Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Guys? Anyone?

I can remember just a few years ago hearing sports commentators singling out Joe Paterno as "one of the good guys."  

Joe's statue has since disappeared from Penn State.

Tiger Woods was supposed to be a good guy.  Admittedly, he was really good at golf at a young age.  

In spite of his talent, Tiger was one of those "sports heroes"  I never particularly liked until I saw his family portrait with a beautiful Border Collie. 

Then, for a while, I decided he was maybe okay.  The wholesome image made all the difference in my mind. 

Now I say, "What an insult to Border Collies!  And, to his wife and children."

Unlike a lot of people I know, Lance Armstrong was never really one of my favorites----and for no particular reason.  I just didn't get too excited about all the Lance adoration.  

Never did wear one of those bracelets, either, even though their symbolic meaning remains dear to my heart.  Anyone who survives cancer earns some hero status. 

Manti Te'o---what a story!  

As a sentimental slob, I bought it hook, line and sinker and thought it was SO wonderful that Notre Dame, the team of epic legend, had enjoyed such a dream season this year after a couple of decades of mediocre records. 

I truly loved the tale of Manti and watched him with delight, both on the playing field and at the awards ceremonies.  

What a wonderful story, I thought!  We need such feel-good reminders in the midst of this crazy world we live in.  

We need more heroes like Manti.  

I don't know if we'll ever learn the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in what has become one of the more convoluted, bizarre story lines of modern times. 

I still want to admire Manti but must admit that it appears the holes in his narrative are expanding from pin pricks to gaping chasms. 

Ouch! Those pin pricks even hurt when one wants so much to believe in a good guy in what is becoming more and more a sullied sports world.

Need I even mention another headline in this morning's sports section:  Ryan Leaf, once a star quarterback for the WSU Cougars, transferred from drug rehabilitation to the Montana State prison for attacking a staff member. 

At least, Ryan's story has been out there for some time, hardly neatly packaged by a topnotch public relations firm. 

I watched part of the Lance Armstrong interview last night.  Oprah got the ratings.  Lance got to tell all and admit most of what he's allegedly done to reach the top of his sport AND to stay there.

I also watched some more snippets on the Manti story on another channel. 

Then, I turned to Channel 6 to watch our beloved ZAGS take on a scrappy team from the University of Portland.  They did well.  

Even one of the usual bench sitters got a chance to shine with his three 3-pointers. I thought that was pretty cool. 

It was a great victory for the ZAGS.

I still believe in them.   I want so much for them to ascend into the top ranks of the NCAA. 

More than anything, I want them to achieve that status through dedicated practice,  teamwork, mutual respect and deep respect for all those who believe in them.  

I want them to remain decent human beings in spite of their ascendancy into greatness in the sports world. 

I also want their biggest, most compelling story for sports commentators and for all of us who love them so much as "the good guys"  to be that Kelly Olynk cuts off most of that hair sometime toward the end of the season and donates it to Locks of Love. 

Such stories could restore our faith in the fact that most good guys can attain impressive achievements without all the extracurricular side shows. 

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