What is the definition of a hero? There was quite a flap about the recent Baseball Hall of Fame inductees and the exclusion of sluggers Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and pitcher Roger Clemens. Seems their alleged steroid use disqualified them. I get that. In the controversy, which referenced other, "clean" ball players, I recall hearing the word hero. More than once.
That, I most definitely do NOT get.
Athletes get paid really well - some insanely, unbelievably well, to... "play." Can somebody explain what exactly is heroic about that?
Famed Yankee Alex Rodriguez makes $30 million a year. Last year he "played" 122 games. That's about $246,000 per game. How many fans, screaming in the stands are making $246,000 per year? Or in 2 years? Or 3?
Why do people worship athletes? Why have they been always "held to a higher standard," as they say? Nobody seems to care if rock stars and movie stars take drugs or have sordid lives. Actually, it's almost expected.
There is absolutely nothing heroic about anyone making obscene amounts of money to have fun.
Heroes are people who run into burning buildings, or hunch over microscopes looking for cures, or belly crawl under machine gun fire or comfort the sick day in day out. That's heroism.
Pro athletes are just plain lucky. Nothing more. Nothing.
And then there's Lance Armstrong. Stay tuned.