Hero, Hubris

H: Hero & Hubris and Home Runs

Viking series

“All men are timid on entering any fight. Whether it is the first or the last fight, all of us are timid. Cowards are those who let their timidity get the better of their manhood.”
– General George Patton Jr, “War as I knew it” 1947

I have trouble with fictional “heroes,” who have some mutant power that enables them to overcome ANY enemy. Aside from a dose of Kryptonite, what did Superman really have to fear? He could outrun a bullet, jump buildings and stop a train. Lois Lane really underestimated Clark Kent’s abilities.
I know that Batman has the car, the lab and the money to stand up to the baddies ruining Gotham but at the root of all this is his name. He chose Batman because bats scare the daylights out of him, and they are more common than Kryptonite. The whole story of Batman is how he overcame his fear, retook his rightful place and saved the city (until the next movie.)
Hubris is the character flaw that enables the hero to grow. Hubris is what enables us all to grow. The classical hero cycle is played out in Star Wars, The Lion King and The Odyssey and just about any show on TV or at the movies.


Luke Skywalker and Star Wars. He has a lot of doubt and fear as the story begins and he tells his uncle that he wants to find his father. He is called to adventure by the robots and Princess Leia. Obi Wan and Yoda teach him and he frequently screws up. Just before he grasps the force, a belief that he can do great things, he reaches the abyss. As he grows in the force he grows as a man and by the time he leads the alliance against the Death Star he believes in himself and he saves Leia and a good portion of the universe as well. Joseph Campbell was as advisor on the Star Wars set. The Lion King is a perfect fit for the hero cycle.

Hero Cycle
Campbell’s hero cycle is important because it is the story of our lives. Think of your first love in high school and how he/she dumped you and how you recovered went on with your life. What about all the failures and screw-ups you’ve done since and how you survived, learned and moved on? We are each the hero in our own story, so it makes sense have the hero’s journey.
So what does this have to do with baseball? People identify with sports teams like The Lakers, The 49ers, Seahawks and USC to name a few. This week and next when someone hits a home run or pitches a shutout he will be called a hero. It’s true, he did something difficult but the penalty for losing is not death. Last season Peyton Manning threw for more touchdowns in one season than any other quarterback in history, he will go to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. But when The Broncos lost the Super Bowl I heard a lot of talk that he can’t win the big one. Three times in the Super Bowl and he only won once. Custer had a better chance at The Little Big Horn than Denver had against Seattle.
I’d rather cheer for Luke and Leia because they have flaws and know they can die. The kid who is battling cancer is a hero and her family is also heroic.

Who is a fictional hero you like or dislike?



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. heyannis
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 03:51:18

    This is especially interesting to me right now, Terry, because I just heard a talk on the Hero’s Journey showing up in classic story lines. Judy and I went to see “The Judge” the next day after I heard the talk, and I saw every step of the hero’s path. Very cool. Thank you. xoa



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