SmackDown: Is Ted Williams a Positive Role Model for Your Kids?
It's Redemption Time for Ted Williams - and He Deserves Our Support
by Dori Hartley
Ted Williams deserves a second chance.
And, thanks to Doral Chenoweth, a journalist working for the Columbus Dispatch, this desperate and deserving man is going to get one.
As you no doubt know by now, Williams is the homeless, and formerly drunk/addicted "Man with the Golden Voice" newscasters can't seem to get enough of. And, once you get a earful of this dude in action, you'll not only know why he's become such an overnight sensation ... you'll cheer for him, too.
Before his made-for-TV makeover, Williams was, at first glance, a skuzzy-looking puppy. Chenoweth caught his serendipitous "audition" on video after pulling his car over to where Williams was panhandling. The straggly hobo boasted on a sign that he was born with the gift of a golden voice, and that he'd seen hard times, which was why he was on a corner, begging.
Curious, Chenoweth asked Williams for a demonstration. Genuinely happy to oblige, the courteous and apparently mega-talented voice artist launched into a mock radio announcement. Blown away, Chenoweth recorded Williams, and promptly did what anyone else would do with video gold: He put it on YouTube. Once the mellifluous sounds of the street beggar's speaking voice hit the Web waves, everyone wanted to know more about him.
The details of his demise came out, and they weren't pretty. Drugs. Alcohol. Jail time. Homelessness. At the time Chenoweth discovered him, Williams was living on the street. But the drugs and the drink, he says, were things of the past. Two years sober now, Williams, for the first time in his life, found himself in the right place at the right time.
The video, of course, caught fire and so did the positive attitude towards this man who had made more than a few seriously bad turns in his life. And, then, the offers started rolling in. Voice over work, talk show hosting, sports announcing. Oh, yeah, Williams is a working man now!
Within what seemed like a few minutes, this 53-year-old went from nasty-looking bum to the "It" guy. Now sporting a spiffy suit and tie, shave, haircut, national fame and so much promise ahead, one of our fellow Americans is finally getting what we all wish for at some point or another: a second chance.
True, partaking in drugs and alcohol was clearly a bad decision for Williams. And, as a society, we tend to be extraordinarily unforgiving when it comes to drug abusers. If a person has done drugs, we always assume they can't possibly do anything else but be a pathetic waste of space.
But is this really true? How about leaving room for a little redemption? How about a little, "Let's hear it for the poor schmuck who's getting a second chance?"
Williams isn't a child molester; he's not a rapist. He's a guy who took the wrong road and, because of it, ended up screwing up his life. "Crap" happens, and it happened hard for T. Dubs.
But can't we just be happy that this guy finally got cut some slack?
Of course, outside of all this thrilling possibility, there's a seemingly endless cacophony of doubters, all waiting for the moment when Williams will publicly fail the test. For every bit of good news Williams encounters, there's someone practically salivating with the words, "There's a chance he might go back to drugs and alcohol!"
I sincerely hope that doesn't happen. But, if it does, will anyone really care about Williams, the man? Or, will his repeat fall from grace just become another viral sensation on YouTube?
We all make mistakes. Some of us, like Williams, make seriously bad ones, and rarely do we get such a "golden" opportunity to redeem ourselves, as he did. In the end, it's not our place to judge. Instead, let's take his story and file it under "hope" -- and remember, sometimes a second chance is all we need to lead us to a new beginning. And who doesn't deserve that?
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.