Ekman on ARod

I mentioned Paul Ekman and FACS and microexpressions in the post before this, and last week I wrote a tweet wishing that Tim Roth's character from Lie to Me could interview ARod.

Curious, Paul Ekman decided to watch ARod's 2007 interview with Katie Couric, the one in which he denied using performance enhancing drugs, to see if he could detect signs of lying in ARod's face.

Ever modest, Ekman notes that his method is only directional, that absolute certainty is impossible. But he does find some signs of lying.

I suspect what Ekman sees evidence of is what many sports fans have come to dislike about ARod over the years, a sort of phoniness and artificiality that makes both him and Kobe Bryant the most talented but disliked players in sports.

I grew up in Chicago during the Bulls dynasty years, so I'm more than a little biased towards Michael Jordan. But I do wonder sometimes what it is about Jordan that left him more beloved by sports fans, despite various marital and gambling issues. I believe it's because he never came off as a normal person at all, even in his advertisements. He was affable but distant, more a distillation of pure basketball talent and fierce competitiveness. By not having some other human side to betray, he never came off as phony. He just was Michael Jordan, the most competitive man to ever, whether he was lacing up basketball sneakers or golf shoes or dealing a deck of cards.