Today’s Top Athletes Are All Metrosexuals? Save us Gordie!
Two megastars of “the pitch” (soccer for us Americans or football for everyone else) are garnering tons of attention lately. There’s a public grudge match taking place to settle who the biggest metrosexual of the two is.
Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham appear to be in some sort of “which one of us can be the gayer” contest of wills. It is a modern day metrosexual arms race of tanning sensation, hair care perfection, and waxing every part of their body imaginable. (Did I mention these guys are soccer players? Also a major concern, but for a different post…)
Being well dressed and taking care of yourself physically is mandatory. No argument from me on these points – manliness is about the entire package. I get the feeling, though; these chaps have veered off the path somewhat.
But let’s not throw just these guys under the bus – they are not alone. Look into any sport today and find men who display differing levels of being metrosexual. Even heroes from yesteryear pushed the limits. I can’t get the picture of Broadway Joe Namath in his fur coat out of my mind…
What would Gordie say?
When it comes to sporting legends, Gordie Howe is the gold standard of manliness. “Mr. Hockey” played professional stick for 32 seasons – making the all-star team 29 times! Gordie retired from the game at 52 as a Hartford Whaler, but was a legendary member of my beloved Detroit Red Wings forever. He was in the top 5 in scoring for 20 consecutive seasons, never missed a chance to beat the crap out of someone, and even found time to throw a haymaker at referee once – a freaking referee!
Gordie was the baddest of the bad, but was known for his quiet off ice presence. As a legendary gentleman with a very even temperament, Gordie was never one for the theatrics. He was all business on and off the ice.
If Gordie was asked the question what he thought about today’s athlete and his metrosexual habits, he would crack a small smile, laugh a little under his breath and simply say “we live in different times.”
He might also say “look, if it doesn’t help my team win; I’m not that interested.”
You see, Gordie was a guy who commanded presence through his actions. Forget the celebrity for a moment and think of men who command a presence when they walk into a room. You can always tell when a great man is present…you can feel his quiet demeanor is merely a gentleman-like way of allowing people to take it all in. You can also feel that when it’s time to get down to business, that guy knows what he is doing and all the rest of the crap doesn’t matter.
Getting the job done is paramount and if you got in the way, look out. If Gordie was not playing hockey, he was working on becoming a better hockey player – there is a difference. Playing hockey is what he did. Being the best hockey player, and man, is what defined him.
Both David “Becks” Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo are fantastic at playing soccer. They show their greatness on the field in every instance. I know very little about them off the field so I am not bashing either one (the opening was for entertainment purposes only.) I respect both men for what they do on the field.
I do, though, miss the time when our sporting heroes never thought of painting their fingernails or spending hours working on their tans. There are glimpses of Gordie Howe’s in today’s sporting world, but they are becoming less and less.
Men like Tom Brady, Tim Duncan, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter and Lance Armstrong are fine examples of a modern day “Mr. Hockey.” They dominate their sports, always try to look their best, and never let their appearances get in the way of what matters most to their career – winning.
Do we feel this way about the sport stars of today? If you know modern day metrosexual sport heroes better than me and I messed up, I would love to hear from you.