Typically in 3rd or 4th grade here in So. Cal public schools, children are given the assignment to write about their hero. My son, I am certain, like most boys his age chose a famous sports figure although I cannot remember who. Today we got more evidence that famous sports figures should not be anyone's heroes.
It does not surprise me that A-Rod reportedly used steroids.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/sports/baseball/08arod.html?hp It does not surprise me that he is said to have lied about it. Here is one of the most famous baseball players of all time and we discover that some of his success was due to "enhancement". Not surprising because professional sports is a business and these multimillionaire players must be under so much pressure to maintain their measly standard of living that they must cheat and they must lie about it.
I remember when Kobe Bryant was accused of sexual assault. He had tried to cultivate the cleancut but cosmopolitan image until that event. Now his image is a bit different. He may be a good ball player but hopefully he is not any child's hero anymore.
When my daughter did her hero paper over ten years ago she named her then skating coach Liz. Liz is now a mother, a lawyer and won the Championship Masters Level at US Adult Nationals in 2005, landing a double axel. That's a sports hero. No lies, no steroids. Just hard work and talent. Something A-Rod probably did at one point before it became more important to be the best than to be honest. I hope that real sports heros continue to work hard and stay honest. It seems so rare these days.