One of the things that I must admit that I little understand is hero worship, but before I go farther, I better define what I mean by hero. Using Dictionary.com, I am thinking of 1 & 2-- although someone could worship a fictional character.
Some claimed it was important because it was about cheating, and we all know cheating is bad. Except, that was before there was any proof of cheating. Just proof of under inflated balls, all of them belonging to the Patriots. Do other teams ever have under-inflated balls? Who knows? How much benefit does a team receive from one? That could be debated, but why would it be when there is something far more exciting to take apart piece by piece. [Experiments indicate there could be explanations other than cheating] but who cares about that-- sounds too much like science!
From the time of that game and the sports article, people weighed in on what must have happened whether they had any idea of it or not. That included a lot of aging football players. I even saw a video where a news team in Indianapolis handed two balls to random citizens and asked them if they could tell which was under-inflated by two pounds. After weighing them carefully, squeezing them, the people, even a homeless guy, guessed right-- at least they had been when I quit watching the video. So two balls that look identical, can be determined that one weighs more than the other if you handle them both, maybe at the same time, and you already know one is lighter than the other. What did that prove exactly? Well, it proved that guy could get his story on the air.
I don't think it matters so much because of what happened or did not. Time might tell what that was. It's hard to believe an equipment handler or ball boy could somehow get around and deflate all those balls without it being captured on film by someone. Some say that has happened, but the NFL is not discussing what was discovered-- probably until after the Super Bowl.
Isn't it surprising to anyone that the refs, who handle those balls between each play, never said they noticed. It turned out that the sportscaster from Indianapolis, who claimed an anonymous source, who was supposed to be a Colt, who took the ball off the field because he noticed something strange. But then he spoke out and said he had not. He just wanted a souvenir. That story didn't get much coverage though. I read someone saying that [if the team had been anyone but the Patriots, who were often hated already, this would have been a non-story].
Why it is a story, I think, is not so much because years ago Patriots took videos of hand signals during a game where 80,000 people saw the same signals. Some say that is why this is a big deal-- they are proven cheaters. I personally doubt that. I think it more likely goes back to Tom Brady, the man who seems to have everything, talent, physical beauty, strength, and a gorgeous supermodel wife. This looks to me like a favorite American pastime-- build up heroes and tear them down. It's not so far from the mentality of the Romans with the gladiators-- with a thumbs up or thumbs down and no basis on any actual event as to which the mob goes for.
For those who don't follow football or even know who Tom Brady is, here's an article I saw recently on him, his approaching old age (he's 37), his philosophy, why he believes his body can keep going, and the impact of this latest event on him-- interestingly enough written by a NYTimes writer who usually follows politics. (I have to say a lot of what I have seen happening with this deflategate seems a lot like politics.)
Americans, probably all humans, love to create heroes. Supposedly this starts when we are children, and these heroes provide us examples we can then follow and use to grow up and become... or try to become. So this is why it's so horrifying to adults who worry about the impact on children when they find out their hero had clay feet (something we don't yet know about Tom Brady).
To consider this concept of hero worship, I went back to my childhood to try and remember if I had such a hero. I had those I admired. Annette Funicello quickly comes to mind. Mickey Mouse Club, the first one, was popular when I was a girl, and she was the one who stood out. She was cute, bouncy, and the boys went for her. Spin and Marty in particular was a little series I loved and both those boys wanted Annette. I wanted Spin, of course, which might have impacted why I admired her. I was nothing like her for looks but wow, Annette.
But I didn't hero worship her. I didn't want to be her. When she later had her nose done, it didn't cause me to lose faith in her (or get mine done). When she went on to make silly beach movies (probably why she had to have the nose job), I didn't feel she had disappointed me. I just didn't watch them. So she wasn't a hero to me-- other than that she got Spin (who I already did understand was a character in a show not a real person).
As I searched my memory, there was nobody who I hero worshiped (although I did hope to grow up and marry Clint Walker, who played a character called Cheyenne-- but I gave that up when I found out he was married). But to consider someone a hero to me, to want to be them, there were none, not movie stars, singers, athletes, spiritual leaders, or politicians. So if they were caught doing some despicable act, it'd have not hurt my life or my own goals. My life and goals weren't based on someone else-- someone I really didn't know.
Was my life damaged by having no such heroes? I don't know. I've often thought I'd have liked to have a mentor and not just for writing but for art, for life. I never had that either. I have had this or that one I've learned from, but a mentor or hero is more than that.
Political leaders can easily become heroes to people. In my case, I might like what they do politically but that's where it ends-- no political heroes ever. When I found out Anthony Weiner, who I used to like for how feisty he was in standing up for progressive values, was a bit of a pervert, my life wasn't turned on end. I'd long since figured people aren't perfect. I'd probably have voted for him again even though it appears he hasn't given up his peccadillo for sexual misadventures. He's not my husband; and if he's doing his job, I don't really care what he is doing online-- his wife maybe should. I might think it's stupid, but it doesn't break my heart, cause me to lose my own goals. When it's not hero worship, it's pretty much-- so what. No, Obama wasn't a hero to me. I have liked what he said he would do. I hoped he'd be a good leader.
Actually, I haven't had a political hero since... hmmm, never had one. Which is probably lucky because they almost all end up with clay feet.
Should children be encouraged to have heroes, where they try to mimic what they do? Where they build their life goals around them? How about fictional ones-- or even historical? Personally I'd say no-- especially if they aren't someone in their real life like a relative or older friend. Even then it's risky. Humans are not perfect and mostly will always let down others or themselves one way or another. Having anyone, as a hero on a pedestal, is leading to disappointment. It's unrealistic.
By 71, I am unlikely to have a hero, even as fascinated as I am by human nature. Maybe I am too cynical. Where I have created a lot of them for books, I have never seen any of them as perfect and sure never wanted to know them in real life. They were fictional and intended for the equally fictional heroine.
So tomorrow is the Super Bowl, which is the ultimate time for those who have heroes. Some will be cheering for the Seahawks. Others the Patriots, although less since so many have decided that they cheated even if they aren't sure how they did it. Me, I will probably go somewhere. It's a great day to shop or go to the beach. Love Super Bowl days for how it empties out the roads, restaurants, and shops. :)
And finally, I came across this Friday. Because we all deserve to laugh and not take ourselves too seriously-- yes, I mean that-- check this out: