The fact is, this story exists because sports media wanted it to exist: It’s exactly the sort of easy, “inspiration” narrative that Notre Dame has specialized in for decades. But this isn’t a Notre Dame story; this is what happens when you report on sports as if they are some sort of metaphor for life, or that athletes are somehow more “inspirational” than regular people.
Two days, two posts that build off Will Leitch quotes? Yes!
Even though I am a sports fan, I still get frustrated with most of the stuff beyond the playing field. Whether it's the athletes-as-role-models-by-default mentality, or how quickly we lift them up even further (or tear them down with relentless speed) when they do the smallest things, or how easily they get off (comparatively) when they do really horrendous things.
For me, it takes away from the game and competition... and at its simplest it comes down to the same concept as yesterday's post: money, popularity, and "shininess" distract us from what's truly important. We then feel obligated to pay attention, in some way or another, simply because of those factors.
How about we treat everyone with the same basic level of respect, reverence, forgiveness, empathy (etc, etc) to start and then adjust, versus automatically assigning them roles and importance? (For good or bad.) Seems simpler and a lot less dramatic, at least.