I think we have a problem in America. No, it’s not that we eat too much or that we watch way too much Netflix. It is the fact that we love to put athletes on pedestals. Just hear me out on this and I think you will see where I am coming from.
No, I am not talking about the Lebron James or Kevin Durrants of the world, because they are in a whole different atmosphere than most of the other basketball players out there. I am focusing on young athletes that steal our hearts with one amazing performance after another.
The first person that come to mind is Johnny Manziel, the guy who set the world on fire after he single-handedly put Aggie Nation on his back to take down Saban and the rest of the Crimson Tide. Of course, Manziel has shown that he has potential as he finished his career with a Heisman trophy and more Top 10 plays that we can count.
But let’s examine his rise to the top. After the Alabama game, he was anointed as Johnny Football, the next great quarterback to come out of Texas. For the most part he lived up to those expectations as he kept the Aggies relevant in a very competitive SEC. But did he ever reach the astronomical hype that ESPN wanted for him?
I have no problem with having expectations for people, it is how we thrive, right? But what happens when that player starts to fall off that pedestal? Are we there with open arms to catch him, or are we on Twitter typing things we wouldn’t even imagine saying to his face? We love when people are tearing it up and winning, but once they slip and fall we are ready to attack.
If it never pans out for Manziel in the NFL, and he is forever a back up to lesser-known quarterbacks, is he really a bust? You have to make that decision and so does the media. I am sure he would not be too happy with himself, as he would have probably cost himself millions by not reaching his full potential. But who has the power to tell someone that they weren’t good enough to do what they loved?
With NBA season right around the corner, you may hear the word ‘bust’ more times than you would like. Of course players are going to struggle due to the competition or a lack of desire. But let’s try and keep our expectations in line with what is possible, and not what they put in the latest video game.