Only 2 months in, 2009 is the year sports lost all hope. America needs its white knight, especially in sports. Constantly we search for that one guy who is the consummate professional, the hall of fame candidate, world champion, clean, and community oriented. This past month proved it; he doesn’t exist.
Alex Rodriguez, I have one question for you: Did you ever see the movie Spiderman? Peter Parker’s uncle Ben tells him that with great power comes great responsibility. You Alex, had all the power. You played in the greatest city in the world, you were a lock to become the next home run king, and you were the poster boy for cleaning up baseball. So much for that. Did you not understand from day one that great power does in fact require responsibility?
With the news of Rodriguez’s steroid usage, it can easily be said that baseball is now worse than ever. Every single player who ever gave America hope of emerging from a steroid tarnished era has failed miserably. Maybe it’s the rest of the world, maybe if every one of us had to support our families by hitting a ball with a bat we would be taking steroids too. Then again, maybe not. Maybe our love for what we do is what drives us as Americans. Forget about being the best for a second, and think about the ways not to compromise what it is that we do.
Elsewhere in the search for this white knight, one man stood above the rest: Michael Phelps. Nobody in any sport works as hard as Phelps does in his. He does what he does for the love of the sport, and no other reason. He did the impossible on the international stage, he won 8 gold medals. He showed not only America, but the world, that there was hope in sports. One person can embody everything you desire in a pro athlete. With that goofy smile upon his face, the ever humble Phelps was an inspiration for millions, and he blew it.
Photographed smoking a bong pipe, Phelps immortality disappeared. Nobody is perfect, but he was. The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and Phelps and Rodriguez represented the biggest of them all. They were supposed to be the white knights that rode off into the sunset with the hearts of American sports fans.
All of this begs to question: Is it even possible for that consummate pro, that white knight to exist? When a kid walks into a Sports Authority, and leaves with a jersey, will it be of someone who it’s ok to look up to? Will American athletes ever understand the degree of responsibility they possess? Regardless of whether or not it is ok to look up to an athlete, the youth of America does. The sooner the modern day athlete understands that, the sooner they will clean themselves up.