We idolize athletes. We see the amazing feats of athleticism put on every day by athletes. From high schools to the professional ranks, our jaws drop and our eyes sparkle at the wonders put on by athletes.
We all but forget how fragile these seemingly invincible beings can truly be.
The deaths of Kevin Telles, a Garden Grove High School football player, and Léon Roach III, a UC San Diego pole-vaulter, are chilling reminders of this fact.
Telles was a vibrant 17-year-old who collapsed and died during the action of the Garden Grove-Westminster football game on Friday. Roach was an aspiring 19-year-old who died on September 6 after hitting his head at an informal pole-vaulting practice on September 3.
Both were killed playing the sports that they loved above almost anything.
These sobering incidents are reminders that sports and all that they encompass are much smaller than we all make them out to be.
The amount of money, attention, and stress attributed to athletes and sports shows that a majority of humanity has its priorities out of order.
Now while I agree that sports is the greatest form of live entertainment on the planet, sports can also elevate mere mortals far past their appropriate status.
Kids look up to athletes and base their personality or even their personal values off of athletes. They put posters on their wall and think that nothing could ever happen to their favorite star.
Even the athletes think they are invincible. They ride their motorcycles and jump out of airplanes. Crazy things to do when you make money with your physical abilities.
I’m not saying to not throw the ball around on the weekends in flag football or step into a batter’s box for a recreational baseball game. What I am saying is to keep things in perspective.
Driving to school everyday is statistically more dangerous than taking a linebacker head on.
The star running back of your favorite football team is no more likely to survive his next carry than you are.
The star running back of your favorite football team is no more likely to survive his next drive home than you are.
The thrills of victory are far less insignificant than the thrill of living every day and enjoying the sunshine.
The agonies and pains of defeat pale in comparison to the agonies and pains of a life lost.