What I Wish I Could Tell My Sons About the A-Rod Saga

Young Yankees fan doesn't know A-Rod sagaMy boys are too young to understand many of the terrible stories I read on my smart phone’s news feed.

The ongoing crisis in Sudan. Terrorist bombings. School shootings.

They also wouldn’t be able to pick Alex Rodriguez out of a lineup. As a lifelong Yankees fan, that should give me some relief. Yet I wish I could explain the details of the A-Rod steroids saga to them. It’s a sports tragedy teeming with lessons for young minds.

For those living under a large and cozy rock, A-Rod will not play a single inning in 2014. An arbitrator agreed that evidence the Yankees third baseman used banned substances merited a full-season ban. The slugger continues to fight the allegations, but chances are his career will forever be tarnished by the historic ban.

He’s just another disgraced athlete, right? Not to this dad. A-Rod represents many ailments that plague our society. Here are a few lessons I wish I could share with my young boys about A-Rod. Perhaps my fellow fathers can use these points to help their older children learn from A-Rod’s fall from grace.

  • Liars Lie Right to Your Face: Sports fans are growing numb to the sight of athletes swearing their innocence and then, years later, coming clean. Ryan Braun. Lance Armstrong. Can A-Rod be far behind? Children tend to trust adults, in part because we’ve taught them to do just that. Trust your teacher, your babysitter, your aunts and uncles. Children should understand that people will often twist the truth to save face or escape the consequences of their behavior.
  • Your Good Name Is Priceless: Brands live and die by their reputations, and the same can be said for people. A-Rod won’t be collecting any endorsement deals this year or next, and wherever he goes he’ll have to answer for his transgressions. Children won’t see their mistakes become front page news, but their collective actions create an image that impacts how others treat them. Once made, these images can be hard to shake.
  • Don’t Blindly Trust the Media: A-Rod appealed to the public via talk radio late last year, hoping to convince listeners that he is innocent. Yet A-Rod couldn’t tell the same story under oath. Children, especially impressionable teens, should understand how people, from athletes to politicians, can manipulate the media and process the information accordingly.
  • Winning Rules … to a Point: A-Rod reportedly wanted to become the sole member of the 800 home run club. Children should set and strive for goals. It’s a critical part of their development, and it will help them when they start their professional career. Taking short cuts to attain those goals isn’t just wrong. It could set you back in ways that cannot be overcome.




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