It seems like every time we turn on the TV, we're bombarded with athletes doing something stupid.
Whether it's someone changing their name to something ludicrous, a whiny wide receiver doing sit-ups in his driveway, or another player getting into an altercation at a nightclub, professional athletes spend more time looking like idiots than anything else.
Athletes use their wacky antics and hi-jinks to become larger-than-life figures who get all the TV time and endorsements that they possibly can.
Thankfully for the sports world—and the sanity of sports fans—there are guys like Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao, who is set for his fourth meeting with Juan Manuel Marquez in their epic series on Saturday, is a great boxer. He's won 10 different world titles, has an overall record of 54-4-2 and was the first eight-division world champion. He's had epic battles with names like Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Oscar de la Hoya, among others.
But it's outside of the ring where Pacquiao really shines.
The Filipino boxer is a huge celebrity in the Philippines. Pacquiao is held in such high regard in his country that he must take the responsibility to be respectful and respectable. His culture is such a huge part of who he is that he takes care when representing his people.
Players like Terrell Owens and Chad Ocho...johnso...cinco..son aren't thinking about representing the United States, they're thinking about themselves.
Pacquiao has done it all outside of the ring, and he's done it all with class.
He's spent time on the big screen in his native country, appearing in films like Licensed Fist, Son of Commander and Wapakman. He was even in a sitcom called Show Me Da Manny.
Starring in TV shows and movies in his home country increases his celebrity, putting him in the spotlight even more, and portrays his image in a good way.
He's also highly respected as an overall athlete in his country. He's a huge fan of basketball, and even owns and plays for the semi-pro MP-Gensan Warriors, according to ESPN.com.
The dude can even sing. A simple YouTube search can find numerous examples of his singing talents, which honestly, isn't half bad.
Another one of Pacquiao's favorite pastimes is politics. In the Philippines, he formed the "People's Champ Movement," which focuses on civil rights. He lost an election in 2007, but got right back up and was elected to serve as a representative from the Sarangani district in the Philippines congress.
Pacquiao's presence outside of the ring hasn't gone unnoticed. He was the flag bearer for the Philippines at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and was included in Time Magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People.
The congressman/singer/philanthropist/champion boxer is one of the good guys in sports. He's the face of an entire nation, and sets a great example for fans of boxing, sport and mankind.
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