Barry Bonds: An American Hero?

I’m trying to size up how I feel about Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s home run record. The difficult aspect of that is I haven’t given two shits about baseball since the 91 Twins came from last place in their division the season prior to beating the Braves in a classic seven game series.

Not just baseball, but sports in general, except for basketball, basketball is actually entertaining.

But Bonds is bigger than baseball, that’s what makes him interesting. That and the fact that his body is bigger than humanly possible. I can’t remember a time when a player in any sport that was on the verge of history being so hated and reviled. Normally record breakers are heroes.

But we were duped in the past. Mark McGwire broke our hearts (well some people’s (like I said I could care less (had other things on my mind at the time (love, literature, life, (blah, blah)))))

I hereby claim rights to the multiple parenthetical prose style. It’ll be hotter than Pinkberry.

The other thing that rubs people the wrong way about Bonds, besides that his head mysteriously grew a full hat size coinciding with his awesome home run streak, is that as far as sports heroes go he doesn’t show any humility. He is self-righteous about his supposed innocence and treats the media and fans as if they’re merely obstacles to his entitled record.

In laymen terms, Bonds is an asshole.

It’s no fun when good things happen to bad people.

It’s why we delight when bad people (or merely individuals unfavored by the public (public being Joe Six Pack)) run into misfortune, such as Paris and Britney. They eat it up. We’re curious about the beautiful and perfect people of the world but we love the despicable ones.

If you look around all you see are “bad people”. All over the airwaves. America loves villains.

Check any reality show, the people that drive the ratings are the self-obsessed, rude, repugnant individuals that make spectacles of themselves. Omarossa. Janet Dickinson. New York. Bonnaduce. All the Celebrity Fit Club jerks (Screech #1) And on and on. The nice girl/sensitive guy types are only mildly interesting. It’s the assholes that get our goat (whatever that means) making us scream at the tv and tune in every week to see what they’ll do next.

So in that sense he fits right in with celebritihood and culture. He’s your prototypical American hero. A smug bastard that doesn’t give a shit about “normal people” or “rules”, who doesn’t fit in with his colleagues, who cheats to get what he wants, the Dirty Harry of the diamond.

That’s why I’m actually paying attention to his quest and hopes he hits a ball out of Dodger Stadium tomorrow so Los Angeles can let our contempt rain down on him. Let the footage forever show his tying homer being greeted with boos and catcalls. Let history record that he was a cheater.

Bonds is smart though, he knows he can wait, hit it at home and have his home town fans clap and cheer like it’s something to celebrate. Hey, there is a reason Bonds has never won a world series, despite the 700+ dingers, the guy is a loser, but he has a championship sized ego, so I’m predicting he won’t hit one out tonight. It’s a shame, so many cheeky, disparaging signs gone to waste.

I guess being from LA it’s sorta obligatory that I’m a Dodger fan — hell I remember the night Kirk Gibson pulled a ball out of his broken ankles and willed it over the right field wall, remember his balding mullet, and him hobbling around second, pumping his fist, I remember spilling my drink, 11 years old at the time, and how exciting it was.

I’m biased, I admit it. I still think that Bonds setting the record will be a proper time to show him his deserved lack of respect.

I won’t cry at a bastard’s funeral and I won’t clap for a bastard’s glory. I’m bitter like that.

It’s been a tough month for American sports. Basketball saw a referee indicting on fixing games. One of football’s best quarterbacks indicting of dogfighting(?). And the man breaking baseball’s home run record is hated by the public for “allegedly” using steroids. The only good thing is European soccer star David Beckham debuting for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

On a sad note, he brought along his wife, Posh.

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3 responses to “Barry Bonds: An American Hero?

  1. I like what you have to say. It seems to me that it’s easier for most people to find things to hate about other people then it is to like. What’s your beef with Posh?

  2. Posh is vapid and materialistic. What’s not to hate?

    Unfortunately I think the whole deal is a matter of economy. It’s easier to hate because that only requires one dimension. Likable characters are usually likable because they’re complex and multi-dimensional.

    Who’s got time for that in 30 minutes?

    Gimme Pumpkin spitting on New York, now that’s bite sized entertainment for a nation on the go.

  3. Pingback: Notes From The Ant Empire #6: Bandanas, Tragedies, and The Summer of Hate « Art of Starving

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