I like sports.
As a youth I never missed a home football or basketball game at my high school. I was a TV Yankees baseball fan with my dad. I went to college basketball games.
We used to be big Supersonic basketball fans, but that was a long time ago, and now the team is gone. I follow the Seahawks football games, and sometimes pay attention to the Mariners baseball team. And of course, you know I'm crazy about soccer and the Sounders.
This morning we braved the cold and the rain to attend Isaac's soccer game. Jill helped coach.
Isaac kept warm running and having fun as only eight-year-old boys can.
Irene and Grandpa huddled on the sidelines.
I even had the U of Washington Huskies game on, but I fell asleep in my recliner since they are so far behind USC, so I gave up and moved to my computer.
Yes, I like sports. But I have never had an athlete or coach, or any other public figure, as a personal hero.
What has been revealed at Penn State this week should be a reminder that we should select our heroes based on the character of persons we really know. Joe Paterno may have helped a lot of young men through his coaching, but he failed to come to the rescue of young boys who were being irreparably damaged by abuse under his watch. This "hero" proved to have feet of clay.
Heroism is a relative thing. Ordinary people have moments of heroic behavior. We honor the brave acts of soldiers, firemen and police officers. We call them heroes. They say they were just doing their job, performing their duties. Their jobs sometimes call for heroic action.
But other ordinary people are heroic too. If I look for examples in my own life, for models to emulate, I see my mother, who overcame so many hardships, and still remained loving and giving to the end of her days. I see my sister, who strives every day to carry on a productive life, having suffered the loss of two sons and dealing with her husband's failing health. I don't need to worry about being disillusioned by these 'heroes', because I have not built them up as super heroes. They are fallible just like we all are.
I was relieved to see the Joe Pa supporter riots at Penn State turn into vigils for the victims. I think common sense prevailed. Life lessons were learned.
Be careful how you choose your heroes.