Magic Heroes

I’ve seen Magic Johnson speak twice, and though each talk was very similar, and each great, today’s felt different.

Several years ago, Magic as a hero seemed normal. It seemed natural. I grew up with Magic and Walter Payton and others as heroes and I just figured they would always would be. I think I would have traded the Mona Lisa for a Sports Illustrated poster of either of those guys. No — I don’t think — I know. 

But this is the era of cynicism, of distrust. And sometimes it feels like no one has heroes any more. Even Payton was the subject of a new biography that left me scratching my head, thinking: “Do I really need to hear this?”

But today, to see 40-year-lady after 40-year-old lady star-struck over a hero, in awe, smiling in ways you don’t often see, giving standing ovations and nodding and looking up, way up, literally and figuratively, to Magic — well, that was nice today, and more today than ever.

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