Editor’s Blog: Malone Is Not A Failed Role Model

by W.B. Philp | Posted on Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Ryan Malone has found his way into the headlines for the wrong reasons and many journalists and bloggers are spouting off again about a failed role model.

It’s ridiculous.

I have yet to have a conversation with an adult who was claiming one of today’s athletes as their role model. All semi-intelligent adults realize that hockey players are adored, but secluded from reality because they can fire a 100 mile per hour slapshot. From the time they pick up a hockey stick, they have been pampered by parents, coaches, teammates and friends. Because of this, the aging player feels no accountability for their real life behavior. They simply expect everyone to look the other way.

Lightning nation knew this long before Malone decided to drive drunk or do drugs. Bolts fans love their heroes in blue.  I mean really love them…especially when they win. But none of the fans are insane enough to project role model standing on any of these players.

Only children look to the athletes as heroes because they can’t help it. They are subjected to the constant product advertising that boasts about their athlete representatives being role models. They haven’t escaped the protective cocoon of childhood yet.

Fans almost always accept criminal antics as long as that player can help their team win. Ryan Malone‘s career seems to be winding down and his physical contributions to Tampa Bay are few. Yes, a good man is better than a bad one, but it is talent that endears him to the fans.

Role model? No. But put up on an imaginary pedestal because he’s “Bugsy”? Of course.

Take just one minute and look at Twitter and Facebook Lightning fans and you will see it. “My boys”. “My” team. “My” Bugsy. Despite claiming ownership of the player, few if any have actually spent meaningful time with the player. We don’t know Ryan Malone, the person, no matter how much we think we do.

Writers and bloggers alike should look inward and chastise themselves for acting like children and claiming these athletes as role models.

Ryan Malone is not a failure as a role model. He’s a man who needs help. A man that has made mistakes. A man that is as fallible and subject to humanity as any of us.

Follow me on Twitter @LightningShout and please “like” LightningShout on Facebook. You can email us at Info@LightningShout.com.

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W.B. Philp
About the Author

W.B. Philp is the founder and Editor in Chief of the NHLShout Network. He is a longtime sportswriter, grandfather, father, husband, Melrose hater, instigator, agitator and vindicator.

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  1. BigKahuna BigKahuna says:

    Perfect. Finally a solid portrayal of the situation. Well done!

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