On a list of growing disappointments that result from crushing budget deficits, a lack of jobs and an overall shaky economy, the last thing we’d want to include on that list would be sports.

Yet in the last 10 years, American sports have had many tumultuous moments.

The growing strife between the NFL and its players that almost caused a lockout, and very well still could, is toying with a football-obsessed nation.

Hometown hero LeBron James went from revered to despised in an instant when he decided to take his “talents to South Beach.”

To top it all off, America’s pastime is not able to shake the monkey that is performance enhancing drugs off its back, as Barry Bonds was recently found guilty of obstruction of justice due to his indirect answer under oath about injecting drugs.

So while we can all agree that businessmen and politicians have not been performing with the utmost integrity, we have to admit that the touchdown scorers, homerun hitting, wide receiving, small forwards and left fielders we idolize haven’t been much better.

However, in the midst of all this, things are looking up.

Despite what many thought, the formation of the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” of Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James was actually part of something bigger that would happen in the NBA.

We witnessed the blooming of franchise star Derrick Rose from a humble prospect into the premier MVP candidate as well as the emergence of some young talents such power forwards Kevin Love and Blake Griffin. We saw teams rebuild and gut entire rosters all with the hope of beating the Heat.

All this came about from a few all-star caliber players banding together to form their own troop and accepting their role as the villains – and relishing in it.

As a result, everyone stepped up their competition and revamped themselves as competitors.

So what’s the point of all this? In spite of the athletes who took PEDs, were dishonest, broke rules and lost our trust, we saw something worth idolizing.

Take Rose, for example: We saw the guy who was laughed at when he suggested he could be MVP this season become arguably the game’s best player because of his hard work, determination and good old “can do” attitude.

What could be better for American sports than a guy who’s modus operandi is “I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can, never give up, and most importantly win – the right way.”

Looks like things really are looking up.

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Chris Ternate

Chris Ternate