Sunday, July 20, 2014
Don't Make Me Hate the Hero
I'm going to begin this post about Derek Jeter by talking about one of my least favorite teachers.
In eighth grade, I had this history teacher. In terms of teaching, she was great. She was thorough, she was informative, and I got an A in her class. However, her personality infuriated me greatly. It's very, very hard to describe, but just picture someone who enjoys what they teach, yet always seems to not be very happy with the whole 'dealing with fourteen-year-olds' part. I'm not gonna go into detail about some of stuff I went through with her, but I am going to tell you about one. Thankfully, it's one that this teacher won't sue me for, because it's true, and non-incriminatory.
On one of the last days of eighth grade, she devoted a class period to have the students ask her just about anything about her, about high school, about life, etc. She said would answer every question honestly, and to her credit, she did. However, someone asked her if she had ever met anyone truly famous. And she answered 'well, as a matter of fact, a while ago I won a sweepstakes package, and I got to have dinner with Derek Jeter'.
In my head, an alarm sounded. Oh my gosh, this teacher I'd braved through a year of being with had spent time with one of my favorite players. And she shared food with him. So I was very quick to ask her what the great Derek Jeter was like.
And I think that she saw how interested I was in how Derek Jeter was as a person. Because she proceeded to tell the class how dissatisfied she was about her dinner with Derek Jeter. She said that he wasn't very interested to be there, and the conversation wasn't very enthralling, and that he just didn't seem very genuine.
Right there, my eighth grade teacher was breaking a cardinal rule in my eyes: She was trying to get the entire class, and especially me, to hate Derek Jeter. She was trying to turn me against my favorite player. And that was not cool.
In my eyes, nothing could make me hate Derek Jeter. But this teacher was trying. Now, all these years later, Derek Jeter's legacy could be facing a new spoiler, and that is overexposure.
People all around the country seem to generally respect Jeter, even if they hate the Yankees, which most of them do. But after the All Star Game, where the coverage of Jeter was greater than the coverage of Mike Trout, the game's MVP, people are beginning to turn on him. Jeter, when he ran out onto the field, was given a good 30 seconds of screentime before they announced the next player. Usually the gap is like 10 seconds.
Plus, when Jeter finally left the game, at the beginning of the fourth inning, FOX took 2 minutes out of, you know, the game, to record Jeter leaving the field, fiving every last coach and player, and sitting down. Even a Jeter worshipper like me can call that excessive.
In some cases, this is taking away from the legend. Some fans have been calling the attention that Jeter has been getting excessive, and people are losing respect for him because the cameras cannot stop circling him.
Look, if you're gonna blame anybody, don't blame the legend. Blame the people who can't stop talking about the legend. Blame Joe Buck. Blame Tim Kurkjian. Blame Chris Berman. They should get the blame. For a second there ESPN was talking about Jeter more than LeBron James. FOR A SECOND.
This is just another silly way to tarnish the reputation of a legend, who has played the game with class and dignity for nineteen seasons. He's not asking for the attention. It's not like Barry Bonds, whose goodbye tour was prodded out with obnoxiousness and overblown home run promises. This is Derek Jeter. He's one of the greatest shortstops of all time. People are going to talk about him quite a bit. That shouldn't damage his reputation, the amount of coverage he gets.
I don't want to hate Derek Jeter. This overexposure is too petty for people, or me, to lose respect for him over it. And for those who have gotten tired of Jeter: relax. It'll all be over soon.