Have you ever had the opportunity to ask someone, more specifically a professional athlete who has done something questionable, a simple, one word question to explain their actions for a given occurence? I had just that opportunity on 02 SEP 07, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it
On that day, I was in Las Vegas with my girlfriend where we were visiting some friends of mine from when I lived there. We decided to visit the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace where, lo and behold, sat one Mr. Pete Rose at the Field of Dreams store. I was rather surprised to see him there with no one generally talking to him other than the representative who was working with him and the associates from the store. I told my woman who it was and, unfazed, approached the table where he sat eating some Cheetos from a bag in front of him.
As I approached, all of the history of his shocking admission to betting on baseball flooded my mind. What should I say? What should I ask? More importantly, what will HE say in return, if anything? I continued to walk toward the table and stood in front of Mr. Baseball himself...
Instead of acting like some obsessed fan or accusing him of forever tarnishing his reputation as a player/coach and tainting baseball's history, I politely asked for a handshake. Nothing more.
As I walked away, I heard him say, "Wow. That was a great handshake."
Did I ruin my chance to confront him for his poor choice; did I not have the "balls" or mettle to have him own up to baseball's fans; or, did I just do what any other adult should do: let him live with the knowledge of what he's done and leave it at that? I felt pleased with my luck at meeting him and the picture I got of him on my phone...
Still, it bothers me that I didn't manage to choke out my one word question: WHY?
Have you ever had such a chance and though that you missed it or did you do the right thing?