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Thursdays With Hildy: Athletes, Their Private Lives, And You.

Tragedy seems to be the name of the game this off-season, doesn't it? I had this ready to go for Wednesday, but I didn't have the motivation to publish it in the wake of the plane crash that destroyed Lokomotiv.

I did look at this issue from one side on my site - do people have the obligation to cut these guys some slack for their mistakes? They're sports stars, not Jesus. Mistakes and personal issues such as the ones that we saw this off-season surrounding Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak and (to a lesser extent) Dustin Byfuglien can happen to anyone. Just because someone is wealthy or famous doesn't prevent them from making the same mistakes and suffering from the same afflictions as everyone else.

Something I didn't look at - and something that I wanted your opinion on - is if the details of these mistakes have any right being released to the public to begin with. What's news? What's tabloid fodder? The public and the news media tend to get very wrapped up in the concept of "right to know," but where in the world do you draw the line? Is it pertinent for the public to know the details of someone's painkiller addiction, depression history, or anything else coming out about this summer's events (I'm not mentioning what people've said about Belak, though you can in the comments).

Basically - is athletes' information more public just because of their position in the world? Why, if we can cut them slack and realize that they're people like everyone else, does it mean that we have to know everything about them?