There has been a lot of buzz with the play-offs lately. One has to live under a rock not to be affected by it in one form or another. In sessions with my clients, in conversations by the copy machine at work, in line at the supermarket, I am amazed at the buzz going on about the most recent game either with pride and excitement or grave disappointment depending on the outcome. There has been a fever of emotion. Last night I decided to accept an invitation to have dinner at a local sports bar where the final Heat game would be playing. Not being much of a sports fan, I knew what I would be in for, but I decided to take a walk on the wild side—at least for a few hours.
My immersion experience began with the driver of the shuttle who took us to the bar. Sitting in the driver’s seat with a Heat sweatshirt draped over his uniform to show his support, he recounted the story of the previous evening’s game, sharing with a quiver in his voice how he had been close to tears when it looked like his beloved team may lose. He shared how his wife had come in to console him and how he had been practically inconsolable—at a loss for words. His voice which was hoarse from all the screaming had a lilt in it however, as he spoke of the team’s dramatic win. They had managed to turn things around and it had been, by this driver’s account, close to a spiritual experience.
But this was not enough. There was more. He told us about those final moments when it looked as if the opposing team would win and had us now waiting to enter the restaurant, standing on the sidewalk, as he pulled out his phone so that we could watch Ray Allen’s impassioned words to the opposition who had claimed the win prematurely. He didn’t want us to miss one bit of this precious information. After all, this was his team and they were his heroes.
We then made our way into the restaurant where people were already gathering, finding seats in the front by the big screen, so as not to miss a thing. Sitting among a group of friends who were loyal fans of the Miami Heat, I marinated in the energy around me. People dressed in their Heat attire were screaming at the screen, throwing up their hands and getting up from their seats to clap for a play which brought the beloved team a little closer to winning. I must admit I was impressed by the passion they held for this team.
I began thinking of the role that these young sportsmen played for so many people, young and old from all walks of life. They held the role of the hero. A role that carries with it a certain amount of responsibility and I found myself wondering: Who do we make our heroes and why? Webster’s defines hero as a courageous, noble man. It then gives the feminine as heroine, but offers nothing more, which leads me to the question, is the hero always male? Do we only assign the attributes of hero to a man? Keep Reading...
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