Next on the tee: The difference between heroes and legends

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Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 9:13pm

Besides being a complete sports addict and, yes, I admit that with pride, I love watching movies. One of my favorite movies happens to be about nine young men and their quest to retrieve a baseball signed by Babe Ruth that got hit into a backyard that neighbors the sandlot. There is only one little hitch, the backyard that the ball is in happens to be the home of a monstrous “beast.” Because of the ferocity of this animal, the young men can’t just hop the fence and get it, but they must try elaborate schemes and ideas to retrieve the ball.

Now many of you know which movie I am talking about, “The Sandlot.” While watching it, I started to think about what Babe Ruth tells Benny in his vision right before the last attempt of retrieving the ball from the beast. Ruth says, “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die …” So I started to think about what the difference is between heroes and legends.

The dictionary defines a hero as, “ a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose.” The definition of a legend is, “one whose fame promises to be particularly enduring.” In any circumstance that you are using one of these words, you could more than likely make them interchangeable and substitute the other in its place. But in this instance, the difference is the point that is trying to be made. Somebody can be a hero for 15 minutes, a day, maybe a month, but eventually over time, heroes are forgotten and lost in society, while legends did something so extraordinary that they will never be forgotten.

Sports have a lot of legends; in fact you can probably walk up to somebody on the street and ask them to name a legend from the world of sports and more than likely they would be able to do it. Many think of people like Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Edison Arantes do Nascimento (better known as Pele,) and Joe Montana may be some of the names that you receive as answers. They are definitely legends in their own right and really there are no wrong answers because we all have our own ideas.

How do we as individuals become legends in our own minds though? Many of us will never throw a game-winning touchdown in a Super Bowl, or hit a home run in the World Series but we can all achieve legendary status.

Referring back to “The Sandlot,” the next morning after Benny’s dream, he does the unthinkable and that is what makes him a legend in the neighborhood. Benny brings his PF Flyers that are “the shoes that make you run faster and jump higher” to the sandlot so that he can get the ball and out run the “beast.” Now just like we may not throw a touchdown pass, more than likely we are not going to have to rescue a ball that was signed by Babe Ruth from a giant dog and then out run it.

The point is that when we have something that we need to do, no matter how hard it is if we lace up our PF Flyers (or your choice of footwear) we can choose to become legends by doing something that will give us that status forever. Whether it is getting our homework done on time or doing well on our finals, we can all be legends. Now to close with the quote from Babe Ruth to Benny, “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”

So go out there, follow your heart and make a difference and do something legendary.

This is why the difference between heroes and legends has been on the tee.

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