One look at Terrence Jones’ Facebook profile and you’re bound to see messages of hope, inspiration, and sheer idiocy.
People want to know a guy like Jones because he’s about to be famous. He’s 18 years old, and yet the world wants a piece of his ass because he wears a jersey and can dunk a basketball. They want to say they know a guy like that. That they’re friends with him, even in a virtual sense. That he acknowledged them once.
It’s always been that way with athletes. It’s called “jersey chasing,” and so many people are guilty of it.
There used to be a saying that you don’t meet your heroes, because they’ll only let you down. It’s why I’ve never said a word to Ken Griffey Jr., to be honest. I’ve seen him in person, been mere feet from him, but haven’t spoken to him. I don’t want to be disappointed. And the bar I’ve set for that guy is so high that only Superman could scale it. Who knows if Griffey can fly like that.
These days, that saying has gone out the window. Thanks to social networking sites, fans can be closer to their heroes than ever before. So close, in fact, that heroes barely exist anymore. Celebrities are just like us, stripped down to a user name and 140-to-420 characters of typespace.