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The Context Of Heroism



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The fortunate Chilean miners, who were rescued by some equally courageous, unselfish individuals, will be the guests of honor at Old Trafford for Manchester United’s match with Arsenal on Monday.

Coupled with their anticipated visit, a discussion point was mentioned that athletes are wrongfully labelled as being a hero, because their profession not seen as deserving enough to justify the use of that particular word.

Hero loosely means: “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities,” which could pertain to any person in their respective profession.

Often as a human being, we improperly comparing apples to oranges rather than apples to apples, and this for instance is no different, either.

In all walks of life, there are certain people, no matter the profession, who are distinguished as either a hero or heroine, and the problem is that critics rudely commit the awful crime of cross-genderization.

Footballers, firemen and soldiers – just to name a few – all have their unique attributes in their profession, which set them apart from any of the other line of work, so people should not closely associate any of the descriptives used with the other.

Sports figures are no different than the average person, because majority of them would perform a imperial act of kindness, either on or off the field if they were beckoned to do so, but they are usually given a raw deal, because of a few rotten apples.

If a United player happens to score the winner against Arsenal on Monday, then he rightfully deserves to be heralded with that term, or any other that defines his certain performance.

Yes, they could be referred to any of the other synonyms of the word hero – legend, great person idol, martyr or superstar, but in the end, they are all descriptive words that we use to characterize our feelings towards them.

For instance, the performance in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final could very easily be classified as heroic, because of the individual, and collective acts of bravery that each player executed that evening, which, ultimately, secured one of the most defining moments in the club’s history.

In today’s day and age, a lot of people have many differing views on the use of certain identifiers, but one should never be limited to describe a certain United player’s performance, because of fear that someone else may not equiponderate it that to that particular profession.

At the beginning of the match, the rescued Chilean miners will receive a round of applause from the Old Trafford crowd, but after the game, the Manchester United players should receive equally the same sort of gratitude as well, because they always put forth a heroic performance.

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"The United Religion: A Manchester United View From Abroad," www.theunitedreligion.com, is a blog that delivers an American perspective on one of the world's most successful football clubs. Since I have an opinion about anything and everything, I decided to put many of my off-the-wall ideas as well as passionate feelings about the ongoings of United into words. In my writings, you will discover that I do my best to back up all of my outlandish opinions, and finicky analysis with statistical and/or factual evidence. If you wish to publish any of the articles, or have any questions, please contact me directly at theunitedreligion[at]gmail[dot]com.