Precarious Hero Pedestals

| 2/2/2015 10:37:00 AM


Finding a place of peace and football-free quiet can be a challenge for a Seattle resident and native the day before the 2015 Super Bowl, but I knew just the spot—nestled away in the Cascade Mountains.

This weekend, in my quiet mountain retreat, I tried to dig for a deeper understanding of a seemingly foreign (to me) social norm—professional football. In homage to the Seahawks, the Super Bowl, and the many fans of both, I decided to watch a football movie, The Underdogs. My mother, who ironically did not contribute to my understanding of sports or competition while I was growing up, recently lent it to me. The story worked from a fairly typical David and Goliath theme, which I often gravitate toward.

As I watched the movie, I grew to like and appreciate some of the characters and dislike others. There were heroes, villains, underdogs, and people who seemed devoid of moral character. The range of character experience, responses, and development displayed in the film helped me understand how sports can build character, commitment, camaraderie, discipline, and team orientation—all good contributions to building sustainable societies.

After the movie ended, I got to thinking about the conversations I had overheard about football and the beloved Seahawks over the last several months. Much of it has been about who each player represents in their everyday lives, or at least who our community sees that player to be. The top of those pedestals must be a precarious position for each of those men.

It is curious to me that, as a society, we idealize people who garner media attention because of their God-given talents and gifts to become our most monetarily valued community members. Sitting around the table after dinner the other night, my uncle, who is a big sports fan, said something like, "If you knew Russell Wilson’s and Richard Sherman's stories, you would think highly of them." I didn’t and still don’t know the details of their good works, but I can tell you I am most impressed by peoples’ acts of service, generosity, and caring for their communities.

2/5/2015 7:20:00 PM

Love this video titled, "If We Cared About The Environment Like We Care About Sports."

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