Do we have any heroes in sports anymore? I look around, and all I see are heroes falling left and right. Just today, one of the most inspirational men in running-- the "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius-- was charged with murder in the shooting of his girlfriend in South Africa. Pistorius is the runner who made an Olympic track semifinal in London on two prosthetic blade-looking legs. His South African relay team-- with him running anchor-- also made a relay final. And yes, he is a multiple Paralympic medalist.
This case, in some cases, is similar to the Lance Armstong fiasco. Armstrong is not accused of murder, but in a sense, he killed off a lot of reputations while denying use of performance-enhancers. Going back further, the O.J. Simpson trial-- almost 20 years ago, in 1994-- where he was eventually acquitted or murder in a criminal court, but lost a wrongful death suit in civil court. Then you have the fall from grace of Joe Paterno. "Joe Pa " was accused of covering up the heinous crimes against children committed by one of his top assistants, Jerry Sandusky. The alleged cover up led to a great coach's disgraceful exit from football-- and maybe to his death a short time later.
Let's turn the clock back further. Pete Rose was banned for life from baseball-- and from the Hall of Fame-- in 1989 as part of a gambling scandal. Now, my question-- expecially given Pete's love for attention-- is an Armstrong-like Pete Rose "mea culpa" coming beore a famous baseball reporter-- maybe to someone like ESPN's Buster Olney, as an example? I don't think it will happen tomorrow-- but if and when Pete Rose's health starts to decline, don't rule it out. Just my opinion-- nothing more...
And how about the most famous sports scandal in history? The 1919 Black Sox-- a scandal so famous, it was even mentioned in F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece "The Great Gatsby." The eight Sox-- talent rich but extremely cash-poor-- threw the World Series, and were all banned from baseball by the sport's first Commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis. One of the centerpieces of that scandal was Chicago's Joe Jackson. Say it ain't so, Joe-- or Joe Pa, or Pete, or O.J., and Oscar. We need heroes-- and in the light of what we have seen recently, and in days of long ago, the elevation of Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, Aaron Rogers, and all is understandable. Lets's hope we use some sense in placing these men on a mountain-- because as we have seen through history-- recent and otherwise, the higher you elevate someone, the longer the fall-- and the greater the impact.
That's my take-- I'm Tom Lee.
Tags : Locations : Chicago, LondonPeople : Aaron Rogers, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Jackson, Joe Pa, Joe Paterno, O.J. Simpson, Oscar Pistorius, Pete Rose, Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow