As for Lincicome and his ideal of the athletic hero, look at some of those who bore the mantle when Plummer retired in 2007: Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, LeBron James. Now? Now they're deemed too egotistical, too unethical or too uncaring. They try to redeem themselves through Nike ads, using press conferences and p.r. firms to try to remake their images. Then, when all else fails, they try to win us back the only way they know how, through championships.
Heroes? Role models? Plummer doesn't see the point talking about them. He's more than happy to discuss the things that are important to him, like his friends, his family and the joy he gets from sports. He'll play an impromptu game of handball with a couple of random 16-year-olds, as he did at 11 p.m. on the Friday of his tournament in the near-empty athletic club, laughing and sweating. He'll say, "I love you, Dad," every time he parts ways with his father. He'll walk you to your car, ask about your kids, buy the first round, give someone a ride home. But that's not heroic; that's just being a decent person.
And where's the glory in that?