I’m not one to support athletes, but when I do, I do it for the oddest reasons most of the time. I’ve been watching The Ultimate Fighter season 20, and I can’t help but absolutely being amazed at Joanne Calderwood. Her in-cage personality is the polar opposite to the out-of-cage personality. She carries herself quietly and respectably, which stands in stark contrast to some of the other athletes.
Rose Namajunas is another great example. She’s so open and honest about her emotions while still being an absolute mercenary. She reminds me of the bits of “honest fight hyping” Jim and I used to do while drinking.
I guess it has little to do with ability — or rather, ability is not the only thing that’s important. I guess all those sports management companies know what I’m talking about and try desperately to craft and mould the public image of their athletes, but that just leaves them appearing stale and saltless. Perhaps supreme talent and honed ability often comes hand in hand with a dislikeable personality — someone hyper focussed to the point of appearing to lose most of what makes a person human. I have neither, so I wouldn’t know, but it would explain why so many public persona’s are so… crafted and synthetic.