Sports

Drews View - Negative professional athletes spoil it for the rest

Andrew Turner -
Andrew Turner
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So frequently we as sports fans and purveyors of the multiple forms of media hear stories about professional athletes and their run-ins with the law.
Do you find yourself drawn to headlines about multi-million dollar athletes arrested for being in possession of marijuana or soliciting a prostitute the weekend of the Super Bowl?
Most likely its the first story your eyes are drawn to or the first one you click on while reading your bookmarked news site.
I recently tagged along with Matt Doran, the award-winning news reporter here at The Globe, to the beautiful Tulalip Elementary School. After receiving a white sticker with a Washington state apple and the word VISITOR emblazoned across it, Doran and I headed to the confines of the gymnasium. Looking around an area brand new to myself and reflecting upon fond memories of my grade school years I received a tap on my shoulder and a large, muscular hand offering to shake mine.
What is your name? Slightly stunned at the sheer bulk of muscle and smile that wouldve made any toothpaste company proud I offered my name and heard a genuine nice to meet you, Im Mack Strong.
Watching Strong, his wife Zoe, their two beautiful boys and Strongs mother interact with the Tulalip Elementary School kids made me forget about the loss of Super Bowl XL.
It was easy to see the genuine interest that the Strong family had while endorsing upcoming Teamwork Saturday Academy program for the school.
The Strong family was joined by two Sea Gal dancers, and Blitz the official mascot of the Seattle Seahawks as their every move was followed by a cameraman from Fox Sports Northwest.
Granted, Doran and myself were in attendance to report and photograph the all-school assembly, but for those two hours football seemed irrelevant.
Why are we always drawn to negative stories about professional athletes?
One of the first things taught in my high school journalism class was the creed that if it bleeds, it leads.
I asked Zoe if she ever gets mentally or physically worn out from the countless public appearances that her family makes due to Macks athletic celebrity status and she said the preparation involved is enough to wear one down, but the events themselves are worth every second involved.
Okay, we are going to divide this gym into two sections here, Anna the Sea Gal dancer told the excited elementary school kids.
This half (pointing to her left) will say Lets Go and this half will say Seahawks, Georgia instructed the eager children while dressed in her shiny blue uniform.
Lets go Seahawks the 100 or so children yelled out with as much enthusiasm to make Qwest Field proud with the familiar FSN cameras rolling.
The smile on Macks face was a mile wide as he stood at the microphone before extolling the virtues of strong mind, strong body, strong character.
Strongs humbleness, friendly interaction with the eager school kids and genuine interest in the Teamwork Saturday Academy program was a breath of fresh air.
Im sure it is easy to lose touch with reality and have a feeling of being above the law when given preferential treatment in public along with financial stability, but Strongs down to earth approach to life was welcomed by all in attendance.
It is sad that the minority of professional athletes continue to ruin it for the majority of the kind, generous, and giving male and female stars that shine in their respective communities.
Strong is a two-time winner of the Steve Largent award given annually to the Seahawk that best exemplifies unselfish humanitarian off-the-field deeds.
While I didnt ask him about being the recipient of said award, I did congratulate him on being nominated to the Pro Bowl in 2005 after 13 seasons of hard work that went mostly unnoticed outside of the Pacific Northwest.
Ah-thank you, he said in an almost embarrassed fashion before shaking my hand.
Next time you read about someone running into off-the-field problems that may or may not involve law enforcement officials, take a minute to think the high number of teammates that presumably are being overshadowed.
After all, who wants to read about good news?

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