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Is Any Sports “Hero” Safe to Trust?

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It’s pretty much always been good advice not to choose someone from the sports or entertainment fields for too much admiration.

I could go forever on people who turned out to have feet of clay, but lately we’ve seen too many glaring examples, and not entirely of their own doing.

OK, Lance Armstrong could have avoided cheating. He may not have won all those Tour de France titles and other honors, but he’d be able to go out in public without having people point and laugh, or waggle a finger and shake their heads.

Face it, Lance, that’s what a lot of your future is going to look like, if you ever dare to go out in public again. And that’s saying nothing about the people who supported you and your Livestrong organization, and those who believed in or were inspired by you.

Yup, you could have avoided making your name the punch line to endless jokes.

But that brings us to Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame football star who was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and inspired everyone with the story of his online “girlfriend” who died of leukemia.

Turns out he was duped. At least, and this sounds bad, I hope he was duped.

I just don’t think he would have concocted a story like this. By all accounts, the woman who supposedly texted and talked with him at all hours likely did not exist.

And if that’s the case, someone was playing a cruel hoax. One of the cruelest I’ve ever heard of, and there’s a very warm place reserved in the hereafter for someone who would do such a thing.

So if you’re looking for a hero, look a little closer to home–your parents, or a teacher who inspired and contiinues to inspire you.

You’ll be making a much better choise.

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