Try to imagine social media being around when Babe Ruth was belting tape-measure home runs for the New York Yankees during the 1920s and early ’30s.
One person’s Twitter account would display a photograph of the Babe stepping out of a hotel with a babe on each arm. Another might detail the seven hot dogs Ruth scarfed down or the alcohol quantities that spilled one of the sport’s true immortals from his bar stool.
Now try it with Joe DiMaggio (“The blonde he was with looked familiar”), Julius Erving (“That is one tall ’fro”), Michael Jordan (“He had on the most hideous golf pants and ordered a BLT at the turn”) or any other relatively charismatic sports icon from generations past.
In light of the separate controversies swirling around cyclist Lance Armstrong and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, maybe the less we know about our sports heroes the better.