Lost In The Limelight

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In case you missed it, my beloved Miami Hurricanes mens football team lost to Clemson University this weekend 58-0 in the Canes most embarrassing loss in a decade.  220px-Al_Golden_Miami_2012Since my career as a Hurricane began in 2012, I have long been reminded of the “glory days” of my schools athletic program and the force that was the 5 time national champion Hurricane squad of the 90’s-00’s.  The demise of the program has been constant since our 2002 bowl loss to Ohio State as the school has riffled through multiple head coaches, NCAA sanctions, and a stadium change. All lend to the fact that we aren’t where we used to be.  After the loss on Saturday however, the AD at Miami attempted to start a new future for the program by firing Al Golden, our head coach of the last 4 years…the fan base applauded and honestly so did I.  If something seems broken, it must be fixed and when it comes to a bureaucracy like a football program it makes sense to start with those in charge.  While the schools decision to fire Golden may have just been business, sadly on campus the following Monday, I saw something that can only be construed as personal.

Nowadays, America and the rest of the digitized world are living in a time where people have platforms.  By that, I mean that the growth of technology and communication methods have forged a world of constant connectivity and potential for exposure.  imagesFor example, a little Canadian boy playing guitar in his boxers can become the richest teenager in the world by posting a video on Youtube, cough, cough, Justin Bieber.  With the possibility of celebrity growing at a constant rate alongside the growth in connectivity, it is essential to realize that while we may see these people on the big screens, performing for the masses, once the show is over and the lights are turned off, you are still left with a person.

Heres what happened.  Goldens son is in my Finance class and also plays for the team under his dads proprietorship.  Now even though Football is only a game, being a head coach is not.  It is a job.  It is a livelihood.  It is a means to an end.  After class I saw another student make a sneering remark about how “..his dad got fired for coaching the Canes into the ground.”  Whether that is a valid statement or not…are kidding me!?  Here we have a person, making fun of another, for their father being fired!USATSI_8880263  No chill.

I’d like to think i understand why this person thought it would be acceptable to make this remark and it goes back to the times we are living in and the publics idea of ‘celebrity.’  I have seen Golden’s face for four years now and trust me I’ve made my share of remarks concerning his pitiful play calls and tacky orange tie…I’m sure we all have.  But I would never, ever, say that to someone who would take that comment personally rather than from a sports minded approach i.e. his family.

I suppose that when we see someone, on stage and in the lights, we get desensitized to the fact that these are people not just an act.  While their careers place them in the public eye open for scrutiny, I can only attempt to sympathize for people who have lost their identity as a ‘human’ due to the fact that society made them a new one.  You don’t ridicule another for their father being laid off.  It doesn’t matter how rich and famous you are, ones job is their life…you don’t mock someone for losing that.  Ever.

People, a little discretion is always advised because this is not the first nor will it be the last time we will see something like this.  Examples? Caitlyn Jenner…yea her.  Jenner made the life changing and courageous decision to go through gender changing operations to better fit what her soul thought her to be.  Now it should not matter what your opinions are on the matter, the fact that the public was desensitized to Jenner after years of seeing her on reality TV opened the flood gates to the insults.  Rather then gaining support or just receiving apathy from those removed from the situation, she was thrown out to an onslaught of grotesque comments about her decision.  Again, I feel that because Jenner has been a household name for so long, people deem it appropriate to form hurtful opinions under the impression that “hey, this is what they signed up for.”  That is false.  She signed up for a TV show.  Al Golden signed up to be a football coach.  Publics constant tirade on these people doesn’t have to be something that ‘comes with the territory.’  Regardless of who you are or what you are, there are certain territories that should never be explored.  Society creates “the territory”, not the person themselves. So finally and in conclusion of this long winded social retort, people are people…treat them as such.

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