Dear Professional Athletes (five in particular),
It would be entirely unreasonable of me to expect that all professional athletes follow When Falls the Coliseum and are currently reading this. However, I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable to assume most of you do. So if those of you reading would be so kind as to aid the proliferation of this message by directing to it those few lost colleagues who clearly struggle with identifying worthy internet readings, it would be greatly appreciated. Now, to the point…
There is an epidemic sweeping your industry that needs to be stopped (and I’m speaking specifically to you, Shaquille O’Neil, Michael Vick, Dwight Howard, Cam Newton, and Robert Griffin III): you cannot all be Superman.
For argument’s sake, we’re going to allow Shaq to keep the gig. In all fairness, he had it first and he has the S-symbol tattooed on himself for some reason. While I’m not a fan of anyone who self-applies the name of a superhero as a nickname, I’d hate to see someone live with the symbol of the superhero tattooed on their arm and not at least be able to tell people, “Yeah, people call me that. Because I asked them to. And I’m not an egomaniac or anything either.” And Shaq, just so we’re clear here, you are still not actually Superman. While I’m sure in your mind, you see near matches in your physical abilities, try to remember that a basketball rim is only ten feet tall, you’re seven of them already, and your arms are another two. That leaves you needing about a foot and a half vertical in order to accomplish the feat of a slam dunk. And Superman can fly. So while it is true that you are both able to defy the laws of gravity, surely you can see that Superman’s ability to do so differs rather significantly from yours. Also, he wouldn’t drive a Buick.
As for the other four of you, you’ll have to choose another path. I do apologize, but the very nature of the nickname requires it. It is a singular term: Superman, not Supermen. That means there can be only—ooh! There! You could all be Highlander Dudes. You get to be immortal and cut the other three people’s freakin’ heads off — it’s totally sweet. You should all go do that, probably.
-E. (Get it?)