Over the past few days, I was having some trouble deciding who I was going to root for in the upcoming Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin title match.
On one hand you’ve got Brock who, despite playing up his heel gimmick any chance he gets, is a physical specimen that brings excitement in and out of the cage. He’s the type of guy that draws eyeballs to this sport to the point where having him as champ is a positive for everyone. On the other hand, you’ve got Carwin who, while a relative unknown to the casual fan, has not only amassed an undefeated record in mixed martial arts but defeated all of his opponents in the first round. At the same time, he seems like an intelligent, down to earth guy who has gotten to this point the old fashioned way — through hard work and perseverance.
Then something happened. I was reading an article over at Cage Potato and I found this quote from Carwin describing why he will still be keeping his engineering job while preparing for the biggest fight of his career.
…My reasons for keeping my job are not about the money or time. …When everything seemed dark [my son] was the light that kept me going. I knew right then that everything my mother had told me about getting my degree, putting my education before the NFL were as much for my well being as they were for those that were relying on me. I made a commitment to never get caught up in a quest that did not have some sort of guaranteed base for my family and I.
I want my son to grow up knowing that being a man is not about getting paid to drink beer but it is about providing for your family and making honorable choices even when those choices are not in alignment with what most people would choose. I want my kids to know that contributing to society and earning your way through life is what this country was founded on.
In short, Carwin is not only a giant human being who physical destroys other men for a living, but he’s also a person who possesses qualities most of us lack — namely morals, values, convictions, and the like. This is a man who is about to fight for the most prestigious championship in his sport — in our sport — yet he is still intelligent and reasonable enough to stay grounded to what truly matters, despite all the hype surrounding him.
In an era where many of our top athletes are consistently getting arrested or otherwise in possession of questionable moral character, Shane Carwin is the opposite. And at 6’3″ and 263 lbs, he may very well be the only man with the size and strength necessary to dethrone the heavyweight champion.
Basically what I’m saying is that I hope I can be like Shane Carwin when I grow up.