The thing about life in the fast lane is no matter who you are, or how much fame and money you have, it ultimately always catches up to you.
That much was true during Dan Pastorini’s heyday, but because of the media fish bowl the world has become, it is even more true today. That’s not to say that Pastorini’s lifestyle was without truly significant contributions to people’s lives. As chronicled in Taking Flak, often times the brash or outspoken lifestyle masks an inner desire to find peace and happiness. And while the wild times may grab more headlines, the much quieter charitable and giving moments affect people deeply.
The problem is, fans and critics seem much more willing to permanently label someone whose indiscretions make news, rather than understand that that person has a side to him that reflects what truly makes him tick as a person.
It’s easier to pass harsh judgment in today’s world, rather than try to get to know a person and understand everything he or she brings to society.
When Pastorini says, “The game is different today than it was then,” he’s not just talking about the games on the field.
“The media today seems to be more like predators in finding more about the negative aspects of the stars of today’s games,” Pastorini said. “In my day, the media sometimes turned a blind eye. Maybe because they were doing the same things. There were some media always around, but not as many as today. My advice is stay out of harms way and find someone you can really trust for advice and pay them well. The days of wine and roses don’t last forever!”
Equally as important, Pastorini says, is to understand that it’s what you are not who you are that brings as much acclaim as criticism.
“I’m sure most if not all the opportunities I had came solely because of what I did in football,” he said. “And that continues today.”
A significant message that Pastorini’s book, Taking Flak, drives home is that every celebrity — like every person — succumbs to human flaw. But knowing that there’s much more inside that person can reveal a sympathetic and inspiring truth.