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Are Sports Figures Heroes?

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You are freaking out.....man.
You are freaking out.....man.

Money, expectations and our macho culture can’t help but lead to issues for many athletes: a delicate balance that doesn’t always work out - Mike Langlois at Vintage Leaf Memories

When Ron MacLean spoke the other night on Hockey Night in Canada and tried to, albeit somewhat awkwardly, compare the efforts of hard-working hockey players at playoff time with those of the courageous responders during 9-11, it brought a predictably negative response.

The long-time host was trying to say something very positive about the players while also paying homage to the real heroes of that tragic day more than a decade ago. Upon reflection, he may have chosen his words a bit differently, but his heart was no doubt in the right place.

That said, I think a lot of us have struggled for a long time with how we think about sports and sports figures, and this notion of athletes as not only "heroes" but "warriors". It’s a difficult thing. People often want, perhaps even need what we perceive as heroes- maybe as a kind of psychological pick-me-up. It might be that we are struggling with something in our own lives. Perhaps the human heart just needs to hear, see and touch nice, uplifting stories every once in a while. And that’s OK.

Really a great read. Head over there and read it all. More links after the jump.

Leafs/Marlies Links

Marlies Carrying Leafs Flag Deep Into Playoffs

I think they're carrying the Marlies flag but whatever.

Marlies vs Heat Game 5 Recap

Spoiler Alert: Marlies won.

Marlies Off to WCF

Jeffler at Marlies HQ give you the rundown.

2012 NHL Mock Draft

Sorry Zona. The Leafs aren't taking a dman.

Other Links

Remember LA Gear and Gretzky Street Hockey Shoes?

The guys at Backhand Shelf do. Radical!

Hockey's All-Time Best Toothless Smiles

That's a lot of dental work to be done.

Ovechkin Disappears in the Playoffs

Wait what's that? He's 5th all-time in playoff goals per game. Oh.

Hey Mike Brophy, you might want to read Mirtle's piece.

NHLNumbers Podcast - Relaunch Episode 1

Give it a listen.

Are the 2012 Kings the Best 8-Seed Ever?

No, I'd have to go with the 2006 Oilers here.