The Professional Athlete: Old Time Heroes vs. Today's Modern Superstar

Jeremiah CogginsContributor IMay 2, 2008

Today's hero may be described quite differently than your hero from thirty years ago.

In most cases, the word hero will never be mentioned (as well as it shouldn't be) about players in today's entertainment venues. Instead most of the time, people are looking up to a media fix that declares their "favorite player" a superstar.

These players are idolized because they just signed a $150 million dollar contract for five years of work. Maybe it's because they just cleared another player's body, slamming one home. In some cases, it's because they astonishingly made a one handed grab, with two defenders on their back, throwing them both away, and high stepping into the end zone.

Either way it will all come back to one thing—how much superstar power they possess and how much will they make because of it.

No longer are the days of the three-inning save, or the suicide squeeze (or even a sacrifice bunt in the American League).

Days when an offense ran on the hard court with a coach yelling that every person must touch it before anyone takes a shot have disappeared.

How many times do you think a help side defender step over to help their teammate after getting beat off the dribble at the risk of getting "posterized"?

When seeking autographs, it's common that players aren't out there signing, or they'll show face, wave a few times and be "too busy" to sign.

It merely boils down to their superstar status and how much it has gone to their heads.

As the players were working their way to the pros, many probably said, "If I could get to that level, I would sign autographs everyday!"

I, like many others, also said the same thing.

I wasn't thinking about hitting number 756, or throwing number 50 to a guy who's catching his twenty-third. I was thinking about how grateful I would be if I were blessed enough to get there. I vividly also remember saying over and over, I'd be okay if I made minimum salary just to get to do what I love to do.

My, how times have changed.

In this era, sports are staying alive only based on stories that sound more like soap opera material than sports segments. We are bombarded with the latest drug charge, DUI, or steroid suspension leading every sports show across the boob tube.

Where are the glimmering lights? What happen to the True American Hero on the field?

Where have all the heroes gone?