Myths, heroes and………..Totti.

fall-of-pha-thon-greek-mythology-2996236-800-584I’ve always enjoyed reading stories about myths, legends, courageous men ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their country or even only for the beauty of a woman. The main actors of these stories where the heroes, who actually embodied the highest expression of  the values of their society: loyalty, honour, love for the country, sacrifice. With their deeds, which were narrated in long epic poems, they were the symbols of the power, pride but also ethics of their people, thus contributing, through a natural process of identification, in the making of what could be called national awareness.

192964_oHeroes could not be commoners, for sure, because the greatness of the values they embodied had a divine nature that could be found either in their breed, for example Achilles, whose mother was the nymph Thetis or in their name, as for  Beowulf. Beowulf, in fact,  means “bee wolf” (which was supposed to be a metaphor for a bear): “the wolf that eats honey“, from which it was extracted ambrosia, the food of gods. He was, therefore, one of them. The values heroes embodied were universal and worked as glue of past more primitive societies, thus creating the basis of modern ones. At this point, I always ask my students a question: are there any such heroes nowadays? Men or women that could be the expression of universal values? They usually ponder for a while, then they come up with the usual defiant answer: Totti.

tottiTotti, who? I guess you would ask. Well, Totti happens to be an Italian footballer, particularly popular here in Rome as he is the captain of A.S.Roma. The answer is quite provocative, as they know well that I am a great fan of the other team here in Rome S.S.Lazio. On Sundays , but often for the whole week, the atmosphere here is always something like, Capulets vs Montague,Guelphs vs Ghibellines,Trois vs Sparta and Lazio vs Roma. Thus, you may understand how that name can be particularly odious to me. However, despite the choice of the man, is it such a wrong answer? Can an action of a  footballer or a team have the same function of glorious heroic deeds? Yes.

7FEVER-PITCH1997_1835603iNick Hornby in his autobiographical book  Fever Pitch: A Fan’s life , well describes how football works in the mind of supporters. It is glue. Football is the common ground that allows the protagonist Paul Ashworth, an English teacher, to re-create a relationship with his father after the divorce and at the same time he finds in the other supporters of Arsenal that family he needs, with whom sharing the deeds of the present, the hopes for a better future and the stories of a glorious past. Time is felt as seasonal, therefore reassuring, cyclical, never-ending. We may discuss upon the values football expresses, however, people gather around those values and find motivations, passion, frustration but also happiness. For ninety minutes they/we feel alive in a never-ending dream.

It is sad, however, that they couldn’t spot anybody else. How could I blame them? After all the society they had been brought up fabricates powerful models, who invite to a process of identification in order to make profit (football included). The beautiful “lightness” of values is thus replaced by the “heaviness” due to the craving of things. Therefore, once men are emptied of their values, they cannot but  become just like those “dried tubers” of T.S.Eliot ‘s Waste Land, who don’t seem to find any good reason to live and just like “broken images” wander pointlessly in this world, unless……………Totti comes 😦



111 thoughts on “Myths, heroes and………..Totti.

  1. The heroes of today are different from the 6th century heroes; Totti is a As Roma hero, for his passion and his dedication to his team and his fans.
    In my opinion the exact word to use is not “hero”, but “legend”.

  2. I think Totti, although I’m a fan of A.S Roma, can’t be considered a hero. For me only those people who fight for the lives of others or for their country can be called heroes, and not just footballers, even if I love this sport, Rome and Totti.

    • in my opinion paradoxically there can be a connection between Totti, a football player, and for example Beowulf, a hero.
      After all, Totti has given emotions, joys and tears to many people, managing to excite them for a simple game.
      Beowulf is a human who went down in history for defeating three monstrous creatures, saving his own people. But they both made a whole people happy, and made them better.

  3. Totti. Totti is a Man who with his deeds, his think, his talent, have changed many people. Many people have started to come him because he have changed the world with the football, words, and with the smile, he have created the empire. But the time is only enemy of everyone. Now is necessity of someone who will make the difference how Totti or Beowulf ecc..

  4. I think it’s correct to call Totti a hero because in what he had done he expressed loyalty, honour, love and sacrifice. For someone it might be incorrect call him a hero because he doesn’t risk his life well they aren’t so wrong but for me they are all heroes with different values

  5. In my opinion the modern heroes are different from the ancient ones. For me Totti is a hero but even for AS Roma fans as he never changed team and he is the “flag” and symbol of Rome. Totti can be considered a hero even for football fans that see him as their legend and example.

