Friday, March 12, 2010

A New Hero?

This article caught my eye the other day, and seems like an uplifting piece to kick off the weekend (or at least as a TGIF day):
Gregory Kane: Character More Important Than Winning

Nick Romero is my new hero.

It is at this point many readers might be saying, "I don't know Nick Romero from a tree stump." And the truth is, neither do I.

Romero is a wrestler for LaPlata High School in Maryland's Charles County. Don't tune out just yet.

The reason why this story caught my eye is two-fold: my godson is on his high school wrestling team, and was just awarded the MVP for the season. Hence why a story on wrestling piqued my interest. But it is the primary reason that really hooked me, and that is:
This isn't a story about high school wrestling; it's a story about character, which is in shorter and shorter abundance these days.

Last Saturday, at Cole Field House on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park, Romero taught me a lesson about character that will stick with me for the rest of my days. It's a lesson all of us would do well to learn.

After Romero's lesson, the crowd gathered at Cole Field House to watch the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association wrestling championships was on its feet cheering, and I'm willing to bet there was nary a dry eye in the place.

Romero, according to a bracket sheet I bought at the tournament, is a senior at LaPlata. He faced Ron Vaughters, a junior from Old Mill High School in Anne Arundel County, for the 140-pound championship.

Vaughters is a fierce, take-no-prisoners wrestler who breaks his opponents both physically and mentally. I can't speak for Romero's state of mind, but Vaughters hammered him physically throughout the match.

With 12 seconds of their six-minute bout remaining, Vaughters had an 8-2 lead. He was clearly on his way to winning his second state title in as many years. But when he grabbed Romero's leg, hoisted him in the air and brought him down hard on the mat, the referee penalized Vaughters for slamming Romero to the mat.

A potentially dangerous move, the official called it. In amateur wrestling, potentially dangerous moves are penalized.

Oh, ow - that sound so painful. I know that sort of thing isn't allowed in football either with a quarterback, but at least those guys have pads on. This was a 140 lb kid in a wrestling suit:
Vaughters' move left Romero writhing in pain, injured from the slam. I overheard a man behind me explaining the consequences of what Vaughters did to a friend.

If Romero couldn't continue, if he was unable to walk back to the center of the mat so the referee could blow the whistle for the match to continue, then Vaughters would be disqualified. Romero would be the state champion at 140 pounds.

And Romero couldn't continue. In his four years at LaPlata, he was never a state champion. All he had to do to win a state title was to have his coaches lead him from the mat. But Romero decided to take a different route.

If I were you, I might go get a kleenex:
He had his coaches lead him to the center of the mat. Vaughters stood opposite him, and the referee blew the whistle for the match to continue. Then Vaughters and Romero just stood there, neither making a wrestling move, facing each other as the final 12 seconds ticked off the clock.

The crowd rose to its feet, applauding, cheering, celebrating Romero's show of sportsmanship. When the referee raised Vaughters' hand in victory, the Old Mill wrestler hugged Romero as if he'd found a long-lost brother.

Romero could have gotten his state championship, but it would have been on the cheap. Vaughters was clearly the superior wrestler, and Romero knew it. So he passed on his one and only chance to be a state wrestling champ for one reason, and it's a darned good one.

Because he hadn't earned it.

In this age where just about everybody wants to be a victim, Romero took the high road. In an age of trash-talking, egotistical and, in some cases, felony-prone pro athletes, Romero gave us an example of sportsmanship, character and courage second to none.

Yeah, this kid is definitely my new hero.

Mine, too. What a wonderful role model this young man is. In this day and age, it is refreshing - no, strike that - amazing - for someone to not try and take something he didn't earn, who isn't trying to get something for nothing, who thinks he is entitled to something he didn't work for, and doesn't deserve.

Nick Romero's parents should be very proud of this tremendous young person they reared. He is the kind of person we need more of in this country. Yep, Nick's my new hero, too.

Can you imagine if our current crop of Congresspeople acted with this much integrity and honor? I know, right?

