Are We Hard Up for Football Heroes?

Why today's football players are not good role models.

You know times are hard for the good guys when a band of thugs pretending to be professional football players can win a Super Bowl and have a packed stadium of fans to celebrate their claim to fame. Since 2000, this team has had 16 arrests for criminal actions. Not surprisingly, they are outranked by Chicago who has 21.

I’d love to say there are only these two teams who are in the police mug shots album but it seems they are all in on the action. Only four teams managed to stay in the single digits on the arrest list. Minnesota with 39 is followed too closely by Cincinnati with 37.

I’ve never cared for the Ravens as a team because I’ve always liked to see players who acted like a team, showed good sportsmanship and at least a general concern for their community. What I’ve seen from Baltimore can best be described as mob action. They act like a bunch of undisciplined prima donas who want their own way and will destroy, by any means necessary, those in their way. Sometimes this means working together, sometimes this means walking on each other, and sometimes it means showing the community they represent how little respect they have for it but it always means either getting what they want or having a tantrum because they didn’t.

I look back through the years with longing for those football heroes who lived up to our expectations. They were role models kids could admire and emulate. Bart Starr was my biggest football hero. He’s the reason I became a Packers fan. Johnny Unitas was another great guy and a great football player. Jim Brown showed us all how to run down the field with speed and gain great respect from fellow players. And at the top of list is Brian Piccolo who taught us courage on and off the gridiron. His friend Gale Sayers showed us all what friendship really means.

It’s a sad time when our kids have to pick a man as a hero who, at the very least, caused someone to be murdered because he was engaging in questionable activities. Ray Lewis should be ashamed as should all the NFL players who think no one is watching and it doesn’t matter what they do.

We’re going to have to teach our kids to pick their heroes more carefully. Give them a list of criteria: doesn’t get arrested, contributes to his community, loves his family, promotes clean living (no drugs, no alcohol, no tobacco), promotes good sportsmanship, doesn’t just say he loves God but lives it, and, most important, is a person worthy of being remembered.

My football heroes have passed the test of time. They stood tall and successful and kept my respect for their entire lives. I have a few current ones that are still holding up well so far but their clock is still running.

How do your heroes measure up? Tell us in the comments below-

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