I am one of those rare bread of gals who love sports.
At Superbowl parties when all the chicks are in the kitchen gossiping, I am in front of the big screen screaming.
I played hoops in high school and college, right around the time the Title 9 stuff went down. I was no Brittney Greiner, but I was OK, and proud to be a part of Women in Sports history in the making.
|of course I made this shot:)|
Back in the day, there seemed to be more athletes who exhibited dignity, integrity, and a solid work ethic. Sports through high school and college taught me these hard learned life lessons.
I am thankful for that.
A great role model of yesteryear is Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player to participate in the MLB. During the volatile time preceding the civil rights movement, he was the man for the job.
At all times, even when he was not allowed to eat or sleep or even go to the bathroom with the team, he kept his dignity and his integrity in tact.
His story, however is about so much more than baseball.
If you don't know how he led the way in the 50's to the much needed civil rights movement of the 60's you can watch his story in the recent movie "42" (here is the trailer)
Number 42 was arguably one of the best baseball players of all time, a hero, and a fine man.
the troubling truth is- we have college and professional athletes who lie, cheat, juice, (illegal performance enhancing drugs) signal the "money for me" or "throat slashing" in the end zone, or even commit murder.
Kind of the opposite of dignity? YUP
Not such great role models? TRUE
Don't even mention integrity.
I could be tempted to say
WHAT IN THE CAT HAIR IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?
But I will not, because thankfully, we still have a few athletes who possess a little dignity. The Mannings are good guys and great football players. RG3 is a role model worth mentioning.
Say what you will about Lebron James, but he actually is a pretty nice fella.
Last week, however, as I was watching my beloved Tampa Bay Rays on TV, I had a chance to witness a legend, hero, and fine gentleman throw his final pitch before retirement at Yankee Stadium. The experience for me was historical, and moving.
For baseball lovers, it was epic.
|"Mo" throws his final pitch after 19 years in the Majors.|
What? a real present day role model?
Mariano Rivera, the best relief pitcher/closer in baseball (until he retired last week) grew up in poverty in Panama, Central America.
His soft spoken dignity and integrity is rare for a famous athlete in today's world.
He wears his genuine faith in his Savior on his sleeve daily. What comes out of his mouth, does not degrade other athletes, but glorifies His God. His spotless reputation as an athlete and a man is not disputable. ESPN doesn't have any dirt on him, only praise. (and that is rare) He personally, and his foundation give thousands of dollars yearly to charity.
The guy is a class act, (as the sports talk shows say:)
What about you?
Who do you admire?
Who do you consider a present day hero?
Better question: Who are you guiding your kids to look at as a role model?
I hope and pray it is not misguided cocky college football players, or a shallow Hollywood star.
Even with all of its flaws, I still love sports.
I still live for College Gameday, March Madness and the World Series.
Mariano Rivera (deservedly so) is the last baseball player who will ever be allowed to wear
the coveted #42,
the same number Jackie Robinson wore.
There will be no others.
I pray, though, in the future,
there will be athletes that might deserve it.