It’s funny, this quote from Batman: The Dark Knight may have been made up by some script writer somewhere and you may have brushed it off as a nice little piece that added to the demise of Harvey Dent in the movie, but, when I read this article about Michael Schumacher retiring I started to think about it a little more.
I don’t think Schumi could ever be described as a villain per se but if you look at his legacy it may be fairly apt. I mean he built one of the greatest sporting legacies of all times really and when he came back to the sport, certainly for me, he ended up partially destroying it.
More recently you can take the example of Lance Armstrong. He certainly could have died (albeit not as too much of a hero at that stage) but has ne not lived long enough to see himself become a villain? He has to be the best example of what I’m trying to say here sadly and while I wish it were not the case it is now certainly fact. Once thought to be (by me especially) one of the world’s greatest heroes he now stands in a long dark shadow of shame!
There are countless other examples. People like, one of my all time (and still) heroes, Ryan Giggs who was for a long time thought to be the model of what a professional sportsman and gentleman should be. Then they found out he was, well sharing more than just DNA with his brother. Image shattered and villain status approved. Then there’s dear Tiger Woods who again was the picture perfect poster boys for all things good and right in the sporting world only to be found out as a sex addict (great excuse by the way TW).
I won’t even delve into the world of Hollywood, they are probably villains from the very start but there are plenty of examples there as well. Needless to say I’m not entirely sure how they work their ‘villain scale’ over there but I’m pretty sure its a little more warped than my other characters!
Sadly when taking a look around the world, maybe it’s the day and age we are in that people just are more villainous, more than they used to be. Perhaps now there is such a big spotlight shining on everyone famous all the time that their indiscretions are exposed more easily and then in an instant transported around the world. Regardless of the reason I somehow am starting to believe the mantra that it’s not possible to have both the long career and then the eternal legacy that goes with it.
Perhaps Sir Alex Ferguson is my last hope