There’s always something a little patronizing about quirky-pro-athlete stories on athletes. I’m certainly not immune to this, and have written more than my share of pieces (here and for actual pay) on this. The squirminess of this Wall Street Journal piece about how some NBA players — not all, don’t worry — really enjoy reading, for instance, gets at the root of that. “Can you believe this guy’s into reading?,” these stories seem to ask. “I mean he’s so TALL.” I’ve written these stories with “blogging” or “not-the-worst rock music” or a dozen other things standing in for books, I know. And I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m bragging, but I’ve made literally hundreds of dollars doing it. There’s a market out there for these stories, still, but I’m thinking more and more that that market is kind of goofy. That is, I’m working on being a little less shocked that entities I know best as fantasy sports statistics or televised avatars have actual lives that extend beyond the edges of my television. Like, lives as people.
Still, though. When flagrantly dodgy ex NCAA point guard Teddy DuPay debuts his hemp-intensive online Ponzi scheme, I’m not just going to shrug it off. And neither am I going to disagree with Pete Segall when he writes, of this Des Moines Register story detailing former NFL return guy/human-missile Tim Dwight’s conversion into a would-be photovoltaic energy businessman, “In some ways this is just as weird as Teddy Dupay’s ponzi-weed scheme.”
Dwight (above) doesn’t say anything in the brief story above that you wouldn’t hear in state senate testimony from a solar energy entrepreneur who hadn’t returned kicks for 10 NFL seasons. And honestly there’s nothing really that weird, at least relative to the lives or career paths of people I know, about what Dwight reveals about himself in this 2009 piece from
an Iowa City a Des Moines TV station’s website:
Coupled with his passion for yoga is a passion for benefiting society in all ways shapes and forms. He has a foundation called the Tim Dwight Foundation, which works with children™s hospitals in Iowa City as well as gives scholarships to deserving students from the state who will be attending Iowa, Iowa State or Northern Iowa.
…Currently Dwight is working in the renewable-energy industry as part owner of a small California company called Integrated Power Corporation; they design solar applications for commercial buildings and commercial use. Dwight has a mission, and that mission is to make the world a better place, not just for us, but for future generations as well.
œIn about the last three to four years living in California I really started to hone in on what was important. Was it a BMW, or was it a smaller car that made less an impact on my pocket book that gets me from A to B? Dwight said. œI think of it like ˜What can I do everyday to have an impact on our world?™ And hopefully my impact will add up and lead to other people making a difference and maybe we can save humanity for another 1000 years.
Again, nothing so strange, really, just a human being a human and trying to do some stuff. I’m still working on seeing it that way. These old biases are deep; I’ve been thinking about things this one way for most of my life, but eventually I’m probably going to get tired of having my mind blown by the fact that pro athletes do things that transcend some (maybe kind of condescending) stereotypes. Eventually.
(Also, if you click through to the KCCI piece, you’ll see that I’m burying the bloggy lead, which is that Dwight apparently shaves his body. Let’s, please, leave that lead buried, okay?)