Tuesday, November 16, 2004

We Could be Heroes!

I listen to the radio before I go to bed every night (I know...I'm a nerd). This past Monday (oddly enough the day we have class!) I was listening to ESPN Overnight on the FAN 590. The host of the show was talking about athletes as heroes. He was reiterating what Prof. Kuin was saying, but applying it to athletes: Sport's heroes are connected to glory, the glory of sport; ceremony, the best athletes get inducted into Hall of Fames with great pomp and circumstance; and, most importantly, athletes connect to something larger than life. The average person can never to do the things athletes do, just like the average person can not come close to Achilles' military prowess.
It was interesting to hear because during class, I was finding it hard to apply the criteria of a hero to any modern day figure. I thought about what I heard and it struck me that athletes really are modern day heroes in the Homeric sense. Sure they get paid way too much, but they still are associated with glory, honour and ceremony.
Because I'm missing hockey so much, I will use an example of our own Wayne Gretzky. He is the greatest hockey player that ever played the game; Gretzky's glory came when he won the Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers for the first time; he was connected to honour, they way he conducted himself on and off the ice; he connected to ceremony when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame with all the bells and whistles that one would expect when a great player gets inducted; finally, he is definitely connected to something larger than life; the passes he made and the goals he scored looked seemingly impossible. But beyond that, countless of parents take there kids to hockey practice with the dream that little Billy or Joey will be the next Gretzky, countless young hockey players want to be like Gretzky and countless more call Gretzky there hero!

I knew I could incorporate sports with my blogs, I just had to figure out a way how!!


Blogger marwa said...

its very surprising when people identify a famous person as their 'hero'. When they finally meet their 'hero', they get soo carried away like, "oh my god he touched me, and oh my god he is so normal". Well duuhhhhhh, what is he a creature?

Moreover these famous people might be seen as heroes to others but aiming more into role model.
Its like the example you gave about Gretzy. In my opnion he is a role model to the kids and he map portrayed as their hero when they begin to succeed.

November 19, 2004 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger The Poole Boy said...

I would have to agree with Marwa. Sports stars fall more into the category of role model than hero. I feel that being a hero involves some sort of sacrifice for the benefit of other while seeking nothing in return. I would be more inclined to call a single mother working hard to keep her children clothed, with good meals, a good education and a roof over their heads a hero, than I would a sports star who is just doing their job. For multi millions of dollars I might add. Real heroes don’t get paid for their actions.

November 24, 2004 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Sidd Rawte said...

In partial-defence of myself, I look at sports stars as heros because they connect to something larger than life. Like what Prof. Kuin was talking about in the hero lecture. They do things the ordinary person can't do, like Achilles' fighting prowess.
And of course single parents, struggling for their kids are heros, they also do things the average person would find difficult. In fact, as you rightly say Mike, anyone who is self sacrificing is a hero (I realise athelets are not very self sacrificing (we just have to look at the recent basketball brawl), this is why I am only partially defending myself). I see where you guys are coming from, but I still feel a good athele (in terms of atheltic prowess and philanthropy) CAN be considered a hero too.

November 24, 2004 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger marwa said...

i dunno, do u see them as heroes because their popular?. In my condition a famous person to me is not a hero unless, its like saying ohhh Britney Spears is my hero.
Although some famous people can be hero's, if they have done something to satisfy his/her country, family, friends, etc.
Being on top of things, like a professional basketball player is done for oneself. How do they sacrifice for others?. As Mike said, parents can be heroes and lets not forget the war heroes who sacrificed for their country.
So i conclude that athletes are seen to be role models, at least in my opinion.

November 25, 2004 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger la said...

I agree with what Marwa has to say about the sports 'hero'. I don't particularly find sports figures to be heroic. They, at least in my point of view, are viewed more so as role models than anything else. Little kids look up to these athletes and want to be able to do the cool things they do, and be as successful as they are in their life. They don't really do anything courageous though, so how are they heroic?

You said that athletes are heroic because, "...they are larger than life," I'd like to know, in what context is this true? Sure, some of the athletes today have gotten where they have because they have a natural talent for the sport, but the majority of them have just gotten there through hard work. I don't really think that athletes should be considered larger than life, just because their positions are within grasp. I mean, if someone starts playing a sport at the age of 3 or 4, and they continuously practise, and just keep getting better and better at it, they can become an athelete as well can't they-- so are they really as LARGE as you're making them out to be? Also, a lot of them get where they are because of connections within the industry. K I'm done.

November 27, 2004 at 7:59 AM  

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