Monday, February 11, 2013


These days when the famous disappoint it is almost something we expect. We read about sports figures lying or cheating via performance enhancing drugs  as well as politicians and movies stars who bed hop or do jail time.  We are no longer stunned. Angry and disgusted-- yes, shocked-- no.   It has become all too common. It is easy to become jaded about our heroes. 

Those of us who have lived long and seen too much, expect so little anymore.
But then there is always someone one who seems to stand above the fray. Someone that can manage fame along with the Norman Rockwell image of decency and family.   They restore our hope. Dan Marino was my hope but that expectation took a hit with these headlines.

For most sports figures, that headline would be a no-brainer  and half ways expected.  However,I thought this man was different.  His main image besides being a Hall of Fame quarterback was that of a devoted family man, father of 6 and a tireless worker raising money for Autism research. He and his wife have an autistic son.

When I look up and to my left on my wall, there is his image as he is dropping back to pass. For 17 seasons, Dan played for the Miami Dolphins. He owned the record books for passing and made watching his play, win or lose, a jaw dropping  joy. 

Slowly some of his records are falling to the side as  the new young studs glory in breaking a Marino record, however many still stand today.  He made me a football fan and when he retired after the 1999 season, much of the fun of football for me was gone.

Fortunately I could still get my Marino fix on Sunday during football season as he and 4 others did the NFL pregame show for CBS. Then on January 31st, oddly his 28th wedding anniversary, he admitted in a letter to a newspaper to the affair that produced a now 7 year old child.

According to the reports, the  announcement was not news to Dan's wife. She has known for some time and they have since repaired their marriage.   His admission was in response to a breaking story someone had dug up.  

The mother of Dan's love child has since married and Dan gave her millions as part of a settlement for hush money and child support years ago. I guess if there is saving grace, it was how he put the affair behind him, took care of his daughter and worked hard to repair his marriage. For that I definitely respect him.    

I will still watch my formerly squeaky clean hero on his broadcasts during football season, but it will be with just a touch of  sadness. That bright light he cast has dimmed a bit.  

"Handsome Dan" as James Brown, the host of that pregame show, calls him  was sacked, but he got up , brushed the dirt off and did the right thing.  I will try not to judge him by that fumble but by his recovery. 

Has a hero of yours ever let you down? 


  1. I appreciate your post. I had a singer that I thought was the best. He had an affair and he lost his awards and his career. The public was much harder on him than most. I don't know why but I've always felt bad about it. I think his marriage may have also crumbled. The news ate him alive and it didn't take long before you did not hear a word about him. I'm not sure he handled what he did as well as the man you mentioned but I've always felt bad about that situation. Ruined his life when others got to walk on. He must not have had much money backing him I'm really not sure. So glad to hear of someone who made a mistake and did his best to recover. His family has not had to pay the price for his mistake because he handled it well. Good to see your post this morning.

  2. Good post Patti,
    Yeah, my first husband. Big time disappointment. But then I studied Narcissism for several years and now I can spot them by all the clues they leave. Lance A. really disappointed my son who is a biker. Speaking of Wheaties heroes, Bruce Jenner sold out with all his face-lifts, diamond earrings and glitz but as you said, I guess old broads aren't shocked.
    Yes, that Dan Marino is a good-looking dude.

  3. I spent quite a few of my younger years around some of my so called heros. Truth is they are all just human, so I try never to view anyone through rose tinted glasses. It seems to me at some stage of our lives we all screw up, some more than others I have to admit.

    Jesus is my only hero.

  4. I think I have lived so long, and have seen so many "heros" fall, that it doesn't phase me any longer. It is a sign of the times we live in....anything goes, and nothing matters....sad. It just means it is closer for the Lord to return.

  5. I guess I never much saw the point of hero worship. There are people I admire for their accomplishments--things they have done or written in spite of being flawed human beings. And I think you make a good point--it is all about how we deal with our mistakes that really makes the difference.

  6. Sadly, it happens. It was happening long before we arrived and will continue. Kennedy, Roosevelt, just to name a few in a time when it was accepted just not talked about.

    I do not agree nor would I do this but if the job, whatever that is, is still getting done...let the private life be private.

    Sorry, just an opinion.

  7. We all mess up...just not in front of the world. I agree with Gail, let the private life be private. Now, I do have some exceptions, like if they're running for public office. I think then it's important to know the character of the individual. Lance A. or any other athlete who cheats...the cheating should be made public, but not their personal life.

  8. I felt pretty bad about Petraeus, but I wasn't surprised. It seems Clinton picked himself up and dusted himself off, and now he's almost as popular as Hilary. I would hate to have everything I do scrutinized. It would be impossible to have any kind of private life.

