August 03, 2007
Before Barry Bonds ties Hank Aaron this week, he has a chance to redeem himself and his legacy in the eyes of baseball fans. When he hits his 755th home run, he should issue the following statement:
"Today I had the great privilege of tying the most famous record in sports. Having done so, I am announcing my immediate retirement.
While it would be a great honor to hold the all-time home run record, it would be a hollow reward. Baseball is too important, and this record is too precious, to have it tainted by controversy.
As a man who has loved the game of baseball from childhood, who has had the good fortune to grow up around legends like Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays, I feel it is incumbent on me to put the game first.
To the wonderful fans who have been supporting and rooting for me, I know you may be disappointed. I think in the fullness of time you will understand the value of what I'm doing."
Bonds would go out a hero instead of a vilified usurper of baseball's most important record. He would also substantially mitigate the legal and character questions he's facing. The chances of Bonds doing something like this: Zero. Too much ego, too much arrogance.
What does this have to do with advertising? Nothing. One of the few benefits of being a contrarian -- we do whatever the hell we want.
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