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by: Protoclown

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this article. Youíre a hero! No, really! You are! Has anybody else noticed that the term "hero" just gets tossed around like monkey-flung-feces these days? It seems like everybodyís a hero, no matter what kind of stupid shit they do. 

What got me thinking about it is the recent death of racecar driver Dale Earnhardt. All you heard about in the paper and on TV was how a great "hero" has died. "Letís take a moment to honor a real hero!" or "Nascar lost a noble hero this Sunday". Okay, I feel bad for the guy and his family, but give me a fucking break! A hero? He drove a car around in CIRCLES for fuckís sake!! Whatís so heroic about that? Maybe he WAS a good guy, maybe he was charitable, I donít know. Maybe he saved a bunch of nuns from a burning bus, or maybe he fought in Vietnam. But I think weíre grossly misusing the term "hero" in cases like these. 

It seems like you ALWAYS hear the word in conjunction with major sports figures. Apparently to be an athlete one must be a hero first. I canít COUNT the number of baseball players out there who the media has told me are great heroes over the years. There is NOTHING heroic about trying to hit a ball with a stick. Nothing. "Oh, but every year Player X donates 50 cents of his 23.4 million dollar salary to charity!" the people say. "Well, fuck me!" I reply. "He must be a real hero after all!"

The day I consider a baseball player a hero is the day that one of them snaps and takes his bat and starts beating to death members of the KKK, or people who beat up women, or rednecks who attack gay people. When that starts happening, the world of sports may indeed find themselves the proud possessor of a hero or two. But right now all I see are a bunch of stupid bastards who get paid FAR too much money for what they do.

"What about the fireman who saved my kitty from the tree? Is he a hero?" you ask. No, heís not. Heís a nice man. He may also be a dumbass, depending on how badly he risked himself to save Mr. Kitty from the tree. But heís an awfully nice dumbass. Though he may be a hero if he saved all those kids from the burning building last week. But according to the news, heís probably a hero just if he drove the fire truck in a circular route to get TO your precious kitty in the tree.

Iím not trying to be a bastard here, but letís give credit where it IS due and letís not give TOO MUCH credit to people who really just arenít that exceptional. "Okay," you say, "but isnít one of the definitions of hero a person noted for special achievement in a particular field?" Yes, thatís true. But racecar driving??? Youíve got to be shitting me! That doesnít even count! Chasing after a baseball? Not even close! Saving the world from the oppressive onslaught of Nazi Germanyís war machine? Well, okay, maybe that last one.

Seriously though, how trivial are we going to get? I mean sports ARE pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Does that mean that we have stamp-collecting heroes out there too? "Milton has been collecting stamps since 1963 and has the largest collection in the world, including rare samples from the Congo!" I mean, isnít that a special achievement in a particular field? Isnít he a stand out sort of guy? I think he is! But are we really prepared to give him a gold medal for his achievements? Lunch with the President perhaps? I donít fucking think so. Because heís not a hero.

So letís cut the bullshit. Okay, a racecar driver dies, a baseball player sprains his ankle. They may be great guys, and itís fine to feel sympathy for them. But letís not turn them into gods among men by devoting every second of media time to them in an effort to "honor their noble sacrifice". Driver hit wall. Go boom. ĎNuff said. 

note #1: Protoclown thinks that we should devote more TV time to G.I. JOE, a REAL American hero!

note #2: -RoG- feels no sympathy for guys that get paid more than an entire small country's gross income for sitting on a bench all year and hitting a ball with a bat a few times.

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