Carroll County Times

Bird at Play: Weaver a hero worth remembering

If you're looking for heroes for your kids to admire, this was not the week you'd want to pick. Some of the superstar athletes we've built up over the years were caught up in some of the worst "mea culpa" and "who, me?" scenarios imaginable.

I've read Rick Reilly's column about how for 14 years Lance Armstrong duped him into believing he was clean. The claims against him were from jealous competitors and scorned former employees trying to bring down the man. Reilly asked him multiple times and in many situations to come clean about the allegations, on the record or off, and Armstrong looked him straight in the eyes with anger in his voice and denied all allegations.

Then je watched Armstrong come clean on the Oprah Winfrey Network and tell of the lies he's been living and the people that have been affected along the way.

Armstrong's done some good things through his public personal battle with cancer and the founding of the Livestrong movement that has raised millions of dollars to fight a disease that every family across our country has to face. Some might say the good he's done through Livestrong outweighs the lying, cheating and deceit he has lived since winning his first Tour de France title.

Add to that the incredible story of Manti Te'o's disappearing girlfriend that is still unfolding. I'm holding off making any comments on this bizarre story until all the facts come out but there are so many angles to this story that my head is spinning like it used to after a college frat party.

Was he in on it? Did he meet her in person? Was she involved in an accident, did doctor's discover leukemia and did she die the same day as his grandmother? Did she even ever exist? I could care less as long as he performed on the field (don't see National Championship) but the story captured my wife's attention and many just like her that made Te'o a new favorite.

Now, if you want to look for a hero from this week, look no further than the passing of the Earl of Baltimore. Like him or not, Earl Weaver was a simple man that lived his life in a way that was true to his own values, not those of the media or any of his critics.

He was a fatherly figure that pushed his players to new heights through hard work and discipline that loved them with his whole being and would defend them to the bitter end, thus the 91 ejections and the string of players that returned the love. He made decisions that went against common baseball protocol to do things that matched his own philosophy.

It's hard to argue the Hall of Fame manager's success with a World Series title, four WS appearances, 6 division titles, five 100-win seasons and three Manager of the Year awards.

You don't have to look any further than Weaver. American architect Richard Buckminster Fuller said, "Integrity is the essence of everything successful."

Earl Weaver lived his life his way and carried his integrity to the grave with him.

Now there's a hero you can tell your kids about.