Fame and other nasty things

I run a ‘words of wisdom ticker’ on www.ganador.com.au – and one of my favourites is: Fame is the cancer of personality. It really is. Here is just one way in which fame eats away at the essence of the person, and it relates to the number of sportspeople who are currently (in Aus at least) under a drug cloud.

Suddenly the public is expected to ‘allow some privacy’ for the poor souls to deal with the very stressful time in their lives. There is some sympathy from misguided commentators. The media – bless their souls – generally don’t relent because they understand the equation:

Fame is a coin with two sides. Heads: to be known and admired by all, to be cheered from sidelines and the couches. The free meals and the good seats. The pretty girls and the A-list parties. Tails: to be followed by paparazzi when you are checking into rehab, the idiot that wants to fight when you are trying to have quiet night with a few mates. The pressure and the scrutiny. It is all part of the fame game. You cannot have the sponsorships and the perks without the scrutiny and the pressure.

If you’ve had enough ‘Mr Star’, you might like to drop out of sight, but guess what? It isn’t your decision. When you chose to chase the public adulation, you chose a lifetime (or however long we decide) of pressure and scrutiny. If you feel the pressure, that is your problem. We (the people) don’t feel it. We are just interested. And don’t – puhleaase – try and sell us that old story that you ‘just wanted to play footy’.

When you chose ‘fame’ it eats away at your perspective, your self-awareness. You start to believe that you deserve many other things. You believe that you are special in many other ways – and not only blessed with a nice bundle of fast-twitch fibres. You think you are in control of things that you are not. And especially, you are not in control of what people think about you – even if you thought they admired you. Fame is the coin of heads and tails; and like money, it corrupts mightily.

Your request for privacy is denied.