Alex Rodriguez claimed that the pressures of salary and expectation were enough to force him to use steroids.
Rick Reilly also has the pressures of salary and expectation weighing down upon him, but he’s a staunch advocate against steroid use.
Maybe Reilly needs to get on the Winstrol, because these days he’s underperforming like Rodriguez in the playoffs. He’s not funny, not original, and not nearly as likable as he was in his days as a humble Sports Illustrated columnist.
A year ago, Reilly made a jump to ESPN that, as many speculated, was fueled by money. Sounds a lot like A-Rod, right?
Given the rights to a weekly column (and more television exposure than he could ever imagine), Reilly has enjoyed a role similar to the one he maintained at SI. The difference now, it seems, is that he has become aware that people are watching him, reading him, and judging every word he pens in his Life of Reilly installments.
The zany, off-the-wall commentary Reilly once provided has been replaced by a watered-down version of the same thing. Instead of coming across as bright and witty, the new Rick Reilly appears dull and crafted, as if he’s trying to be the man he once was.
Along with that comes the many personal attacks Reilly makes towards figures in sports. He used to take shots at people in a creative manner. Now Reilly simply rips guys for things that only he sees (such as when he accused Adrian Beltre of steroid use).
On top of that, as Deadspin.com points out, Reilly has been recycling old material and calling it new. He’s essentially plagiarized his own work, passing it off as original thought. That’s the journalistic equivalent of belting 70 home runs on HGH.
Guys work themselves to the top of their profession all the time in America. You just hope that when they get there, they continue to work as hard as they did when they were making the climb. Unfortunately for Rick Reilly, that doesn’t appear to be the case.