It comes as no surprise that New York Yankees bad boy Alex A-Rod Rodriguez is one of America’s Top 10 Most Disliked Athletes, according to research conducted by Nielsen Sports and E-Poll.
I mean, really, what’s there to like about the man? He’s surly, patronizing, egomaniacal and consistently inconsistent at critical moments. And that’s just on his good days. On his bad days, Rodriguez is flirting with young women in the stands as his team takes a swan dive in the ALCS play-offs, being accused of wife-beating and, of course, dealing with the latest performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal.
Steroids are to A-Rod what the Watergate break-in was to Richard Nixon. It’s his Waterloo. It’s the reason why he, along with the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens will never be elected into The Baseball Hall of Fame. And, whether they’ll admit it or not, they all took performance-enhancing drugs in order to beef up their bodies and their stats.
What puts A-Rod on the A list of America’s A-hole athletes, though, isn’t his cheating. It’s his sheer arrogance. Say what you will about Sosa and McGwire being cheaters. They’re also decent, likable guys. Rodriguez, on the other hand, is similar to his fellow top 10 Most Disliked American Athlete, Lance Armstrong: they’re both complete jerks.
Americans will forgive just about anyone for any mistake. But, when a mistake is compounded by arrogance, aloofness and a Marie Antoinette-like ‘let them eat cake’ personality, it’s game, set and match from an image and reputation standpoint.
I think A-Rod will be remembered as one of baseball’s all-time bad boys, right alongside Cap Anson (racist), Ty Cobb (a racist, who also intentionally inflicted bodily harm on opposing players) and the aforementioned Bonds, who shares A-Rod’s arrogance trait.
While a sports personality such as Tiger Woods will be forever tarnished by his philandering, it’s nice to see him winning major tournaments again and re-entering the major sports mainstream. I think that’s happening because he’s a genuinely likable guy.
And, likability, my friends, is key to image and reputation rehabilitation. Hey, maybe there’s a Likability Enhancement Drug (LED) that A-Rod can buy on the black market before it’s too late?