Get High On Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2001


Heroes need to be picked most carefully

I’ve heard it said that we have a shortage of heroes in America. It’s suggested that we need more role models for our young people. I think we have too many heroes, or role models. The problem is we have too few positive role models. Americans love a winner and are constantly looking to be entertained. With that appetite we look to athletes and entertainers as heroes and role models. As we wait to crown a Super Bowl champion on Jan. 28 the focus will be on the stars of the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants. Ray Lewis is one such star. He is a linebacker with the Ravens – a great athlete – strong, competitive and in football terms, “mean.” He evidently loves contact. He was voted the league’s best defensive player this year. After the Ravens defeated the Tennessee Titans last week Ray Lewis said, “It was a brutal game.” Lewis’s play was instrumental in the Ravens beating (what I thought) a better team. Sunday, Lewis led what is considered the best defensive team in pro football to victory over the favored Oakland Raiders. In a post-game interview, Lewis said, “It’s unbelievable to be in it (the Super Bowl) right now. I have to tip my hat to my teammates and everybody who believed in us.” I think Ray ought to thank a justice system that treats athletes with a different set of rules. It was after last year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta that Lewis and two men were arrested and accused of murdering two people. Lewis was dragged into court, in prison uniform, handcuffed and in leg irons, to be legally charged with murder. In some sort of plea bargaining, Lewis agreed to turn state’s evidence against the other two accused men. Evidently, he was a part of or at least had witnessed the murders. He did testify against the men, but they were both acquitted. As of this date, no one ever paid the price for the murders. This year, the Super Bowl is in Tampa. Lewis will be there, but this time, not as a fan, but as a participant. If the Ravens win, it’s possible Lewis could be the MVP. If so, he will be a hero to every Ravens fan and to many Americans, especially kids. What a hero! A real role model, just not a very good one. HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group.