IT SEEMS LIKE everyday we read all about all kinds of negative stories online and in our newspapers.
Sadly, negativity sells, but when I was on vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida almost two weeks ago, I came across an old sports story that made me think.
As I wondered around the Wide World of Sports Complex, I came across a display case with a whole bunch of signed sports memorabilia.
At first, I assumed many of sports biggest stars — from Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana and Nolan Ryan to name a few — donated autographed stuff for the Disney resort, but I was mistaken.
These megastar athletes donated signed jerseys, hats, balls, gloves and pictures — even their own precious time — to a teenage boy with glasses reminiscent of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This boy also had cancer.
His name was Scott Carter.
Sadly, Scott never saw the age of 14, dying of bone cancer at the age of 13 in December 1993 just shy of his 14th birthday.
Like many other people diagnosed with some form of cancer, Scott’s dream wasn’t about himself. He wanted to help others beat the dreaded disease.
His dream was to collect autographed sports memorabilia, display it for the public’s enjoyment and help raise money for children’s cancer research, which he believed if well funded could find a cure for the United States‘ No. 1 cause of death of children.
With that courageous idea, ‘Scott Carter’s Heroes’ and the Scott Carter Foundation were born.
All told, Scott was able to collect over 300 items — a decent sized portion of the collection was showcased at the Wide World of Sports — and since his death, his foundation has raised over $1 million through several fundraising events and donations.
Like I said earlier, Scott’s story got me thinking about how much good professional athletes do in their communities and hardly ever get any publicity for it.
This is the kind of stuff that we in the media ignore on a consistant basis, but yet yammer on and on about how ‘Athlete A’ got arrested for a DUI or somehow gained an illegal upperhand or ‘Coach B’ cheated on his wife or did something not so good towards a player.
It’s a sad sign of my profession and our society as a whole that we got to bring down celebrities for all the wrong they do and don’t lift up them up for the things they do for the betterment of our country.
With that in mind, I propose we stop calling into sports talk radio shows or watching TV shows when they’re focusing on negativity off the field and reading print and online stories doing the same.
It may not change things, especially on nationally run shows, but we’d know we’re doing the right thing.
Who’s with me?
For more information about the Scott Carter Foundation or to make a donation, visit www.scottcarterfoundation.org.
Corey J. Corbin is a sports correspondent and columnist for Allied News. He can be reached at gcsportsguy.yahoo.com