Real World, Post-Rehab, Won't Be Easy For De La Hoya…WOODS

DeLaHoyaMediaDayVsPacquiao_Hogan_21It won't be an easy road for Oscar De La Hoya when he leaves the safe harbor of rehab for the “real world.” Temptation will beckon, and he will need a thick skin to shrug off the accusatory stares and glares of doubters and haters. People will be watching him with an extra measure of intensity, checking to see if he's behaving himself.

I found myself watching Oscar with extra intensity last week, when “Access Hollywood” ran a repeat, which featured Oscar making tequila drinks. (My wife, by the way, is an “Access” fan, so this is how and why I saw this episode, which ran right before Cinco de Mayo, May 5. Not that I should really need to explain this viewing choice, but…LOL)

I admit, a couple things I saw, and heard Oscar say, resonated with me much more deeply now, after learning on May 21 that De La Hoya had entered a facility to get a hold on his substance abuse patterns.

Oscar made drinks with hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. He floundered a bit, losing his train of thought a few times. That's understandable, on a live shot.

But a few references to drinking in the morning had me cringing. “Cinco de Mayo, you want tequila, you want a little pick me upper in the morning,” he joked.

Hoover then complimented his looks, and asked him if he was still training. “No training, just tequila,”  he said, drawing laughs in the studio.

The gang made another variety, a lo cal version, and Oscar said, “Low calories, you can have a little in the morning, and work out.”

Again, nothing there would've really set tongues wagging at the time, but in retrospect….

On surface, judging by what we can read on Twitter, it seems like Oscar is enjoying some success in this battle. “Today I had one of the most beautiful days of my life. I am doing amazingly well and growing stronger than ever,” he told followers on June 11. “I really feel blessed.” The next day, he wrote, “Thank you to all who have supported me all these years. I know when all said and done we will grow and be stronger than ever together.” Yesterday, he shared, “Just for today: I don't have to be controlled by my past. I will live this new day as the new person I am becoming.”

I will admit up front that I will now root for Oscar like never before. Anyone putting themselves out there, publicly fighting this battle, deserves our respect. And what can the rest of us take away from Oscar's rehab stint? We can comprehend that money doesn't make the man, that fame doesn't solve all problems, and that substance abuse issues can and does touch us all. And that if someone who “has everything” can admit he has a problem, and seek help, and risk public humiliation, then anyone can take the plunge, and start a new chapter of their life, drink and drug free.

Comment on this article


-Radam G :

Big Money O is a champion. He knows how to win. He knows what it takes through thick and thin. He knows that every addict, drunk and dey momma will try to get him back in. Big Money O is a real man, not the one of tin. He ain't ready to rust. Staying clean he knows that he must. And he will, because he is a champion STILL. Right on, BMO. The right way you will go. Holla!

-amayseng :

ive always been a HUGE dlh fan... hes a great fighter, great skills, always entertaining... but honestly, i lost a lot of respect for him...i know addictions are difficult, but my thinking is that this guy had a wife and kids, half a billion dollars....why would he ever even try drugs is my question.. i had a kid at 20 years old and decided then i would be responsible and grow up.... he has no excuse for these actions... if he has been that bored or had a lot of difficulty leaving the sport then he should try coming back hes not over the hill, he didnt retire old, he retired weight drained.. at 154 or 160 he could get back into it maybe that is what he needs

-Joe :

Best wishes to the Golden Boy another great champion that's working through the transition. A guy who took boxing to the next level and followed up with business savy no other fighter has managed to attain. Focus on making that billion Oscar!!!!!!!!!

-Robert Curtis :

I'm afraid I must be a hater because I'm short on sympathy for rich boozers waltzing in and out of posh rehab centers (basically glorified hotels). When you're a multi-millionaire celebrity or politician, you're cast as a great hero fighting to win back your life and triumph against terrible odds. If you're broke and out of work, like too many today, there is no rehab and you're going to court-ordered AA meetings, slogging through community service jobs and fighting for your shoes in a homeless shelter. Who even knows what happened to addicts like Bert Cooper? How many of us even remember the great Aaron "Hawk" Pryor who left the sport with nothing and fought his way back to health and sobriety the hard way? ODLH is one of the few in this sport that came out way WAY on top, with multi-millions, a lovely wife, family, a huge successful business, properties, investments, the works. Golden Boy isn't the worst promotional organization, I suppose, but they are responsible for lots of crappy undercards and mismatches, plus they exploit a great many hungry young fighters who will fight for peanuts under Draconian contracts. Yes, the rich feel pain too. I suppose it just itches some Marxist bone deep inside me when I read about the troubles of some guy pouring 300 dollar tequila into his blender and getting himself into trouble. Aww. Poor baby. As the Mrs. Howell said on Gilligan's Island: "Anyone who says money can't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop!"

-Radam G :

Hehehehehehe! C'mon, Bobby C! Don't be hatin!' Nobody can do anything about being the lucky one. You just have to deal the cards that you are served. Big Money O was served a FULL HOUSE. It ain't his fault, and he ain't being false. Holla!

-Robert Curtis :

Guess I'm just jealous 'cause I never had any high rollin' days of endless babes and bottomless blow like Oscar and Ray Leonard.

-brownsugar :

@ Rob C... nice one. "fighting for their shoes in a homeless shelter" doens't get any realer than that.

-Radam G :

Danggit! So is life. For many stife! But we all meet at a common end -- Dead like doornails -- What The Fudge! Everytime I go and visit my demise relatives in the Chinese cemetery in Manila, I then go to a really poor cemetery a few kilometers away, where family members share tombs and catacombs. The thing that I always observe, is that the rich dead is as dead as the poor ones. But there are few vistors or tourists and no grand houses for the dead, where housekeepers reside. Wow! What a job! You get no complaint from the dead. I've never saw my dead relatives there complaining. Just the visiting live ones are always BYTCHING like mutha-entitled to every darn thing under the sun! You can probably check out the Manila Chinese cemetery on Youtube. Youtube is in everybodeee and dey mommas' darn business. Holla!