West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on "Arrogance"

In a previous issue, I wrote about the "profound humility" of the legendary Larry Kelley - college football's second "Heisman Trophy" winner in 1936.

As impressionable adolescents, we had great role models the likes of Mr. Kelley to emulate. Today's student-athletes are not so fortunate. Many of their heroes equate success with greed and arrogance. Consider the following example of professional pretentiousness.

We have been bombarded in news media releases for months regarding the National Basketball Association strike. It ended a several weeks ago, so avid "hoop" enthusiasts can again support their favorite super-stars. If only some of those professional players cared as much about them!

I was viewing a television sports show right after the strike was finally settled. What I heard one "pro" say while being interviewed made me smile in disgust.

When asked how he felt about getting back on the courts again, he replied, in so many words-with a sigh, "I guess I'll have to go into the crowds and sign autographs to regain their confidence."

He was visibly upset with the thought of having to commingle with the commoners to pen his name. What arrogance!

Some blame the owners, while others blame the players. I tend to point the finger at the fans. They promote this "egotistical" attitude by paying extremely high prices to observe the contest, often with their children.

And what do these young minds acquire from their athletic icons? To begin with, it's okay to verbally abuse the officials or complain to their coaches. They learn from the best how to taunt their opponents and how to "showboat" after scoring. Finally, they are serenaded with prismatic profanity throughout the entire game.

No wonder many of our youthful athletes of today have much less respect for their worthy adversaries, their officials and even their coaches.

In reality, the fans are the ones with the ultimate power. As long as they continue to support these arrogant, overpaid athletes, we can expect more of the same from our kids. Gosh, where did all our "humble heroes" go?

Return to the West Virginia Mat Thoughts Index Page
Return to the WV-Mat front page