BLOG: Do celebrities deserve the pedestal we put them on?

6:47 PM, Jan 30, 2009   |    comments
Erica Pitzi
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Lutz, Florida - I know they're rich... and famous... and really good at what they do.

But do celebrities live up to the pedestal we put them on?

I have mixed feelings after I covered the Par and Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity on Thursday.

Shotgun was at 9:30am for the 18-hole golf tournament at TPC Tampa Bay.  My chance to interview some of the stars was when they were warming up on the driving range beforehand.

One of the biggest names there is also arguably the NFL's greatest defensive player of all time: Lawrence Taylor.

Standing what seemed to be seven feet tall, 'LT' dwarfed nearly everything and everyone around him. (Although the dozens of fans hoping for an autograph couldn't get any closer than the thirty feet a yellow rope allowed.)

On the outside, he looked like a pretty intimidating fellow.

He was warming up when I walked up to ask for an interview and without looking up, he said, "Nope, I'm done," and he lit a large cigar.

Too concerned with his golf game I guess, even though he was hitting balls in flip-flops.

I stuck around for a minute to try and change his mind and with a huff Taylor said, "Fine.  You get two questions, that's it."

I asked my first question on how he felt about contributing to local charities through the tournament.

Taylor told me he "wasn't here for any charity."  He said there are always charity events going on and he doesn't do them just for the charities.  Instead, he told me he came to this charity tournament only for his friend, fellow football star (and charity tournament founder) Seth Joyner.

"This charity is strong to his heart.  I respect him, I like him.  So, I support his charity," said Taylor.

After such an uninspiring interaction, my hope was redeemed by another heavy hitter.

Thank you, Evander Holyfield. 

Not only is he rich... and famous...and good at what he does... Holyfield is a champion, inside and out.

When I walked up to him to get an interview, I waited as he happily got his picture taken with a young couple and then signed an autograph for a kid.

As soon as he noticed me with my 10 Connects microphone, the heavy-weight champion of the world gave me a big smile.

Relieved at his warmth, I stepped forward to shake his hand.

I then had a ten minute conversation with him.

We also talked about the tournament and the charities it benefits. 

"It is how I got brought up.  Someone had a charity thing and they helped make me who I am today," said Holyfield.

Despite decades of greatness when he stood in the spotlight as a world-wide champion, Holyfield remembers his roots - enough to send this message to the millions of people who look up to him.

"The big part in life is to do well so you can somebody else," said Holyfield.

Maybe some celebs deserve to be put on a pedestal after all.

Click here to see Erica Pitzi's news story on the Par and Poker Celebrity Challenge.

Erica Pitzi, 10 Connects Reporter

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