celebrated and glorified because of the manufactured
image they present.
Andy Pettite of the New York Yankees shows up in the Mitchell Report and
admits using HGH, but gets treated like he was at the table for the Last Supper
of Jesus Christ. The media and a lot of fans gave Pettite a pass because he
seemed to be a nice guy with the born-again Christian image.
Petttite said he used HGH a few times to recover from elbow surgery faster so
he could help the team. The fact is, Pettitte is still a cheater just like Roger Clemens
who has been vilified for his alleged use of PED's. Pettitte, a one-time close friend
of the Rocket, helped out Clemens as a cheater, but nobody puts him in the rat
kennel with likes of Eric Mangini who set off Spygate by exposing his former boss,
That's because Pettite is the "nice guy" and Clemens has been made out to be a big
bully, arrogant, and self-absorbed.
Three years ago, Plaxico Burress shot himself, spent time behind bars, and has
been always painted as a thug by the media and a lot of people in society. Nobody
ever celebrated his play after or seemed to remember his heroics in the New York
Giants run to the Super Bowl. It was always, Plaxico Burress, the bad guy.
Then there is Ray Lewis. Watching his post-game interview after the Baltimore Ravens
shocked the Denver Broncos rattled my core. Lewis shouted, "God is great! Man
can't control what God has blessed and destined." Wow. I got a little uncomfortable
watching that, knowing that Lewis was charged, but later acquitted in a double-murder
case in 2000.
Nearly 13 years after a case where justice still hasn't been served, the media is
celebrating the career of Lewis. The former Miami Hurricane has already stated this
will be his last year in the NFL. With that, several media outlets debated whether
or not Lewis is the greatest linebacker ever. When Lewis made his final appearance
in Baltimore's wild card game last week, the media celebrated the "squirrel" dance
of Lewis where he makes a grand, albeit, ridiculous entrance out of the tunnel.
Terrell Owens did something similar during his NFL career and was labeled as
a "look at me" guy, yet, when Lewis does it, he's "an inspirational leader",
according to the media who shoves it down the throats of the public because
Lewis is "perceived" to be a good guy.
How did that perception change after the events of January 31, 2000 when Lewis
and his posse got in a brawl with another group outside of a night club in Atlanta.
Two people Lewis and company fought with, died in the prime of the lives.
Lewis and two of his friends were charged with murder. However, the charges against
Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against two of his friends. Lewis
admitted he gave misleading statements to the police which landed him a whopping
12-months of probation
Lewis went back to his brilliant career. Two young men are never coming back and the
case remains unsolved as everyone involved was acquitted. Lewis lied to the police
and the white mink coat he was wearing at the time, reportedly, splattered with the
victims blood, has never been found. During the investigation of the night, there were
reports stating that Lewis shouted to his friends in the limo they were driving after the
incident, "This is not going to end my life and career."
on the first ballot. And during reign as a Raven, Lewis was treated as if nothing ever
happened that night in Atlanta. Did he wield the knife that killed those two young men?
Nobody will ever know, but there's no disputing that Lewis was involved and lied
about some of the events to police.
Yet, Lewis became the "inspirational" leader for the Ravens and a superstar in
the NFL. He was glorified in Baltimore much the same way Tom Brady is in
New England and Peyton Manning was in Indianapolis. A lot of it was because
of the way he manipulated the media. He was a good "interview" and always
put on the good face for the cameras. Lewis worked the charities and said the
right things. It was all part of the manufacturing of the image he wanted to present.
Image is everything isn't it? That's what Andre Agassi told us during those glitzy
commercial for Canon cameras in the early 90's.
Ray Lewis is a great football player, there is no disputing that. Is he a man of
great character? Do we really know? Probably not. But he did a great job of
making a lot of people forget the character he showed on that chilly night in
Atlanta 13 years ago. Two people died. Lewis walked free. He is dancing and
being glorified as two sets of parents continue to grieve sons who are dead.
It doesn't seem right. It just doesn't seem right.