"The heroes that we never saw"

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This is a poem that I was inspired to write tonight about how we often look at our sports heroes. Enjoy...

"As children we all had sports heroes -
from first basemen, to the mighty Ali.

We saw them competing, and cheered when they'd win...
their accolades are all we'd allow ourselves to see.

They'd get signed to teams and contracts,
and play coliseums and arenas all over the globe!

Some of us had t-shirts of our heroines and heroes
hidden among the other clothes in our wardrobe!

Some of them would cheat to win,
while others would always play fair.

Sometimes they'd lash out at the refs...
sometimes they'd curse and they'd swear!

But what about their real-life side,
that we as fans never saw all that much?

Even when we'd hound them for autographs and pictures,
and annoy them as they tried in vain to eat lunch!

We saw them as perfect, but they weren't perfect at all,
and Goddess knows that they had their share of flaws!

Some were caught gambling, some caught shooting up 'roids,
and still others broke all other known laws!

Their popularity would rise and fall
just as surely as the changing of the tide.

And when one of them would overdose and die,
some would claim that they never really tried.

They were merely human beings, you see.
They'd bruise, they'd groan, they'd bleed.

And they were our gladiators! They were our warriors!
Yes....they were a rare breed, indeed!

We'd cheer them to victory, and cry in their defeat,
and through it all we held them in awe!

But the very real people behind all that fame,
were the heroes that we never saw"

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There's more where that came from!