When Loyalty for A-Rod Pushes Back


“I’ll post the picture right now,” I texted my friend whom I hadn’t seen in awhile. I had to re-download Facebook, a network I hadn’t been on since 10th grade. I had to be nice to post the picture, but really? Facebook? If Facebook shut down between the last time I used it and now, I wouldn’t have known it, plus, what on earth was my login?

I got to the site, memories of Facebook swiftly danced into my head. I spontaneously remembered every time I had logged into my account with my password FanofArod13.

The letters were in a hurry to get to the tiny password bar on my screen. The familiarity of the combination of letters and numbers I typed made me feel like I had just opened a time capsule from sixth grade. I memorialized the time frame when I had used FanofArod13 for every account I created.

My password was perfect, it had all of the qualities a password should have and then some. It was kind, it allowed me to unlock anything I requested. It was loyal, and kept secrets for me, secrets that nobody else would ever be able to know. It was tough, secure, and it never allowed anyone besides me to use it. Most of all it was personal. FanofArod13 wasn’t just a random combination of letters, I made the most out of it.

On February 10th, 2009, A-Rod admitted to using steroids. I was very unhappy with him and, changing a password took only a minute to do. In spite of that, I ended up keeping it, and all of my friends questioned why I still liked A-Rod; even I questioned why I still liked him.

I had noticed that the Internet redesigned the way America follows superstars in two ways. One is that we find and idolize heroes fast. People can become famous overnight and think they are on top of the world. The second is that we tear down our heroes even faster. It only takes one mistake for people to turn their back against an American star. In A-Rod’s case, he got caught for steroid use several times and now the media loves to hate him. What he did was wrong but he is just as human as rest of us. What people don’t realize is that everyone makes mistakes, even the people we look up to.

Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle played baseball for the Yankees during a time without the Internet. Yankee fans loved them throughout their entire career but the truth is that they made mistakes too. Mickey Mantle was a chronic alcoholic and Babe Ruth was a reckless driver who had time in jail. These moral mistakes are as bad as A-Rod’s but weren’t punished as badly because the media didn’t destroy them.

I respected Alex Rodriguez, I became connected to him and developed a strong relationship over many years. He is still the person who made me bolt around my house after he hit a home run, as if I were rounding the bases with him. He is still the same person who inspired me to buy the same gear as he used, I was A-rod for Halloween, it was an automatic decision. He is still the same person I tried to imitate when I played baseball, I swung like he did, I threw like he did, I even had the same game face he wore.

Everyone I knew despised him and declared him unforgivable. However, my opinion was one in a million, he was still my role model because I saw him as a human. He was my password and still had his powers, nobody had to know this. I didn’t have to be confrontational with my friends, it was a secret. I feel the same way typing it in now as I did in sixth grade.