A 26-Year-Old Hero and A 26-Year-Old Zero

It was big news in the New York Metropolitan area this week when pictures of Jason Pierre Paul’s (26 years old) hand surfaced in New York Daily News. In the infamous right hand was injured in a firework accident during the July 4th holiday. Rumors have circulated as to how bad the injury truly is until the pictures seemed to show JPP missing a right index finger and possibly parts of his right thumb and other middle finger. As to the true severity, he’s not saying. But he did tweet, “I can’t think of the last time my index finger got me a sack.”
What I can think of is, as a right-handed person, it’s going to be hard to sign a contract with no index finger. With no index finger as a right-handed person it’s going to be hard to do a tremendous amount of things. But what is really incredible about it is, you start to wonder about the level of maturity for some of these things. When you are holding fireworks in your hands are you thinking about the repercussions? Knowing that there is a massive contract waiting for you, maybe you would stop and think “fireworks can blow off my hand.”
Or maybe you can get AFLAC. It does help when you get hurt and can’t work. But if you don’t enroll you can’t get the insurance. Although I’m not sure it covers fireworks and missing hands. Maybe Chubbs could have gotten it in Happy Gilmore when that damn alligator stole his hand. It was his right hand too. Maybe JPP didn’t get that memo either. Don’t mess with alligators or fireworks.
But I think what we all missed this week was P.K. Subban. While the NY media salivated over the pictures of missing digits, sick kids in Montreal found a hero in Pernell Karl Subban.
The 26-year-old Montreal Canadien hockey player from Toronto graciously donated 10 million Canadian dollars over 7 years to the Montreal Children’s Hospital. They’ve named a portion of the hospital the Atrium P.K. Subban. He’s taking French lessons so that he can speak to the fans and the people in the area. He’s boisterous and brash on the ice, but that’s a persona. Off the ice he seems to care about his community and wants to give back to a place that has given so much to him. Keep in mind 10 million dollars is the most EVER given by a Canadian athlete. This is a 26-year-old. Think about that.
Now think about the other 26-year-old in the picture. Blowing off his hand doing something stupid. One is giving away 10 million to kids the other is just giving away a career. Interesting parallel.
Whether you like either one, it doesn’t really matter. I’m not judging their careers. One has won a Super Bowl, one has won a gold medal, one has a community that loves him, one has a community that makes fun of him. When we talk about heroes, we should be looking at the guy or gal that humbles himself in front of the community for what he/she does off the ice or field not what he/she does on the field. So you have a Super Bowl ring, what message are you showing by playing with fireworks and blowing off a hand?  Great message to kids.

For me, I’ve never been a P.K. Subban fan, but this week, Subban proved to me that he was one of the greatest humans to wear a jersey in the NHL. He’s a hero in the truest sense of the word. To give 10 million dollars over 7 years or roughly 1/7 of your salary to a children’s hospital to help those that can’t help themselves proves that he is a man who has a heart and is willing to step up and should be everyone’s hero. I don’t care what he does on the ice. I just know that those kids and the families of those kids have someone who just saved many lives for years to come. We should all be thankful for that man. I know I am.