  9. Good morning, Patti, interesting post! I am never really shocked anymore but disappointed. Dan Marino isn't my favorite football hero, Joe Montana is, but I am saddened to hear the news that Dan wasn't the squeaky clean fella we all thought he was. I did admire Dan's football skills and am so glad he's tried to repair his marriage.
    As for any hero types letting me down, yes, I've been disappointed in some and also in non-celebrity people. I don't think many celebrity types are immune from mistakes when they are exposed to so many more temptations than the ordinary person, and there are enough temptations around even for the average person.

  10. Lance! Not just the cheating either, but the way he went after those that tried to out him. He has done a lot of good with his charities, but it was still such a disappointment.

  11. Morning Patti, so good to read you here.
    As to the tarnishing of a hero....I guess I am just disgusted with the fact that there is so much time on or in the "news" of the downfall of celebrity de jour. It must be human nature to want to know the worst of someone else but I sure wish as much emphasis was placed on good things that are happening in the world.... Just me.
    I also am saddened that there is so much of this reported that we are all numbed to another announcement of a fall of a hero. So count me in as one of the "oldies" that has seen too many and too much. Good post subject. Oma Linda

  12. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. No one is perfect, we realize this, but we still want our icons to be role-models. The husband of a friend of mine, who I worked with and knew for years, I thought was a stand-up guy. Boy was I wrong...

  13. My heroes are my late mom and dad, and I knew first hand about their weaknesses, which I still think were few, and their strengths, which were many.

    Public figures I have never regarded as heroes, although I have admired many -- and been disappointed in them, athletes, musicians, politicians, academicians to name a few categories. It seems position, power, and privilege can create a sense of entitlement and being above the law and codes of decency that apply to "lesser" beings. Thought-provoking post.

  14. Great post filled with compassion. I know I just wrote what appears to be an incomplete sentence, but I'm ok with that. My hero English teachers have made mistakes at times. When they do, I'm relieved. None of us are perfect.

    Perhaps, I'm jaded. I seldom have heroes. I admire qualities, but I don't put people on pedestals.

  15. I think someone's private life should be just that--PRIVATE!! Some things are none of our business.

  16. I remember Charles Barkley saying some years ago saying how foolish it was to idolize sports heros as they had the same foibles and mistakes as the general run of people. I took it to heart and then watched as my young middle schoolers wore the jerseys of these "flawed" heros. I came to think the "Vikings" were the worst of a bad lot with wife abuse and a "love" boat...... I no longer watch pro football....:(

  17. I think celebs are only human and if they let themselves down once ...I can ignore it ... but when they continue to let their fans down I cant be bothered with them.

  18. I lived in So. Fla when Marino was hot and would watch him play every change I got. I was sad to hear about this also...

  19. Rita,
    The media feeds on these stories and can do terrible damage to a person. Once one is in the public eye, the side effects can be brutal.

    I am the same about my ex. The main thing I got also was being able to spot another one with jealously problems.
    I remember being so proud of Lance in the early years. A cancer survivor who was an amazing athlete. Little did we know.

    LLCool Joe,
    You have picked the perfect hero Joey. He can never disappoint while the rest are almost guaranteed to.

    linda eller,
    I guess that is a good thing to come out of a bad thing.

    You are smart. I still tend to want a great example to shine through for our youngsters to emulate.

    That is how I viewed Clinton's debacle but the people didn't and wanted to hang the dude. Now that time has passed, he has pretty much been judged by his effective presidency. Guess time is the best spin doctor.

    turquoise moon,
    Until people quit buying the media that digs for dirt,sadly personal life will continue to be fair game.

    Yes Petraeus bothered me also I think partly that the person in charge of our security couldn't keep a lid on his own. You are right about Bill. Time really smooths over the rough spots. I always liked him as a president.

    You are right. They do face 10 times the temptation as the average fellow. Joe was an awesome quarterback with a pile of rings for his efforts.

    Agreed. We seem to forgive most anything but a cover up.Lance went even farther in the hole with his ruining the lives of those who had the courage to out him.

    Linda Wildenstein,
    I believe it is human nature to revel in the fact that the blessed among us have Achilles Heels. It kind of levels the playing field of life for those not so blessed. Sad but true. It sells lots of papers, books and TV time.

    I think it hurts so much more when some one we know personally lets us down. Sorry that happened to you.

    I agree. My Dad was my hero and lordy was he flawed but not in what mattered most to me.I do resent when the rich and famous are not held to the same laws as we are.

    Retired English Teacher,
    Ha ha, I am the mistress of the incomplete sentence. You are right, sometimes a few flaws are a relief when discovered.
    I still look for that prominent person I can not only admire for their talent but for their character. I may have a Diogenes complex.

    In a perfect world, that would be standard. Sadly it is not so.

    I like Charles. He is a smart man with a neat sense of humor.
    Don't think the Vikings are any worse. Football has some real bad guys on the field. Since Marino left, I have become a baseball fan.
    The main worry there is PED.

    True. It is easy to forgive one misstep while repetition scrapes off all their charm.