  6. In my opinion the ancient heroes are very different from those of today. Ancient heroes sacrificed their lives for their country and therefore could be called heroes. To this day I don’t think there are many people ready to sacrifice themselves for their country and so I think there are no heroes today.Totti is really a great player, but I don’t call him a hero.

  7. I’m not a football fan. But I also know Totti and I know what he represented to the fans. He is a vision of a hero far removed from that of ancient heroes. Personally I don’t consider him a true hero, but I struggle to think of any other modern hero.But there is a person I heard a lot about. The Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. He is a man who started from the bottom who came to win everything by remaining humble. In his country he is considered a true hero above all for his charitable activity, in fact a statue was dedicated to him. I believe a man like him who joins his country can be defined as today’s hero

  8. for me totti cannot be considered a hero because I have ideals of different heroes.
    for me a hero must set an example and when he was honest, he was not the best, a hero is willing to “give his life” for his country and it is not something he could do. I think the supporters of totti have deified him only because he was a great player and he is
    remained in Rome instead of changing teams just for money.

  9. I think, the concept of hero is completely individual, in fact it changes according to our experiences and our ideas. Society led us to consider heroes like uncommon people as Iron-man. Yes, also for me Iron-man is a hero, but not because he does extraordinary things, but because I want to be like him. For a little child his father is a hero, because he likes his way of acting, in short words he want himself to be like his father. I don’t follow very much the football and for this I have never considered Totti like a hero, probably I would have chosen Bodegas a waterpolo player, because he embodies my idea of waterpolo hero.

  10. I don’t follow football but I think Totti can’t be considered a hero. A hero is a person who saves lives, he is the one who performs a great act of courage, he protects people in need. For me a hero is also a person who gives his life to save someone else but Totti is not a hero.

  11. I believe that Totti cannot be considered a hero but he can be defined as a “football legend”.
    The real heroes are those who save lives as doctors or firefighters and are the ones who put the lives of others in front of them, or think about helping others instead of running away from a bad situation.

  12. For me Totti can be considered like a hero. But not in the modern sense of the word, similar. Totti in fact has people who count on him, like heroes in the past. His fans seeing him feel good emotions and encourage him. So he can be called a hero.

  13. For me Totti can be considered a hero. He was a symbol for his team and his city.I think that even for those who do not support his team, he is a man to be respected for his honesty. He has always been faithful to his team and to those who loved him.

  14. I think Totti is a hero because he used his life to do some good. Because a hero doesn’t need to sacrifice himself for his country to be considered as one.When you think of football you think of Totti, he’s the one that gives you hope.You wanna be like him and this will push you to to better and that’s what hero’s do

  15. I think the heroes of the myths are very different from the heroes of today, as an example, Achilles sacrificed himself for his country. I love football and I think that Totti is a hero in the world of football, he was a legendary player. He has always loved Rome, he has marked the history of football, he has given us many smiles and emotions to all his fans. But for me the real heroes will remain those people who sacrifice themselves to help others.

  16. I think that Totti can be considered a hero, but not for me. The value of heroes today isn’t the same that was a lot of time ago. Today heroes are anyone who make something important and become famous. Thinking about it I realized that I don’t have a hero but I have some people that inspire me. A hero can be someone diffrent from the others, someone who wants to make the difference and right now I can’t see anybody who can represent these features.

  17. for me the concept of hero is a very subjective concept and must be adapted to the era in which we find . For me in 2019 Totti can be considered a hero because , altough in a sport , he represents all the Romanists and for the Italian football he is an idol

  18. Personally i think that considering Totti a “hero” it’s a little too much. He can be considered more like a “legend” because of the things he has done on the soccer field. Certainly he had changed the world of football and a lot of people thanks to his personality and his spirit, he can be also considered a symbol of Rome.Heroes sacrifice their lives for the homeland and fight against the enemies. Totti is obviously a good player and a legend but not a “hero”.

  19. I think it is not correct to attribute all this value to a footballer, it is certainly true that sport helps to make people more united and to make them friends, but I do not think we can compare the valorous figure of a hero, who fight for his country , with a footballer. The meaning is the same but they have two completely different moral values because the hero risk his life instead the footballer risk losing a game.

  20. I think that Totti cannot be defined as a hero because it is true that he has always shown during his career that he is a valorous man, but I do not think he can be compared to the heroes of the past who risked their lives in war for homeland. However, Totti represents a very important figure and is a symbol of Rome that has given the team great emotions, but in my opinion cannot be put on the same level as the ancient heroes.

