"Remember kid, there's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." - Babe Ruth, the Sandlot (If you actually needed that citation, I'm extremely disappointed)
|Can you believe there isn't a picture of Ruth's ghost in Smalls' room on the internet?|
People don't become legends. Moments become legendary. Legends come about because of things that heroes do that will never be forgotten, that will be passed on until the end of time. The 300 at Thermopylae weren't legends, but their stand is a moment that has become legendary. Paul Revere wasn't a legend, but his ride is a moment that became legendary. Babe Ruth wasn't a legend, but when he pointed his bat over the center field fence at Wrigley Field, he created a legendary moment. Neil Armstrong wasn't a legend, but when he stepped onto the moon he created a legendary moment. The 1980 U.S. hockey team wasn't made up of legends, but when they beat the Russians they created a legendary moment.
These are moments that stand out forever in time. Moments that you can mention offhandedly and everyone will know what you're talking about and where they were when it happened. Legends aren't people, but situations. Snapshots in time. Images that make us awestruck and proud and amazed all at the same time, no matter how involved we are or were in the situation.
|I'm fairly certain that all of you know exactly what this was.|
|"When I walked down the street people would've looked and they would've said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game"|
If heroes were perfect in every regard, nobody would look up to them in the way that we do. It would be impossible to replicate them or even outdo them from the time that we made our first mistake. We would respect them and admire them, but we could never be them, and the possibility of being them is what's so beautiful and so terrifying and so incredible about having a hero. If they were legends, they'd be perfect, and perfection is impossible to replicate. This is why legendary moments are legendary. They are perfect. They can't be changed. Perfection is possible, but only for brief moments in time, and they are so rare that when they do happen they are impossible to forget.
|"This team is perfect. We stepped out on that field that way tonight. And, uh, if it's all the same to you, Coach Boone, that's how we want to leave it."|
I believe that labeling a person as your hero is the greatest compliment and the greatest statement of love that can be made. I know this because I have heroes, and they are the people that I respect most. Jim Thome is on that list. Ben Folds is on that list. So is Howard Roark. But above them are my brothers and my parents and my grandparents, my coaches and my friends. These are the people who have influenced me. These are the people who have qualities that I wish I had. These are the people who I love
So here's to heroes, both those who have created legendary moments that the world knows and those who are only a hero to one person. Thank you for being real. Thank you for being attainable. Thank you for showing us that even though we can't be perfect forever there's no reason why we shouldn't strive for perfection anyway.