    He was purely awesome to watch wasn't he? His quick release and accuracy made watching even a losing game a pleasure. Those "Mark" boys, Duper and Clayton, were pretty special also.
    Hopefully he has done the right damage control.

  20. As the years go by, more and more I realize that we are all just human beings who will make mistakes and/or are flawed, because we are human. Famous--Not Famous, there will come a time when people will disappoint.
    It is inevitable, I'm afraid.
    In the case of the Famous---I really think it was better when we didn't know every detail of every moment of their lives! And before Twitter and Facebook and The National Inquierer....Too Much Information AND, so much of it inaccurate. OY!

  21. I guess Dan Marino is just another human being. It's important to remember that we never know the entire story in these famous people cases. If his wife forgave him, I think his fans should be able to do so as well.

  22. Heroes tend to just be people - all too human. I'm not sure I have any heroes anymore. I expect people to be honorable and decent, but I'm not overly surprised if they're not!

  23. I think it must be a hard way to live to always be in the public eye, and to try and be perfect. I couldn't do it! :)

  24. It's sad that we're not longer all that surprised when "heroes" are discovered to have feet of clay. I'm glad he did support his child. His wife is very understanding.

  25. Any more I am not surprised at who I read about in the paper or hear on the news has made a mistake worthy of getting noticed by the news people. The biggest disappointment I have ever had in anyone was when a well-known highly esteemed person that I knew personally was found guilty of horrible crimes and sent to prison for the remainder of their life. This person was not a celebrity but served many people in their job. I was devastated as were others when we heard about it.

  26. OOLOH,
    Add the social media in that mix along with the fact that everyone has a cell phone that takes
    photos--except me and everything is instantly on the internet. Makes it so hard to sneak around.

    You are right. His wife's acceptance made a big difference to me.

    Kind of sad that we expect so little these days. Perhaps we should expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised at the best.

    I guess I expect role models to be just that. Guess it is an unreasonable assumption.

    According to everything I had read before, they have always put family first may have bearing. Plus 6 kids and almost 30 years invested makes one try harder.

    It hurts so much more when it is someone we know personally and admire.

  27. I know people might say artists, politicians, etc are people too. But I also think that some of these people are considered to be idols and examples to an entire generation. you know "with great power comes great responsibility."

  28. Dear Arkansas Patti, I was disillusioned at the end of my years in the convent by a nun who had been my mentor in college. But as time has passed, I've realized that she was just human and that I need to accept people "warts and all." And that putting anyone on a pedestal is a clarion call for being disappointed!

    Also, I've realized that I have such feet of clay that I need to think of how hard it's been for me when students I've talked have put me on a pedestal. It's a horrible burden--trying to be perfect for others.

    My hope for myself and others is that we will go through life trying to do no harm. Peace.

  29. You really have him hanging on your wall? He should write you a letter of apology for disappointing a fan of such dedication!

    He wasn't my hero, but John Edwards certainly disappointed me.

  30. Introverted Art,
    I totally agree. There is a price and responsibility to pay for fame and power. Sadly too few recognize it.

    "To do no harm" should be at the top of all of our goals. It sure would make life simple.

    I know, John Edwards disappointed me greatly also. I really thought he was a politician I could get behind.

  31. This is sad - I never knew this. I love Dan Marino. Still do as well because this proves we're all human. I am glad him and his wife have worked past this.

  32. P.S. reading some of the other comments - yes John Edwards DEFINITELY disappointed me. I believed in his message :(

  33. oh my Patti, I also envy those with pretty singing voices... I could scare people with my signing talent ;-)

  34. " I will try not to judge him by that fumble but by his recovery." .... I can't think of a better way to process a disappoint experienced by another's action. Wise words and a great way to live. So many relationships in our lives would benefit from putting this into practice! Great post!

  35. We all have feet of clay and it isn't good that we judge others who do not live up to our ideals. So many who have been put on pedestals have now been seen to be human and some to be not very nice at all.

    Oh now really we do get mad when our idols don't live up to what we want them to be! Don't beat yourself up about it.

    You said they have been married for 28 years and the child is 7 now. I did some big time calculations and my figures come up with year 21 was a very bad year in his marriage or something!

    So many have fooled me including a pastor. I'm just not easily shocked anymore. That is sad.

  36. Wow.. Patti.. what a great post.

  37. OE,
    Glad you still consider Marino worthy. So do I.
    As for John, what a near miss that was. He was so close to being the perfect candidate.

    Ha ha. Perhaps we could hire out as a tag team to torture terrorists. We could replace water boarding:))

    Thanks and yes, we should use that yard stick for even the non-famous. Sure hope others use it when judging me.

    Amber Star,
    Living long really does put us in the category of pretty much having seen it all. Sadly aging wears the edges off our idealism.

    Thanks sis. You certainly spent your life surrounded by lots of DM images.