STUDENT VIEW: Why do we idolize athletes?

| January 11, 2011 | Comments (0)

Tiger Woods is one of the highest-paid golfers in the world. Courtesy Photo.

They are maybe the most prominent decoration that defines a teenager’s room: Posters. And since teens are constantly changing who they are in effort to find their true self, it’s a good thing that they can easily be put up and taken down.

The same can be said for those most commonly found on those posters: athletes. People, who are famous for their ability to make a last second shot, hit the ball over the fence or into the hole or go faster than their opponents.

With any profession, professional athletes being no exception, the top person in a field is paid handsomely for their services due to their vitality in their field. Having the top advertiser might boost sales. Having the top athlete will sell more tickets.

But the problem with this situation is that athletes — who don’t really play a major role in the world except by telling us who can hit more home runs or get the most hat tricks — are immortalized as heroes when we should really be looking at the people we see every day…A teacher, firemen, service men and women, volunteers, just to name a few. People, who that, in general, are helping to change lives on a daily basis.

Soldiers are maybe a single step from making the ultimate sacrifice that allows this paper to be printed and this country to be known as the land of the free, home of the brave. Firemen do acts that are vastly comparable to soldiers except they work here at home and not overseas, thousands of miles away. Volunteers time, money or counsel, to help others better themselves and have a fighting chance in the world. Teachers help lead troubled kids to the right path, and open doors for future careers.

And all of these do this at the fraction of the cost of athletes. And the big question here is why?

Just the few examples listed above show how many lives they can save, improve or lead to a prosperous future.

That seems way more important and effective at growing and making this struggling state and country the uncontested epitome of the world than a buzzer beater.

How many times do you hear about an athlete having an affair, going to jail or whining about only making 12.5 million a season when they think they should be making 13? All the while a teacher or police officer makes a very, very, small fraction of that, all the time? There’s Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, Lebron James … the list is endless.

Whereas that number for soldiers, volunteers and others is the exact opposite; which is why salaries of athletes and those who do much to help the world should flip. It sad that a police officer making $50,000 would have to work 660 years to make the same amount of money New York Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez makes in a single season, $33 million.

But, a person’s impact nearly always doesn’t mirror their earnings, idolization and admiration, not in today’s world.

Those are the people who should be taped up on walls. Sadly, it seems, there isn’t enough tape to go around.

(Aaron Kuhn is junior at Rochester High and part of / Stickradt Media’s Group’s Student InternsProgram. He is also a writer for Rochester’s The Talon school newspaper.)


Category: Guest Column, Prep Wraps, Rochester, Student Columns

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