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Merriam-Webster OnLine Definition: "Hero" 1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b : an illustrious warrior c : a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d : one that shows great courage
2 a : the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement
3: plural usually heros
4 : an object of extreme admiration and devotion : idol
What makes sports heroes idol's? What happens when heroes self destruct? Sports heroes are treated as royalty. They're given keys to cities, honored by politicians, rewarded with millions for promoting products. But, what happens when they fall and what effect does it have on America's youth who look up to these "role models"?
Charles Barkley has always been a colorful figure. He was one of basketball's biggest names but he did not want the "role model" tag attached to his name and publicly stated so. Good for Charles. His message was be a fan but be yourself. He was ridiculed back in the day for making such a statement. He should have been applauded for telling it like it is. Be yourself kids.
The trouble with putting too much trust or hope in a celebrity is they often fall. And, when they do, it's a hard crash from a wish upon a star to an express train straight to hell. In some twisted cases, these falls are often embraced or emulated by naive fans. Here's a brief list of what one time heroes have become: murderers, drug users, rapists, adulterers, child beaters, animal abusers, liars, cheated in their sports, used illegal substances to enhance performances and the list goes on...
Tiger Woods recent saga should send a strong signal of the perils which accompany too much reliance on "idols" (celebrities). Over the past 20 years some of the most prominent have been the most corrupt. Head over to "SportsRagePage.com" for more in depth reviews....
Pete Rose is baseball's all time hits leader and was banished forever because of betting on baseball. A charge vehemently denied for years until he wrote a book to come clean. Mike Tyson was to become the greatest heavyweight champion of all time until things turned ugly from rape to brawls to behaviour in the ring (ear biting). Barry Bonds broke many major baseball records including Hank Aaron's home run record but BB's connection in baseball's BALCO scandal is a pure disgrace. Mark McGwire's single season home run record has been tainted by performance enhancing drug abuse... and to this day, he refuses to comment about his past. Michael Vick was a well publicized energetic Atlanta Falcons star quarterback until we was jailed for running a dog fighting ring. My list is endless. All of these celebrated stars were thought of as role models (I left at least 50 more off). They were used as role models being promoted to anyone willing to follow. We were told this is what you can do battling long odds. Many became spokesmen for childrens groups. In my eyes, they will always be disgraces to their professions.
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