The League

Emil Steiner
Editor and Blogger

Emil Steiner

The author of NFL Crime Watch and Founding Editor of The League.

Who Needs a Real Hero?

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My heroes are Homer Simpson, at times Tony Soprano and, when I'm in the gym, Rocky Balboa. What do they all have in common? Give up? They're not real people.

In my estimation a hero shouldn't be a real person because real people are too human. Flaws take the fun out of the dream. I'm flawed, you're flawed, but Homer Simpson, well even God comes to him for advice in one episode.

When it comes to real people, I can admire their skills, I can admire their achievements, but I lack the hubris to create a God from a man and then sneer at his mortality. Given the comments I've read since Steve McNair's untimely death though, I'm in the minority on that. Apparently role models need to be monogamous. . . go figure.

It is a fact and not a stereotype to say Americans have a hero-worshiping fetish. We don't just admire the accomplishment, we need to revere and in some cases obsess over the accomplisher. We follow his or her life like devoted lemmings in the vain attempt to experience a taste vicariously. Then when that human somehow violates our puritanical ideal of hero, we don't go over the cliff with him or her, but instead tear them down as quickly as you can rip a Michael Jackson poster off the wall.

There have been tomes written about this phenomenon. I kinda like South Park's explanation -- that creating celebs and bringing them down derives from an urge for human sacrifice.

Is a star crush based on blood lust? Maybe... or maybe it's just our way of saying we need the Gods, but we ultimately have the power to destroy them? Anyway you dissect it, though the practice seems as juvenile to me as admiring a cartoon character. D'oh!

By Emil Steiner  |  July 8, 2009; 1:59 PM ET  | Category:  Baltimore Ravens , Crime , Emil Steiner , Tampa Bay Buccaneers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: A Hero on the Field | Next: Some Role Models Cheat

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