The saddest thing about heroes is that you never seem to get to keep them for very long.
With a 24 hour news cycle, lowered expectations and the typical temptations and idiocy that fame can bring, you place your faith in the infalliability of sports icons and celebrities at your own risk. It's still hard not to idolize some players, even if you don't entirely know why.
For his relatively short career, Jamal Anderson was that guy for me. I loved the way he ran, loved the Dirty Bird and thought of him as the key offensive cog for the mid-to-late 90's Falcons. With Warrick Dunn and Michael Turner in the last few years, Anderson's contributions have faded a bit, but I've always remembered him fondly.
Now Anderson's in real legal trouble. While the fact that these allegations of snorting cocaine are just that--allegations--it's disappointing to see a guy I've always admired mentioned as being anywhere near that particular drug. It's a jarring reminder that a squeaky clean image is fragile and gone once it's been damaged once, a valuable lesson for some of the younger guys on the current team. Just a tough situation all around.
I hope this turns out to be untrue, of course. I'd like to remember Jamal Anderson flapping his arms and running up, over and around everyone in his way. Sadly, real life gets in the way.
What do you guys think?