chapter  12
20 Pages

CREATING/LEGENDS

Concerned citizens worry about their long hair, their drugs, and their open rebelliousness against anything that smells of "establishment." Some parts of the establishment are inviolable, of course. Sports, for example. In an era when athletes were athletes, Best and Namath were celebrity athletes. There is any number of sports stars who fit comfortably into that role. Teasing or just plainly annoying the media like this can have its rewards. David Beckham presented a tabula rasa, that is a blank slate onto which anything could be written, and audiences inscribed whatever they wanted. He presented a tabula rasa, that is a blank slate onto which anything could be written, and audiences inscribed whatever they wanted. Athletes had always regarded endorsement contracts as sidelines, while advertisers had sought out only elite sports stars whose profiles worked for their products, such as razors and breakfast cereals.