I heard a comment on my sport-talk radio this morning that sort of of irked me. When at home during the day I turn on the radio and shuffle about the house doing odds and ends; generally trying to be productive. One of the shows I tune into is Colin Cowheard on ESPN radio. Now, I know many don't like him and I don't always agree with him but he does give me comments to think about, and sometimes they aren't about sports. This one, is sort of a blend of sports and non-sports.
He was discussing Lance Armstrong and his decision to 'come out' and admit to doping activities during his career. The topic translated to athletes as sports heroes. I am of the opinion that athletes shouldn't be heroes to anyone other than their own children. Those personalities are driven where most others can't go. By having the type of personality they do, many have skeletons in their closets. We as consumers of that product only want to see the good and not see them as real people with faults. To many, they are almost gods.
These athletes must also market themselves and must have a public profile. Often it involves making the sign of the cross after they score a touchdown, before they get to the plate or begin a run down the track. Cowheard called it the Catholic sign. Now, as many might know from previous posts, I am a Catholic. I often want to throw a brick at the television every time I see an athlete make that gesture during a game or competition. What are they thinking? Did God value his participation more than the other guy? Is God more of a fan of his team than the other? I know many will say, "I succeeded or didn't get hurt." Let me tell you, God had nothing to do with your success or failure on any given play or any sports event. He might have smiled down on you and blessed you with skills that you must take advantage of through hard work and perseverance, but because you just scored a touchdown? Please. It's time to leave the religious paraphernalia at the door or on the sidelines. On the field it has no place.