But the bigger question is: Why DON'T they? Why don't our Congresspeople act like Nick Romero? That's what I would like to know. Thoughts?


SFIndie said...

In this day and age, it is refreshing - no, strike that - amazing - for someone to not try and take something he didn't earn, who isn't trying to get something for nothing, who thinks he is entitled to something he didn't work for, and doesn't deserve.

You mean like our Pretender In Chief?

Why don't our Congresspeople act like Nick Romero?

Because they do not possess even a fraction of the character of this young man.

Maybe it's time to start demanding that our elected officials demonstrate a record of character and courage before they're even ALLOWED to run for office. And an exclusion of private funding of elections; public financing only. A level playing field for everyone who wants to run for office, regardless of how much they're worth.

Yeah, that should probably happen about the same time as my unicorn arrives on my doorstep with my Obama check between his teeth.

Mary Ellen said...

That was an incredible post, Amy! Thank you so much and you are so right to ask, "Why DON'T they? Why don't our Congresspeople act like Nick Romero?"

The only thing I can say to that is that our electorate-citizens of the U.S., have let them carry on with their corruption and lies and they have never been penalized for their actions.

If it were a wrestling match, the referee (our Congress) would have allowed Vaughters (The leaders of our Congress) to not only slam Romero( our US citizens) to the ground but to kick him until he could no longer stay conscious.

And the sad thing is...after being beaten down, lied to, and taxed out of existence, those same people will stagger to the voting booth and re-elect them all over again.

That said...I say we elect the real Nick Romero to Congress. It's a start. ;-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, SF - Yes, that is exactly whom I meant - our Pretender in Chief and all those int he DNC who helped him cheat his way to the White House.

Wouldn't that be something,t o demand that these Congresspeople demonstrate character before they can be elected? And I like the Public Financing, too.

ROFLMAO abt your unicorn and Obama check. Don't forget, there's Obama cash, too - woohoo!!!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks, Mary Ellen!

What an amazing young man, isn't he?

You are so damn right abt how Congress would have acted - kicked the crap out of the person until he's unconscious, and then hoot and holler like it was some victory.

As for re-electing these bozos again, I got this email from a friend today (don't know the origin of it):


New Political Party.
Not Democrat, Not Republican, Not Independent.
It's called the "PISSED OFF PARTY" (or POP).
This party is dedicated to vote every incumbent out of office in the next elections.
If you're Democrat, vote Democrat. Just don't vote for the incumbent.
If you're Republican, vote Republican. Just don't vote for the incumbent.
We need to send a message to all politicians, that we're tired of their B.S.
If the country votes out all the incumbents, the new incoming politicians will get the message.
It's pretty simple. Nobody needs to change parties and lets face it, there's plenty of blame to spread around.
A few good politicians will lose their job but they probably have better retirement and insurance then 95% of the American public.
You've had to struggle for the last 5 years. Some of you have lost your job and may be working in some other sector just to feed your family.
I guarantee you, none of them will suffer like this country has.
If you like whats going on and think this is a bad idea, delete this. But if you're fed up and think this is a good idea, then pass this E-mail on.
If you really think this has legs then a website and a blog could help get the word out.
Read this part Here's an irritated Senior!!
This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!
To All 535 voting members of the Legislature; it is now official you are ALL corrupt morons:
a.. The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.
You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars
Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' and their staff (they never read anything) will clue them in on how Americans feel.

Mary Ellen said...

Rev.Amy, I like that! I especially like that it applies to both parties. Sure, there are a few good people, but like was stated, they'll retire with plenty of green in their pockets, so no worries. It's time to send a message...a great big one.

I don't know if you saw this video, I thought of it when I read SFIndie's comment about waiting for her unicorn. I had it on my (now defunct) food blog, along with recipes for dog treats.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME - yes, besides some lapses in grammar, I thought the author made some fair points. I, too, like that it focuses on both sides, and acknowledges that our Congress has become too comfortable in their seats, forgetting why it is they are there in the first place.

And that video - ROTFLMAO - that was hysterical with that little dog! Thanks!