Last night, Derek Anderson was caught laughing on the sideline during the 49ers' rout of his Cardinals and then blew up when asked about it in the postgame press conference.
It strikes me as a case of people expecting athletes to act how we want them to act rather than be the real people they are.
We have no idea what kind of person Derek Anderson is, but now we're judging him don't know. We just hate the fact that Derek Anderson would dare to laugh while his team was getting blown out.
The usual sports equation goes like this, however: Great talent = Great person. The two have no correlation to one another, not a bit, and yet has soon as a tremendous talent arrives on the scene, sportswriters fall all over themselves to declare how terrific a person he is.
Here, for example, is Joey Votto's cover, totally framed around what a "nice guy" Joey Votto is.
Then there's LeBron James, whose public persona started to take a hit last summer with "The Decision."
Contrast that with Sports Illustrated's 2003 depiction of a modest James or, more recently, Michael Rosenberg's defense of an earnestly competitive James who deserves our admiration.
Here's Adrian Wojnarowski's latest column. What do you think of King James now?