The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

March 13, 2010

It’s getting hard to find athletes kids can admire

Somewhere in America as you read this, there’s a kid trying to hit a rubber ball with a broomstick and pretending to be someone else.



At least I hope the kid is doing that instead of playing a video game.



With the tremulous voice of an imaginary sportscaster providing descriptive commentary in the background, the youngster becomes one with a hero. Every swing results in a World Series-clinching home run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7.



It has always been that way, of course.



Before I pretended I was Duke Snider of the Dodgers, and my best friend did the same with Mickey Mantle of the Yankees, a different generation of boys and girls envisioned they were Babe Ruth or Babe Didrikson Zaharias.



How many young basketball players _ all alone and dribbling a ball in front of a hoop in their driveway _ had thoughts like these:



“There he is, fans, Michael Jordan (or Larry Bird or Magic Johnson) ... only seconds on the clock, down by one point. He drives to his right, makes an impossible move to his left ... three ... two ... one ... he shoots!



“HE SCORES! Michael Jordan has done it again. The crowd is going wild!”



Of course, if the kid’s shot didn’t go through the driveway hoop, he had the pretend announcer say, “Wait! There was a foul on the play. Michael Jordan still has a chance to win the game. There he is at the line, cool as a cucumber ...”



When I was pretending to be Duke Snider, I had never heard of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who said: “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” It was probably just as well.



Lately it hasn’t been terribly easy for kids to have heroes, to want to fantasize about being someone else.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio

Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column
Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Are your taxes going to be done on time?

Yes, they're all finished
I should make it in under the wire
No, I'm late
No, I'm filing an extension
I'm not filing a tax return
     View Results