Sports was really my first love in life. From playing kick n’ chase soccer, to little league, I loved everything about sports; it made me part of a group, and allowed me to satisfy my competitive nature. But I think the biggest thing sports gave me was heroes. Don’t get me wrong, I had/have other heroes as well; the writer of “Fight Club”, Chuck Palahniuk, once said that most Christian boys growing up in the 20th century modeled their views on God after their father, and I am a whole-hearted believer in that quote. My father has always been the embodiment of moral and ethical reason , and I have a feeling that that will never change, but sporting figures were right up there with my father, shaping and molding my life with their actions both on and off the field. The mythical achievements of guys like Vince Lombardi, Lou Gehrig, and Ken Dryden were more than simple bed time stories to me. They represented pure and utter greatness. These professional athletes were true giants to me then, and to some degree they still are, but something has begun to change. As seen in prior blog posts, I am a huge fan of minor league baseball. For me, it represents a cleaner and more historic replica of what the game was when guys like Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner played the game. I have looked up to these athletes just like any of the pros, even as I dissected their potential and ruled on whether they would become stars in the big time or not. As time has gone on, and I got older (currently 19 and a half), these sporting phenoms have not aged a bit. Like the famous quote by Matthew McConaughey in “Dazed and Confused”: “That’s why I love these high school girls: I keep getting older and they stay the same age.” Some of these minor league stars that I glorify so much are quickly becoming even younger than I am….This realization has caused me to both yearn for my childhood and look ahead to the future. Who will I look up to now? Many of these young athletes ( I realize now) are as scared shit-less as I am about the future and entering the “Real World.” Many of them are even less prepared than I am to face the harsh and often brutal realities of an adult life. Times likes these, when we think introspectively about the past and the future don’t occur often, and I feel as if this is a major cross road in my life. Are these athletes really that important? Hell, are sports in general really anything more than entertainment? Thoughts like these tumble through my mind as I move forward to college, where I will decide whether I want to pursue a career in the sports world, or whether I want to pursue something else. In the end, I think we all must decide what we consider to be important in our lives… It may be difficult as the definition of “important” is often fluid and hard to identify, but I think that this whole process is just part of becoming an adult and defining ourselves as in individuals in this world. Children praise athletes like gods; can adults do the same? I will be finding this out in the coming months.