When sweeps rolls around, you can expect the media to latch onto stories that they hope will drive ratings.
There is one story that is now making the rounds that has hit me like a ton of bricks. And I can say, that isn't easy to do.
It's the story about Olympic medalist Debi Thomas.
Back in the early 90's, I lived in Chicago in a high rise on Lake Shore Drive. Debi Thomas lived in the same high rise and we both had dogs at the time.
It seems that her dog and mine were on the exact same bathroom schedule and often Thomas and I would walk our dogs along Lake Michigan.
At the time, Thomas had already won a medal in the Olympics, graduated from Stanford with a degree in engineering and was going to medical school at Northwestern in Chicago. That's where I met her.
She, simply was one of the most driven people I had ever met. Like most med-students, Thomas did not have much of a social life in Chicago. She was passionate about her school work and was driven to be the best.
It was that rare student athlete that excelled at both.
On our dog walks, the conversation was always just casual and it focused more on our dogs than anything else. Dog lovers will know what I mean when I say that.
But, you could see in her eyes that her focus on her goals was right there. She didn't want to only be a Doctor, she wanted to be the best Doctor.
It seemed that no matter what, nothing was going to stand between her and her goals.
After leaving Chicago, I never talked to Thomas again, but I always figured she would achieve greatness in her field, just like she did on the skating rink.
Needless to say, I was shocked and blown away about the stories that Thomas is broke and living in a bug infested trailer with an alcoholic boyfriend.
For once, one of those sweeps stories that the media obsesses on is about someone I know. I could put a face on the story and to be honest, it's more than sad.
While media will be fixated on the Debi Thomas story for the next couple of days, after that they will forget her.
The driven woman that there was no doubt would make it had fallen from grace and it's the kind of story the media loves.
That woman that was driven o much, now has become a sweeps piece and will be cast aside.
You see it happen so often, but I can assure you, it feels so much different than just a story, when you actually know the person involved.