There's something about physical beauty that makes us love people even when they're of the worst character. And there's something about physical unattractiveness that makes it hard for us to warm to other people, despite their accomplishments and mastery in their chosen vocation.
We can abide or even love a dashingly handsome fellow, despite the fact he's a failure as a government minister or no better than ordinary as a senior company executive. But a person whom we deem to be as attractive as a bright light shone directly into our faces gets no love from us if they happen to be failing in their chosen field.
Worse still for the ugly man is that he finds his successes downplayed and his achievements whispered rather than shouted, simply because of how some people are wired to treat those they deem to be hard-featured. The ugly man's lot is compounded if he goes about his work eschewing friendships.
He makes things even worse for himself if he refuses to be that which people, especially those in what the legendary Winston McIntosh refers to as the 'sh-stem', want him to be.
It can be argued that Stephen Francis, a genius of coaching and moulding athletic talent, does not get due respect and acknow-ledgement from the Jamaican public, perhaps because he's not a pretty boy.
Francis is the architect-in-chief of Super Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who has written her name on the list of the greatest female sprinters of all time by virtue of her scene-stealing appearance at the World Championships in Moscow.
He's guided the career of the daddy of modern-day Jamaican sprinting, Asafa Powell nurtured an Olympic and World Cham-pionships gold medallist in the 400m hurdles for women; made a World Championships gold medallist in the women's sprint hurdles and directed the career of a world-class high jumper who has won medals for two countries from the World Junior to senior levels.
Francis has delivered world-beaters across the sex divide and has stamped his class as a guru at producing champions on the track as well as in the field. Yet, while we hail his athletes, it's usually through gritted teeth that persons acknowledge the fact that Stephen Francis' work is manifest in the creation of those heroes whom we rush to deify after they attain glory for themselves and our country.
'Frano' could hardly have been more unfortunate in the looks department. A corpulent man who makes the shade black look black, Francis knows what it takes to make athletes run pretty quickly with poise and beauty. Much of the reason for some people disliking him is the fact that he's often brusque with the media and doesn't indulge their prying into the business of him and his athletes.
A highly intelligent man, Francis understands he's not in the game of public relations, so he doesn't need to be accommodating to the press horde. Clearly, he's a man who does only what he needs to do and only when those things suit him or the athletes whose careers he's shaping. He knows that being a media darling is an unsustainable chore and, therefore, does things in a manner which results in the Fourth Estate portraying him as a ghoulish character.
But the medals won by his athletes at major championships and their consistent performances mark Stephen Francis out as a great Jamaican. He's not a man given to smiling because someone wants him to. He's not one of those personalities who, because of their role in the success of others, walks around at major functions looking for a patch of limelight to stand in.
For every private race that Mrs Fraser-Pryce ran on her way to a gold medal in Moscow, Jamaicans must thank and appreciate the work of Francis. We must celebrate him for his eye for talent and gift of making athletes believe they can be the best.
Let's ignore what he's not. He's not in the modelling business. Nor is he interested in vying for the Debonair of the Year award. Children, we don't have to like Stephen Francis. But for what he has done in building Jamaicans who've brought glory to this land, he demands nothing short of our respect.
George Davis is a journalist. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.