I love a good heel turn.
That’s a professional wrestling reference, yes, but I generally prefer heel turns out of that context. I just bring up wresting to clarify that I’m not talking about a dance maneuver or anything like that. I’m referring to the wresting definition of the heel turn.
The awesome thing about wrestling is that characters willingly turn into the bad guys–cheating, fighting dirty, insulting the audience–just for the sake of entertainment.
But in wrestling, the heel turns happen on purpose. In real life, it’s usually an accident.
LeBron James turned heel after making The Decision. Tiger Woods after the car wreck. Lance Armstrong after the drug allegations. I assume none of these people wanted to be hated, it just happened as a result of their actions.
Or did it? Was there maybe some other force that helped push them along their way?
All of these people were once extremely popular, celebrated for their “greatness” in their given fields. The people were entertained at their abilities. But that entertainment wears out, and something wen must fill it’s void. And what’s more entertaining than a fallen hero?
It’s just human nature. People want to see their heroes taken down. It’s not only a sports thing, it happens to people in every medium. Kanye West. Woody Allen. Jesus Christ. There are very few things more popular than schadenfreude.
I would guess that most people tend to flip their opinion on someone after their heel turn. I know I do. I just generally like them more afterwards. I would argue that it’s good to be a heel, as it gives you a shot at redemption.
LeBron got some redemption in 2012, winning the MVP, Finals, Finals MVP, and an Olympic gold metal. Tiger gets some every time he wins another tournament. We all know Jesus Christ got some.
Lance hasn’t had his yet. This is a man who fought cancer. Then entertained us all for years, giving his blood, and tears to become the best biker in the world. Then started an incredibly successful charity and movement for fighting cancer. Of course this was a guy we had to turn on. He’s at peak heel status right now, but he’s a great man, and his redemption is coming.
I’m just frustrated that the people that used to wear the yellow bracelets are the same ones that now hate him.