Why you should be following Lebron, too…

A quick follow up to the Lebron post from yesterday.

My friend Jeff Haws made the following comment on facebook after seeing the link to my post:

“Been rooting for him since he was in high school, through Cleveland, through “The Decision,” through Miami and now back to Cleveland again. I want to witness Greatness, to be able to talk about how “I was there” when I’m old and gray and the kids of the new day are talking about whoever the new “Greatness” has become. I want to be able to say I was witness for it, first hand. 

“Rooting against Greatness just seems to me to be a waste.

“What good does it do to want to deny that of another when it’s so obviously there, not to mention robbing yourself of the experience of watching it happen? Because of a poor PR move on his way out of Cleveland? Because that’s really what it boiled down to. There was nothing wrong with him actually going to Miami. He took less money to play with a championship organization because Cleveland wasn’t ready/able to build one, and he wasn’t prepared to carry one, and he knew it. He made the right decision. But because he did it in a naive and foolish manner, people directed an inordinate amount of vitriol his way, as if everyone was channeling the understandable hurt of Cleveland fans, who had lost their hero. The rest of us didn’t lose a thing. We still got to watch Greatness do what Greatness does, without interruption.

“So I pull for LeBron. I wasn’t a Cavs fan before. I wasn’t a Heat fan, and I’m not a Cavs fan now. The fans who stuck with their team through the hard times deserve that label, not me. I’m a LeBron fan. Or, more specifically, I’m a fan of the Greatness he possesses, and of seeing it manifest itself. It’s such a fleeting thing, and you’ll see it so few times in your life. It’s a life too short, in my opinion, to just handwave that away for the sake of some small measure of schadenfreude. I want to see it, to bask in it, to recognize it when it’s in front of me, and to appreciate it while it’s here because it’ll be gone in what seems like an instant. I am Witness. We all are. You only get so many chances to be, so choose wisely which ones you let slip away.”

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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 If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Why you should be following Lebron, too…

  1. Jim Stelling

    Is this hero worship? I have only met one sports figure that I consider a hero. His name was Tom Landry. I got to shake his hand in either 1964 or 1965-can’t remember, when the Dallas Cowboys used the practice field at MCRD S’Diego before playing the Chargers.
    I have met and shaken the hands of 7 Medal of Honor Winners starting with Gen David M. Shoup and ending with James E. Livingston (major at the time but retired as a Maj Gen). I know that the Medal of Honor winners say they received them–What a bunch of capital B– and capital S–. Has anyone ever met a Medal of Honor Winner that did not have a Purple Heart from being wounded in combat???? Read their citations.
    Look it up on google-Medal of Honor receipients.

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    • Jeff Haws

      By no means is it hero worship, at least not to me. Athletes, generally speaking, do not remotely meet my definition of “hero.” Honestly, I worship no one, hero or not. What it is, to me, is recognizing that Greatness is a very fleeting thing, and so is life. I’ll only have one life, and a very few opportunities within that life to pay witness to something truly great, truly amazing. When I see it unmistakably in front of me, I want it. I want to appreciate it, I want to foster it, and I want to remember it in the years to come. I make no assumptions about LeBron’s character or behavior off the court (though all indications are that it’s rather ordinary and boring). I have only my observations that his actions on the court are the ones of a man who embodies a Greatness I’ll rarely see, and I refuse to take that for granted.

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    • Hmmm – I don’t think Jeff Haws was personally calling him a ‘hero’ – just describing how the Cleveland fans viewed him.
      I also try to be very careful how I use the word ‘hero’. Rocky Bleier would be one of the few sports figures I would describe that way.
      Concur with your comments about those awarded the MOH. Served with several back in the 60’s/70’s and – to a man – they were modest about their accomplishment.

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