There are definitely plenty of Americans who embarrass me by their actions or, in some cases, their very existence. Cynical, pond-scum quality douchebags like Dick Cheney and Ann Coulter come to mind. I am ashamed to share a species label with “people” like this.
On the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who embarrass me by their actions, but in an entirely positive way. People of remarkable skill and talent, who are blessed with natural gifts, but then go on to apply them in such a focused way that they achieve things that I, a lowly blogger sitting at the kitchen table in my underwear, face covered in Cheeto dust, can only gasp in awe at their accomplishments. Great doctors, who give up their social life to save the lives of others. Writers who struggle for years, or decades, to pen a work of such beauty and power that microscopic dots of ink on a piece of paper can bring grown men to tears.
And then there’s Myron Rolle. Not sure if you’ve heard the story of this kid, but he is something else altogether. A safety at Florida State University, a top-notch football player, with the athletic talent and attitude that leads him to be projected as a second- or third-round selection in this year’s NFL draft, were he to go pro.
But Rolle is also a brilliant scholar, carrying a 3.5 GPA in his pre-med major, finishing his first bachelor’s in 2 1/2 years. He interviewed and was granted a Rhodes scholarship to study medical anthropology back in November. The interview was scheduled for the same day as an important game, FSU at Maryland. The NCAA, in an extremely unusually classy move, moved the game to a late afternoon slot so that Rolle could have the chance to follow both of his dreams on the same day.
And he made good, acing the interview and being offered the scholarship on the spot, then catching a plane to Maryland, entering the game in the second quarter, which the Seminoles won 37-3.
And this week, Rolle announced that he has decided to accept the Rhodes scholarship, and will spend 2 years at Oxford. He plans to make himself eligible for the NFL draft when he is finished, and hopes to follow a productive NFL career by opening medical clinics for the poor in the Bahamas.
In a world where far too many of our so-called celebrities gain notoriety for all the wrong reasons, this kid should be absolutely worshipped. I know that, if he is able to make it to the NFL following his studies, I will be first in line to buy a Rolle jersey the day that he is drafted, and I wish for him nothing but the best of luck, which of course he doesn’t need in the least. Even if he kind of makes me hate myself, just a little bit…