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Friday, September 29, 2023


Role models not always well-known

Nearly every Houstonian remembers their first Astros game. Few casual fans, however, can name the original quartet of the Killer "B"s.

Perhaps not everyone can name them all, but it is certain that anyone who has kept up with the good guys will remember the last remaining one: Biggio.

After twenty years of service with the same ball club, BGO is saying goodbye to the game and to the Astros.

In his 20-year stint as a MLB player, not only has Houston become his home but the Astros and their fans have become part of his extended family. As a newly inducted member of baseball’s illustrious 3,000-hit club – and hopefully as a future inductee to the Hall of Fame- Biggio has been with the Astros since most of us were just kids.

And while most of us have not had or will ever have the pleasure of meeting a player like Biggio, that doesn’t stop us from looking up to him as an athlete – and a person.

He serves as a positive role model to not only fans, but to teammates and other players throughout the league.

According to a Houston Chronicle article, Brandon Backe told reporters "getting traded to the Astros, the first thing I thought of (was) Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I get to be their teammate and express to them personally what kind of influence they had on me.’"

If Biggio has that type of impact on his current and former teammates, then imagine the type of impact he has had on the city of Houston, and Astros fans everywhere.

By definition, a role model is someone who sets a moral example of how someone should behave and present themselves.

Of course as college students, we should know who would best serve as a role model, or even a mentor.

Children, however, are a totally different story.

Young boys would like to be basketball players like LeBron James or Kobe Bryant.

But at the same time, are these athletes really the best people to look up to?

When Bryant and James entered in the NBA, they were 18-year-olds and fresh out of high school.

The message sent, however, it that just as long as you are a great ball player you too can bypass getting an education and go straight to the pros.

For young girls, it is the same sort of principle. Who do they really have to look up to? Celebrity women like Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears?

Hilton and Lohan have both been arrested for driving under the influence and Spears seems to be having meltdowns every other day. These girls are saying that drugs and alcohol are cool, and they couldn’t really care less about the impression they leave on young girls.

Fortunately, there are women such as Candice Parker of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers’ basketball team and Tyra Banks, a once popular model turned media giant with America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show.

Of course, children don’t always have to look up to celebrities or famous athletes.

We, too, can serve as positive role models for kids today. We, too, can show them how to be good people, have values they can stand by and how to be their own person.

Latimer, a creative writing graduate student, can be reached via [email protected]

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