Where are the sporting heroes of today?

Cameron Kellett Roar Guru

By Cameron Kellett, Cameron Kellett is a Roar Guru

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    In sporting journalism it is the big stories you wait for, stories that when the precise words are chosen, typed on the keyboard, submitted, edited and published, can depict the situation to a tee.

    Sometimes the words you chose can make the greatest of difference to a person’s perception or create the open forums in which debate rages and our ability to grasp one another’s opinions and learn something new are expanded.

    In my experience each article is cleverly articulated by the writer to provide something unique. They possess an innate ability to portray, express and evoke the mutual feeling of readers which creates a sense of belonging, a feeling that you are not the only one who believed this should or should not have happened.

    The catch with sporting journalism is you don’t get to choose your stories, sometimes they just choose you!

    They have labeled it the darkest day in Australian sporting history.

    My knowledge does not stretch as far to the extent in which I am able to provide an insightful opinion in a matter concerning the darkest day in Australian sporting history, though I still possess an opinion on the matter at hand.

    As most of you would have heard, a year-long government investigation into Australian sport and its use of banned drugs and links to organised crime has been uncovered.

    With such confidence was the Australian Crime Commission able to release the findings that it makes it hard to find anything that would make us think otherwise.

    Who would have thought that in Australia, our sports as a collective unit, could draw such widespread negative attention, attention that could impact sport so horrendously, we could feel the ripple effects for decades to come.

    Now to at least grasp the severity of these findings, when you have the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), Australian Sporting Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) involved to target Australian sport as a collective group, you know it is serious.

    Not to mention the congregation of all our major sports leaders from the ARU, NRL, AFL, FFA and Cricket Australia.

    I can’t shrug the feeling that sits in the very pit of my stomach, almost to the point it makes me feel sick.

    I won’t look into the findings of the report, nor will I look to defame any sports stars yet to be convicted, I write this article for the pure emotional response and feeling us spectators wish to divulge in response to what will be a long and strenuous time for sports fans.

    I have to ask – Why cheat?

    It’s a simple question really, but a question we will find many will struggle to answer as there is no simple response.

    Now I’m sure you can all imagine being six years old again.

    It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon; the sun is shining, not a cloud in sight and a comfortable temperature to attend your first sporting event (not exactly the experience for all of us, but you catch my drift).

    I remember my first game, it was not the first game I had watched, but the first game I had seen live! The atmosphere was buzzing, butterflies in my stomach were fluttering and suspense was building.

    I would see my hero in the flesh for the first time. Darren Lockyer.

    There was this aura about him that very few could come close to touching, even on a good day. A man of humility, compassion, determination and commitment, no thought of cheating would even cross your mind.

    For you it could be very different, it could be Wally Lewis, Gary Ablett Snr, David Campese, Allan Border, Johnny Warren etc. Whatever the case, you had your man and no one could touch him, and yet the stars of today sit firmly in the same boat.

    They idolised these men who would go down in history as the greats of our wonderful sports, and at such a ripe young age, again no thought of cheating would even enter your cranium.

    Though history would indicate, for so many of you out there as well, sometimes these heroes rear their ugly head and eradicate all feelings you had for them. They care not for how you feel, what you think or what you do, all they care about is themselves and their personal achievements.

    They lose sight of what it truly means to be a sportsmen or even a sportswomen. They fail to recognise past achievements that were earn’t in the true spirit of the game and in an effort they not only emulate but concur those feats, all for what?

    Constantly history has shown our greatest athletes get caught, and ACC made no hesitation in hiding that point.

    What is interesting though is the lengths, sportsmen and women (in this particular case, men) will go to hide any trace of cheating.

    Ultimately, it is the money these athletes do it for! They know what they are doing is wrong, unless you are a cyclist (not naming names) and you are convinced it was part and parcel of the job.

    Unfortunately in life β€˜money is a necessary evil,’ but it is the perception that comes with money that can formulate a person’s need or want.

    Money is a need, not a want. For without money I would struggle to live comfortably within my means.

