JULY GUEST WRITER WINNER!!!
- By Anna H
Now that I got your attention let me start of by telling you a little about myself. Almost everyone that knows me sees me as a girly girl. They’re right. I like shoes, shopping and cute, little puppies. I was a figure skater wearing pretty, sparkly dresses for 13 years. Sounds fun, right? What a lot of people don’t quite figure out right away is I like “manly men” and manly sports. Not for the muscles and tight pants, those are just bonuses; for the sheer intensity, grit and passion they pour into their professions.
I’m not a fan of pretty boys or sports where one’s shoes must match the hat and shirt and earrings or the athletes that need to be perfectly groomed to look nice on national TV. I like dirt, sweat, and blood. What happened to all the “manly men”? I know, you are probably yelling at your screen right now that there are a lot of them still left, I sort of agree. However, some of my favorite athletes represent the manly ideals to the tee. Let me present you to my list of Manly Men – Manly Sports.
George St-Pierre is a quiet, reserved French Canadian. He is also one of the top MMA fighters and the current Welterweight Champion of the UFC. With one, swift round-house kick to the jaw, it’s over. Sure, there are a lot of “manly men” in the UFC but GSP is understated, he isn’t in your face constantly reminding you of his toughness. Why should he, he has proven himself.
Adriano Moraes, a happy-go-lucky Brazilian who is not afraid to test the patience of a 2,000 pound bull. After 20 years in the PBR (not the beer) and 3 world championships under his big buckled belt, he retired. Who’s to blame him? After constantly being beaten, viciously thrown to the ground, trampled, and riding with torn muscles and broken bones I would want a break, too. In Pueblo, Colorado at the PBR headquarters there is a life-size, bronze statue of Adriano and Little Yellow Jacket (the best professional bull ever). That bronze is as strong as Adriano’s mind, body and heart.
Clay Matthews, behind his flowing, blonde locks is a warrior. He is handsome and I am jealous that his hair usually looks better than mine (off the field). But, he will also hurt you, he will bleed; get covered in dirt after throwing his enemy to the ground every game. He doesn’t complain about being hurt, that’s part of his job. First Team All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year, NFL Defensive MVP and the only NFL player to post 10-plus sacks and a defensive TD in each of his first two seasons in the league…he earned it all.
Patrick Roy, as arguably the best goaltender ever in the NHL, he was tough not a prima donna such as (we are all thinking the same Penguin here). Some can argue he was protected by the crease, but if you messed with him or his team he would punch you; seems fair. His attitude on and off the ice is that of professionalism and someone who earned the cockiness. He knew he was the best, so did players, coaches and fans but he wasn’t one of these guys who was too good to get into a fight or stand his own. Remember his hatred to Red Wings’ goalies; he knows how to throw down. Just to refresh your memory with a few stats: Calder Cup recipient, 4 time Stanley Cup champion. 3 time Conn Smythe winner and 12 time All-Star Game participant. (It is also no secret that I have a little bias towards hockey and think it is by far the toughest main stream sports with the toughest players).
These four guys’ sports are extremely different but they have a lot in common. They are not divas. They are all among the best in their individual sports and they have the credentials behind the grit and attitude. I am almost positive there are more than these four that embody the “manliness” sport’s needs, and that makes me happy. I get so annoyed when athletes are not even close to being the best; they haven’t paid their dues yet have the largest egos on the team (or in the league) and expect to be treated like a god. And really, what’s with all the hugging and crying? Since when do tough guys do that? But these four don’t expect anything, thank you for that. I am tired of sports becoming a fame game of the rich and beautiful. Bring back the days of the “manly man” and leave the egos at home.