  21. in my opinion the concept of the hero isn’t change a lot because they each do big deeds that to us seem impossible like fight supernatural creature or win a football match that seemed lost and the acient heros like the modern heros like Totti are an example to reach for us

  22. I think Totti has been a great football player, a legend for the Roma’s fans. In fact everywhere you go in Rome we talk about Totti. He was a champion and the fans of the other clubs, in Italy and in all the world, had respected him. In Rome he is an heritage. Hero is who dies for his country, but Totti is an hero from a footballing point of view. For this he isn’t a real hero.

  23. I think that Totti is an hero, becouse an hero is a person which rapresents ideals and values, even not warriors. He rapresents the people that cheer on for AS Roma thanks at his charisma, talent and fidelity. So he can be calles an hero like beowulf or even the super heros of comics.

  24. I’m not a football fan but I think that Totti can’t be considered as a hero.
    I don’t think that he can be compared to ancient heroes who sacrificed their lives in war for their homeland.
    The heroes of the myths are very different from the heroes of today.
    Today a hero is a person who saves lives and who protects people in need, as firefighters or doctors.
    But he is a different kind of hero: he is a legendary player that marked the history of football.

  25. In my opinion Totti cannot be considered a hero, but i would use the word legend of the football. Wherever know who is Totti, probably because it means that he left something in the hearts and minds of people. But an hero is someone who has done heroic deeds and will be remembered forever. So we can describe Totti like a legend and not a hero.

  26. In my opinion Totti isn’t a real hero, because to be a hero you have to save the lives of many people. However Totti can be considered a legend for all the football’s fans and for all his fans because he has remained for all his career in the team of his city, entering in the hearts of all his fans. So in my opinion Totti is a football legend but he is not a hero.

  27. As written in the text, heroes have always been a glue for peoples. Nowadays Totti can be considered as a hero because he managed to unite thousands of people. In fact, he was not a simple footballer. He is not appreciated just because he was a champion. He became an icon because he showed that he was first of all a fan, then a footballer. In fact, in his career Totti has refused teams much stronger and richer than Roma, to continue his career in the capital. In conclusion, I think that Francesco Totti was not just an athlete, but something bigger.

  28. In my opinion a hero is who places himself in front of everyone who gives his life to save that of others, the one who saves the lives of others, who does acts of courage.
    Totti,instead , is simply a LEGEND who has shown respect and love for the city and for the team of the capital.

    • In this era I think that there are many heroes, even if they perform different actions compared to heroes of old era, such as Francesco Totti.
      Totti is a hero mainly for the fans of roma because he had done actions that he have made happy many people, and so he can be considered as a hero.

  29. I think Totti can only be defined as a football hero but not as a hero like Beowulf. We know that a man becomes a hero when he does some heroic deed; Totti is a “hero” for Roma and he is an example for the all youngest football players. He is an heritage for the football squad and with his matches he will remain in the minds and hearts of all his fans.So he will only be remembered as a football legend.

  30. I think that Totti is more like an idol rather than a hero. For many people who follow football Totti is a legend, regardless of the team that they support. I’m sure he will remain in the hearts of many people, both as a football player but also for the person he is. He was a very good player but in my opinion he can’t be considered a hero.

  31. I think Totti is not a hero, but a legend for Roma. Totti did a lot for Roma and changed the spirit of the whole team a bit. In the few games that Totti did not play the difference was evident. He was a kind of key man for Rome. This is why I think that Totti is not a hero because heroes are the ones who fight with enemies in battle, he is not that. Having said it, go Lazio go💙🤍.

  32. Although I am a Lazio fan, in my opinion Francesco Totti is a great sportsman and a great fooballer for the Roma fans. Over time Totti has become a symbol that unites millions of fans. He has become so important to the Roma fans thanks to his loyalty to his favorite team. despite my football faith I cannot but say that Totti is a great man in the world of sport.

  33. In my opinion Francesco Totti can’t be considered as a hero but has been considered as an icon of Rome. Due to his respectable career at AS Roma football club , his name is known all over the world to all the fanatic of football. Especially for all AS Roma club fans, he is a strong icon who had given them more reasons to get passionate to football. But, comparing a football player with an ancient hero, he can’t be considered like a hero .

  34. I think that it depends. The concept of heroism has changed during the centuries so he could be really considered a hero by someone although his only deeds are in a soccer game as someone could say that he is only a soccer player withouth anything of heroic. So if he is a hero or not change by one person to another. The only certainty is the fact that he will be remember in the history as a hero or not depends by us.

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