Can you remember when athletes were just athletes? Before all the movie star, celebrity athletes when all they cared about was traing hard and doing their best at their sport. Now I'm not talking about way back when athletes weren't paid millions of dollars and they had to have other jobs to survive. I'm about since athletes started making the big bucks. Can you remember back when there wasn't any star athlete in any sport that was looking improve their image or make even more ridiculous money by staring in a movie or doing some other form of entertainment?
I bring this up of course because it seems to be worse now than ever. Athletes are no longer looking to star in movies or get big time endorsement deals anymore, but no that's not enough for them. Now they want their own "reality TV” shows that are all about them. It's one thing to have an athlete play a role in a movie, which forces them to miss some training time, but it's another thing when that athlete plays a huge part or is the star of a movie. But it's plain our ridiculous for any athlete to have their own TV show. Why I ask? What's the need for it? What good can it do? It can't be about the money because they have plenty already.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I'm talking about Terrell Owens and Shaquille O'Neal. Of course if anyone would do it, it would be T.O. so that comes as no surprise to me. It's still ridiculous because he's wasting his time participating in the "Superstars" challenges (where he could very well injury himself and really screw himself and his team over) instead of practicing and preparing for his up coming debut with his team, the Buffalo Bills. If that's not enough, he also has to have a "reality" TV show, "The TO Show" to have people watch him and his entourage in their "real lives." Like we haven't seen enough of the "The TO Show" when he was with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys. Shouldn't TO be worried about actually contributing to a team and be a team player for once; he has yet to win the ultimate prize in the NFL: The Super Bowl. Shouldn't that be his main concern, and not reality TV shows?
Then there is Shaq. Now it's really not that surprising that Shaq is doing his own TV show as well because he can never be out done by anyone (he won't let TO get all the lime light). His makes a little more sense (but that's not saying much) than "The TO Show," because he's actually competing in athletic events and will be training before each show. However, he is not like Shaq is some young guy here. He is 37 years old and his body is not near what it use to be. He could very well get injured in one of these events, especially since he has a very competitive nature and will be going up against the best players at their respective sports (who are also very competitive and could get very carried away, especially if it looks like Shaq could beat them). You'd think with all the time he wastes on movies (Kazaam) and TV shows that he could have very well used that time to improve his game? I bet if he had practiced free throws instead he'd be able to make more the 50% of his FTs. He says this is a new way to help him train in the off-season, but why wouldn't you train practice with your Cavaliers teammates and train for basketball instead of training for different sports?
I really don't want to see this become a trend, but know today's culture which is driven and ruled by the media and "reality TV shows." I wouldn't be surprised to see more athletes follow suit; especially someone like LeBron James. "The King" doesn't want to be out done by anyone either, and will have to come up with some reality TV show in order to remain "on top" in the public eye. I've got a good suggestion for a show he should do: "I Dunked on LeBron James." Xavier's Jordan Crawford could be the guy who introduces each new player that will get a shot at dunking on LBJ. I'm sure Nike would walk right into MTV's station and ask for their tapes of the show so we'd never be able to see it.
It's a sad sad thing to watch great athletes do things like this. If this is a sign of things to come and is the future of entertainment, maybe Mike Judge got things right when he made the film "Idiocracy."