    Though this hard earned money I work for, ensuring the needs of my family are met, also occasionally allows me to enjoy the adventures of life and I just so happen to choose a sporting event as my leisurely adventure.

    In fact we are all in the same boat once again.

    You should be able to easily grasp my point by now therefore my experiences require no more explanation.

    For you see these sports we love, and I mean love, provide us with some of the most wonderful experiences we will come across in our lives. These sporting heroes and icons have all shared these experiences with us before but possess the innate ability to excel in something they are meant to do, but without us these opportunities are not created.

    Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, coaches, team mates, scouts, sponsors, audiences and fans all contribute to the success of our sports stars, it is their ability to stand out above the rest which makes them great in the eye of the beholder and thus your sporting hero stands before you.

    Most of us will have already witnessed some of the greatest sporting moments in Australian history and our heroes will remain heroes but the emotion and passion we share could be tarnished for our children and future generations to come.

    It is essential that these athletes grasp the true concept of what it is to be a hero!

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • February 8th 2013 @ 2:35pm
      oikee said | February 8th 2013 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

      I think the word Hero has to become obsolete in Australian Sport.
      I use the words role models now, this sits better with me. Hero’s are the guys who fight Wars on our behalf, they are the policemen and women just doing their jobs, the firemen.
      Now we have got that out of the way, it is up to our role models to lead the way for our next generation of sporting role models of today.
      Here is a list of some of mine. Lockyer, πŸ™‚ Yes he never put hardly a foot out of place in one of the longest careers in Australian sport, what was it, 17 years at a-grade level?.
      Wayne Bennett, mate i idolise this man. He to me is everything good about the world, when he goes part of me might go as well, live long Wayne. πŸ™‚
      Big Mal, now here is one who seems to just be a godlike figure, most are in awe of the big man, and the Papuans treat him like a God.

      These are the people i look up to, the people who i can easily live and die beside knowing that i am in safe company.
      Not many could list 3 people as role models.
      And thinking about this today, it is funny how i have found 3.
      Yes all are great Queenslanders as well, maybe i am biased, be interesting to see if anyone else has a comment. You should have put this on the league site. Cheers.

      • Roar Guru

        February 8th 2013 @ 6:16pm
        Cameron Kellett said | February 8th 2013 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

        I believe the word hero can be used to depict sports stars, role models etc. They all form some sort of link in which you could use any of the descriptive words you have chosen to describe sportsmen. I just so happen to chosen the word hero. Some sports stars really are heroes. I would say there are many Australian sports stars that have resembled hero like status.

        Matter of opinion though.

    • February 8th 2013 @ 2:43pm
      oikee said | February 8th 2013 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

      Champions and Superstars, that is also ok to use for sportsmen and sportswomen.
      That is enough of a good rap for doing good, in the game of sport. If commentators like Rabbits and Vossy call them Hero’s that is there problem not mine. Could be a slip of the tongue as well.

    • February 9th 2013 @ 11:13am
      Mad eel said | February 9th 2013 @ 11:13am | ! Report

      Well said oikee the sports stars are not selfless they are the ones that get paid exorbitant amounts of money to play a game while the doctors and nurses that save life’s emergency service workers that sacrifice their lives to help the community and military men and women who fight for your way of life are easily forgotten and do this for a pittance. They are the heroes they receive none of the accolades none of the rewards but turn up every day and get it done. Unfortunately days like Anzac Day prove this toe as the next generation of youth treat this as a holiday rather than a day of remembrance as it should be. It is naive to believe organised crime or drugs are not embedded in sport as where the money is vultures are sure to follow. Boxing has been shrouded in this controversy for years organised crime links to most of the fighting sports is strong. It is also evident oikee that the role models you have selected have strong links the afore mentioned heroes. Bennett and meninga both police officers prior to their footballing lives and Lockyer brought up under both of their tutelage. It may upset people the results of the acc findings but shouldn’t be surprising as most mediocre professionals will do what it takes to make it the elite status due the money involved. Most will take the hard work road but a few will cheat to achieve the fame and fortune in an expedited fashion. All food for thought cant wait to see who the cheats are shame them all and kick them out of their chosen sports and let the clean athletes compete.

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