by Christian Duque
I recently did an Instagram Live @StrengthAddicts and someone asked me a very interesting question that made me think. Before I draw your attention to this, let me step onto my soapbox for a moment when it comes to these live chats.
Well, I admit, I don’t have a large audience, but when people come into my chats, I always try to say hello, I try to monitor the interactions between my viewers, and if there is ever a question, I do my best to answer it. Now I understand that if you are a mega star and thousands are logged in, it is impossible to make everyone feel welcome, let alone take the time to answer their questions. That being said, you can always meet people halfway. You can greet a few random people, you can answer 1-3 questions, and that will go a long way.
What annoys me like nothing else is when the audience is completely ignored. They have people who say what difference the hosts made in their lives, some ascribe to them that they have overcome life-threatening diseases or even named their children after them, and the host could care less about them. It’s not even that they don’t look at the screen – because they are total – they just don’t care, everything is. For some, this may be a sign of being big leagues, but I’m sorry, nothing could be further from the truth. Those who knowingly ignore their audience don’t deserve to have one.
However, when I step out of my soapbox, I always look at what my viewers are saying, and one viewer asked a very good question. Where would Mr. USA, IFBB Pro Craig Titus be in 1996 today if the terrible crime he was involved in never happened? In his day, the Internet was very early on, magazines and DVDs were king, and bodybuilding rivalries were in full swing. Craig had a hair temperament, he was loud and he took trash talk to new levels. This is an interesting question.
Back when I read about Titus, he lived in the west and visited Mecca, Max Muscle and all Muscle Beach hotspots. When I read about him in the magazines or watched the DVDs, he lived life. This was a time when the 90s were in full swing and the guys were doing everything they could to do their best on stage. Life seemed easier then. You also have to recognize that as a fan you see things in a completely different context. Back then, my prospects were not as solid as they are today. On the other hand, the times were very different then.
Today even the most promising aspiring star has to hurry up. Money doesn’t grow on trees like it did in the 1990s. Back then there was no Instagram, no YouTube, damn it, there was hardly any internet. They had to dial in, sometimes just minutes to sign up, and no one posted their progress recordings or hosted radio broadcasts online. When people wanted news, they bought a magazine. If they really wanted to follow a competitor, they bought their DVDs or their 8×10, hoping to get them signed. If a man dissected another man, it could take a month for a magazine to write about it, and another month for it to circulate worldwide. The words were often spoken, the awkwardness passed, and the two parties had reconciled before the reader even had a chance to read the first message.
Many rivalries continued, even if the parties were cool with each other just to sell magazines and tickets. You don’t think all the guys who had beef really didn’t like each other, do you? Bodybuilding took some pointers from wrestling and implemented them for some important marketing gains.
Whenever I think of Titus, I think of his rivalry with King Kamali. Look at how big Kamali is today. That could be Titus, who is the face of the Iron generation and could now be a big sponsor, especially given the fact that he left California for Vegas. In fact, Titus chose to live in Vegas like 4x Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler, and as far as I know, they didn’t even live too far apart.
The problem is, Craig really seems to have been the bad boy the authors wrote about. It sounds funny when you type it down, but there are people who played a role while others were just themselves. There are many commentators who believe that if Craig had never left Muscle Beach, he would never have gotten into the decadent nightlife and party scene of Vegas. it is said that he might not have experienced the downward spiral he made, but places don’t make people. That being said, Vegas may not have been the place for him, but the question remains where he would be today.
I think someone like Craig would be all over social media, he would be a regular guest on RxMuscle, he would probably have his own very popular YouTube, and he would definitely have made at least one generation of Iron Movies about him. If you think about it, all the boys from the 90s and 2000s are doing very well because their fans are older than social media and they adore these boys. The level of support corresponds to that of the big athletes and / or Hollywood stars. The way I get stars to ignore their audience on IG Live today is just an indication of how narrow the gap between champions and fans is today. In the past, people could never see and hear Dorian chatting with other legends of the day. The little they heard from him was on interviews or DVDs, but today almost anyone (with enough perseverance) can write to Yates, get an answer, and maybe engage him in a conversation. Imagine you are interacting with Titus …
Could you imagine someone like Craig at IG Live today if they hadn’t given shit back that day? I could see him picking up the phone and shouting into it. The guy didn’t have a terrible temper all the time, but that’s the perception he created in my eyes. I remember a video in which he was unhappy that his wife took 2nd place and he yelled at the judges from the stands. It’s pretty crazy. I remember reading on the boards that he and Bob Cicherillo also had a short feud. The Kamali was the best because it was even played at the Olympic press conference. Most guys, even if they hated each other, kept their personal problems away from the big competitions, especially the biggest bodybuilding show, but not Kamali, not Priest. These guys had no problem saying what they thought and that’s why they’re all doing very well today. Titus was just like her. So where would Craig be if he were with us today? The answer would be: EVERYWHERE !!
What do you think? What Would Craig Do Today?