It might be my nature. But I seem to have this thing for rooting for the underdog.
But not in the way you might think. I normally think of an underdog as someone who is the 'lesser' team playing the 'favored' team. In this case I'm talking about the famous athlete who is viewed negatively by the media for whatever reason.
Case in point: Terrell Owens. Many people think that the guy is a straight up cancer. Nothing can come good of your team if you pick this guy up. By all accounts no one has heard of Owens even picking up a traffic ticket and as chiseled as the guy is you have never heard of a steroid accusation. He's called a cancer while guys who have been in jail, guys who have been accused of heinous crimes, guys who womanize and beat women are called team players. Forgive me if I don't see TO as a cancer as opposed to someone who really wants to win while simulataneously not knowing how to shut the eff up. I think there's a difference. Teams like McNabb's Eagles don't get divided unless you have weak leadership. While I'm thinking about it, remember when Dennis Rodman played for the Spurs and he was a cancer? I love David Robinson but he was not a strong enough leader. Next year Rodman goes to the Bulls and they win a title. Because Jordan would have murdered him. Rodman by all account was a lovable nut; doing crazy things like cross dressing and partying but I don't remember him being in and out of jail at the time. Long point being in the case of TO I think his image has been blown to hell by a hungry media more than anything he actually did. That he keeps landing on teams with poor leaders does not help. Let him play for the Patriots and just like Moss, he'll play ball until he opens his mouth too much. Then he'd be gone. Back to James.
People HATE this guy. I don't. I root for him. Why? It could be as simple as because everyone seems to hate him.
It's also because for a guy who has been given dang near everything you have not ever heard of him getting in trouble. LeBron (and I hope this continues) has not been caught drunk driving or beating women. He has not been partying all night and making it rain. And if he had you know the media would have been all over it.
This is a guy who took less money to play for a better team. This is a dumb thing?
I think the worst I keep hearing is that instead of trying to beat a rival he joined them. Um, LeBron's main rival in the years leading up to 'The Decision' was BOSTON. It was not Miami. It was not D-Wade. I don't get this line of reasoning at all. This Boston team took the best star from Seattle and Minnesota and made a mega team who united under 'Ubuntu'. Won a title the first year they merged powers. I don't remember anyone telling them they shouldn't be taking a shortcut.
If I could erase anything it would be 'The Decision' for LeBron. But how many people can say on their worst day they gave tons of money to help kids get to college?
I totally got Cleveland fans anger even if I was never on board for it. Gilbert led probably the most hate filled diatribe I've ever seen an owner direct to a player. Fans followed suit. But they more than anyone had to know there was a good possibility this was gonna happen. I digress again. I get Clevelans fans anger but after a while it got old. By the time the 'Cavs for Mavs' came out it was outright pandering to LeBron James again, even if they didn't know there were doing it. You either show someone intense passion in pure love or pure hate.
Take away the decision and the time it took James to make his mind up and maybe he wouldn't be the villian he is today. Maybe it was buiding toward that all along. Maybe James needed to be hated to appreciate what he has.
I know I didn't do a good job in explaining my case about James but I just won't be one to add on to the hate train. Lord knows there's enough on that bandwagon. So I'll root for him instead to find his place on his new team and become the player we all feel he should be. He's not there yet. And in a way that's truly the scariest thing of them all.
LeBron James can get better. For him and the Heat to win a title he must get better.
Maybe if this happens people will forgive and forget.
Until the next time.