I don’t think the dictionary really matters that much to CBS Sports commentator Tim Brando. At least not based on anything he wrote during a Twitter tirade today that lasted a few hours and, as I type this, is still going on.
Now, when I think about heroism, as I happen to do as the author of a book and co-host of a podcast on the topic, here’s the sort of thing I have in mind:
People act heroically when they make a potentially life-altering sacrifice or put themselves at some serious risk and they need not have done so. Most often, today, heroes are those whose actions are seen to benefit others; in the classical sense, however, heroism included a broader range of martial actions or feats of endurance that were not necessarily other-regarding.
There’s more to say, obviously, but that’s a quick first pass at a definition. It’s interesting and potentially very fruitful to debate particular heroes and definitions of heroic actions — and, obviously, I’m counting on it for the success of my book — but it’s noteworthy that Brando seems not to have offered a definition at all, despite claiming that his Twitter tirade was all due to his deep care for definitions.