T.O. is a pathological narcissist and not a sympathetic figure to anyone, but he has a background. Hockey players are routinely described as the best-mannered and most likable athletes out of the four major team sports in North America. A good reason for that is that most kids who make it to the NHL had a stable home life and good parents to support them financially and emotionally as they jumped the hurdles to the bigs. Kids from a poor single-parent family will not likely be kitted out for hockey, or be driven to hockey practice early mornings and weekends. Mom might need to work two jobs to just pay the bills. Football and basketball players likewise don’t necessarily have the same advantages as these great kids we saw on the weekends with devoted parents.
I can’t stand T.O., he’s a selfish jerk and should have been a decathlete instead of a football player. He’s a fame whore and a boor and I never wanted him to win, whatever team he was on, since he kneecapped Jeff Garcia, one of the toughest, best football players I’ve ever seen.
Reading this piece though, it’s hard to really bask in the schadenfreude. It’s not like when the wrestling villain finally gets his comeuppance at the hands of Jacques Rougeau or the Can-Am Connection, the catharsis isn’t pleasurable. This is real life, and he has kids mixed up in the collapse of his career and his life. Somehow, the story is ending the way we always knew it would, it’s as formulaic as any Hollywood offering, but there’s no payoff.