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Sports

February 17, 2013

End of the Innocence: Tragically for our nation's youth, sports heroes are a dying breed

Tragically for our nation's youth, sports heroes are a dying breed

(Continued)

The ultimate story of overcoming adversity was South African Oscar ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius advancing to the Olympic semifinals in the 400-meter run.

Faced with unimaginable adversity in life? The Blade Runner did it, why can’t I?!

Now he’s accused of murdering his super model girlfriend.

The great NFL stars are dying too young, often at their own hands as they can’t deal with the pain they masked so long to play their sport. America’s New Pastime is covered with blood. The most recent example the great linebacker Junior Seau, whose smile could melt icebergs.

The incomparable passing machine Dan Marino seemed to be the perfect family man with six children, two of which he adopted. He raised countless millions for charity. Now, he’s just another punching bag on the back pages of the tabloids. He tried to hide his girlfriend and the child they had out of wedlock. But these days even a mansion in England can’t avoid the media’s prying eyes.

Ray Lewis, part man, part machine. His Churchillian leadership skills could transform transfixed athletes into champions. Injuries which would cripple mere mortals? He came back from them like they were mere hang nails. ... as long as he had his trusty deer antler spray. What better way to symbolize the end of the innocence ... deer antler spray!

The NFL Films of my youth, propagandist that they may have been, chronicled the exploits of Lance “Bambi” Alworth but nothing on the deer’s antlers. Nobody killed this Bambi. Neither the media nor defenders the speedster left in his wake.

NFL Films was a product of the times. Like so many writers of so many past generations, they were mythmakers, not Woodward and Bernstein.

The world wept as Lance Armstrong became the greatest mountain climber since Edmund Hillary. Cancer be damned! It was the type of story Grantland Rice or Leigh Montville or Mitch Albom could have made into the greatest sports movie of all-time.

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