Adrienne BoettingerFriday,18 January 2013

The Snap:

“Where have all the good men gone and where all the gods?” Truer words were ne’er sung, Bonnie Tyler. Lance ArmstrongBarry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tiger Woods, Michael VickPete RoseKobe Bryant, Brett FavreManny RamirezMark ChmuraTiki Barber. I don’t even want to bring up Manti Te’o since who the hell knows what happened there. Revere athletes like gods and you’ll end up crying in your Wheaties when they turn out to be more like jackasses than knights on white horses.

The Download:

Personally, I could give a crap about Lance Armstrong and whether or not he doped. In fact I would pay decent money, or at least the price of a cocktail, to never hear about his faux apology again. The only male athlete I’ve ever revered is Cal Ripken, Jr. Hey, I’m from Baltimore (pronounced “Bawlmer”). Plus this generation’s Iron Man was responsible for bringing fans and honor back to baseball in the face of a soul-crushing players’ strike and countless scandals.

(Of course, in terms of female athletes, I did idolize phenom gymnast Mary Lou Retton when I was a little girl and still have the small dent in my forehead from when I tried to do one of her floor routines and crashed into the piano.)

When it comes to male athletes, I’ve never expected them to be superhuman in terms of their prowess on the field, court, or rink. I’ve also never expected them to be beyond the frailties of men when it comes to living exemplary personal lives. For reasons I can’t quite understand, we set them up to be role models for our children and then are shocked and appalled when they prove to be human after all. You could say the same about politicians I suppose. In the blink of an eye, we question their abilities to govern when we learn an unsavory detail of their personal lives.

Does this mean I think they’re beyond reproach and we should turn a blind eye to their cheating, abusing, doping, or whatever horrible thing they think of next? Of course not. I just think we need to be a little more realistic in what we expect from these bastions of manliness, and if we think they’re proving unworthy, stop supporting the exorbitant salaries they receive. Don’t buy the jerseys, go to the games, or watch them when they end up on reality TV if you’re truly mortified when one of these heroes falls from grace.

Better yet, find different heroes to hold up as examples for your children. Or best yet, be the heroes for your children. Spend actual quality time with them. Volunteer your time and talents in the service of others. Refrain from demonizing those whom you oppose politically. And don’t drive like a douchebag flipping off every car you pass and screaming obscenities. Especially not the Prius being driven by the tone-deaf fool singing her heart out to Bonnie Tyler.

Hat Tips:

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  1. […] were some other damn fine articles this week, including Adrienne Boettinger’s “I Need A Hero,” Hanes Hallbirn’s “A Letter From The Future On FED Use: We’re All Laughing […]

  2. […] Lance Armstrong proved his unoriginality, not just by using performance-enhancing drugs or issuing a faux apology, […]

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