While I live in a testosterone-heavy household, I have to say that I'm fortunate that Diva Husband doesn't turn me into a sports widow every season. He's not really into following pro or college sports too much, although he's been known to enjoy a good car race.
The Manimal isn't really old enough to become too much of a sports fanatic, but The Tweenager has started to develop a taste for college basketball and, of course, the White Sox.
I'm a firm believer in the value of team sports. With the miserable situation of the budget in our fair state, though, many schools are having to cut sports and fine arts programs. While I understand the need to restructure budgets to accommodate shortfalls, tests have proven (time and time again) that students who are involved in co-curriculars tend to perform better academically than those who are not involved.
Every year, we hear about collegiate athletes who decide to forgo their last year of school to enter the pro scene. Personally, I think these athletes are making a colossal mistake, but hey, it's their life, right?
Unfortunately, whether or not they like it, they are role models for children. Children who see students putting aside future success for immediate gratification. The odds that every NFL draftee will have a long, storied professional career are enough to make even the most seasoned gambler turn and run a fast hundred yards the other direction.
Fortunately, every once in a while, an athlete comes along who is an inspiration. An athlete who values his future career (beyond the sport) and yet is truly passionate about athletics. And when the planets align, a professional team picks up not only a stellar player, but an incredibly intelligent person.
In the 2010 NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans were the lucky team to pick up a 6th round safety, Myron Rolle. Rolle graduated in a whopping TWO-AND-A-HALF years from Florida State University with a 3.75 GPA. He didn't play football in the 2009 season, because he was otherwise occupied.
He was a Rhodes Scholar, studying at Oxford.
A Rhodes Scholar.
Who, much to the mystification of his fellow Oxfordians, rose at 6 AM every day to train. A Rhodes Scholar, who dreams of a career in medicine.
A Rhodes Scholar, who now wears the uniform of the Tennessee Titans.
I think I have a new favorite team.