Hello folks itís olí Floyd here again. Iíve got to tell you the folks over at OutdoorPlaces.Com have got me completely burned up. I mean furious. And what has Floyd all worked up? Itís our kids, professional sports and whom we treat at heroes.
You see Floyd is a simple guy from the mid-west, and until these fancy folks from OutdoorPlaces.Com moved in next door, I never heard of this guy, Alex Lowe.
Alex Lowe is a real hero. His close friends called him, ďthe mutant,Ē because of his incredible strength. Alex was known to go to the gym and work out for five or six hours until he couldnít lift the weights any more. His ability to climb and natural talent is completely unparalleled. Heís the Michael Jordan of climbing.
One time Alex was pressed into service to do a mountain rescue on Denali National Parkís Mount McKinley. Taken up in a special military helicopter in horrible conditions to over 19,000 feet Alex and a close friend scaled down a 400-foot ice wall to the trapped and dying climbers. One injured climber needed immediate evacuation, but bringing him up the wall was impossible, except for Alex. Alex's friend ponder how they could possibly get the injured man out in enough time, Alex put the crippled climber over his back, and at 18,600 feet up proceeded to carry him up the mountain to the waiting helicopter. A picture of Alex crossing the snow with the dying hiker chronicles this incredible and selfless act. Both men survived their ordeal. Now that is a hero of superhuman strength and character.
However Alexís legendary exploits never appeared on the newspaper. When I open up my copy of USA Today (them folks over at OutdoorPlaces.Com have all sorts of papers to read) and go to the Sports section, they donít have a page dedicated to mountain climbing.
You see the thing that makes me really mad is whom society holds as heroes, professional ball players. These are the modern warriors that we put on a pedestal. These are the people our children want to be. You wonít find a poster of Alex Lowe hanging in too many bedrooms Ė but you sure will find a lot of them fancy high-paid ball players.
Donít get me wrong; most of these guys are an honorable lot. But these last few months have been very dark for those high paid spoiled brats we look up to. February 11, Cameron Artmore of the NFL, felony drug charges. February 7th, Steve Foley of the NFL arrested for domestic violence, his third arrest in less than a year including a DUI and are you ready for this Floyd fans, failure to pay child support. Wayne Chrebet of the NFL was also arrested on February 7th for disorderly conduct. Fred Lane of the NFL was arrested on felony drug charges. Cecil Collins was arrested on December 17th for felony burglary. And the worst of all, Rae Carruth of the Carolina Panthers may be sent to death row for the first-degree murder of his pregnant girlfriend and Ray Lewis was released today on one-million dollars bail for a double homicide in Atlanta.
Now NFL fans before you say Iím unfairly picking on the NFL you are not alone. Kevin Stevens of the Pittsburgh Penguins was picked up on January 25th at a crack house on felony drug charges and is in rehab. Dennis Rodman, one of the best-known players in the NBA and now retired was arrested for DUI on December 23rd. Floyd has to tell you though, we have dropped a long way from Pete Rose gambling for the behavior of today's players. They should let ol' Pete in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He didn't kill anyone. He didn't choke his coach, he didn't beat up a photographer.
Look at our idols, our heroes, the people we hold higher upon high and pay millions of dollars. Now sure everyone isnít perfect. Even olí Floyd has spent a night in jail and the wife and I are known to holler at each other. But Iím not on TV every weekend and I donít have thousands of kids going around sayiní that they want to be like Floyd and live in a trailer by a lake in South Dakota and work for some web startup.
Alex Lowe never went on strike because we wasnít paid enough money. I never saw Alex Lowe selling $125 Nikes to kids who canít afford them, that wonít help their game, and will just outgrow them in two months anyway. I never saw Alex Lowe bad mouthing a partner or member of his team when things went wrong. I never saw Alex Lowe walking around with tattoos all over his body in a wedding dress screaming look at me while beating up photographers that are looking at him. You see the folks here at OutdoorPlaces.Com have taught me who the real sports heroes are. And Alex Lowe is one of them.
What is really sad is Alex isnít with us anymore. Alex never worried about having millions of dollars or his next celebrity endorsement even though he put his life on the line every time he climbed a mountain. the odds finally caught up with Alex on October 5th of 1999 when a massive slab avalanche took his life and that of close friend Dave Bridges. Alex was out doing what he loved to, climbing a mountain. The word spread quickly and it was briefly mentioned on the news. Alex Lowe has a real sports hero. And by the way things are going so far in the first few days of the 21st century, maybe the last.
Olí Floyd wishes he had known about you earlier Alex, I would have been following the home team from Bozeman, Montana a lot closer.