Jul

6

 I recently read The Mickey Mantle Novel. Mantle was a hero of mine as a child. Although he played for the despised and dreaded Yankees his feats on the diamond were too spectacular to ignore. This book is the worst piece of trash I have ever read in my life. Done in the voice of the hero, the book focuses on off field adventures of Mickey and his friends. The author manages to make drinking, carousing, and sex boring. What he does to the baseball scenes is too awful to describe. It portrays Mantle as an arrogant drunken buffoon who only lived to screw and drink in a boorish fashion. The writing is bad, the plot is bad. A waste of money if it were free.

It brings forth a question. Who will our children look up to in awe if there are no heroes? There is not a single human who can stand such intense scrutiny of their personal life. Is it important to know that A-Rod went to strip bar, or should we just care that he is tearing up the league? Do we care who Tom Brady is having a baby with this week or should we focus on his leadership and football skills?

When I was a child we had Mantle, Brooks, and Johnny U. I am sure they had their bad habits but the press did not go looking for their mistakes and foibles. Do we leave the next generation with just Harry Potter and Frodo to look up to? Virtually every public figure form sports or politics has some stain on his public image. Can we not go back to what they accomplish with the body part not between their legs, with heroic athletic achievements or stirring speeches?

We have all behaved badly or lived in a way outside of so-called normal society at one point or another. Would we have that be our legacy, or should the focus be on what we accomplished at our best?

To be a child today must be a little sad. There are no real live heroes in the world, and that’s a little sad.


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