The Lance Armstrong confession has resulted in some interesting reactions, “The New York Times” had perhaps the funniest:
“…Armstrong did indeed admit he used performance-enhancing drugs. (In other news: the world is round.)”
But among the more interesting responses have been those who are now questioning the wisdom of placing athletes or other celebrities in the role of “heroes” and therefore role models.
Do we really want our kids emulating someone whose claim to fame is his ability to ride a bike or chase a ball? Do we want our kids to think that it’s normal to be incredibly wealthy, have a throng of hangers-on, be treated “special” by the courts and then be finished with your career in your thirties?
Vince Lombardi is known for saying, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing!” Actually, he “borrowed” that phrase from UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell (“Red”) Sanders. I guess that alone is enough to prove that some people will beg, borrow, steal, or inject in order to win.
I’d rather my kids see heroes as the people who go to work every day, not for fame and fortune but because it’s the right thing to do. Parents who attend the school concert, the sporting event and who help (to the degree they can) with the school projects. People who give God his due. People who repeatedly fall madly in love with their spouse.
Celebrities live in a different world – make that a different universe – from the rest of us. They have their place. We enjoy them because they make us laugh, they make us cry. They make us cheer. They make us wish they could have heard the advice we shouted to the television before they messed up that last play. (Auugghhhh! Fumble!)
Most of our kids will never live in the celebrities universe, and even if they do, sooner or later (probably sooner) they’ll re-enter the normal universe, and hopefully find themselves willing to go to work every day, be attentive to their kids, know God, and appreciate their spouse.