Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Rangers' centerfielder, David Murphy, has become the unlikely hero of my fantasy outfield. His namesake, a Cleveland student, has become the unlikely hero of his classmates:

The 11-year-old boy who steered a runaway school bus to safety said Wednesday he did it because he saw a truck coming at them and because his brother also was on the bus.

David Murphy said he worried afterward that he might get in trouble for jumping into the driver's seat, but he said police and fire officials reassured him that he did the right thing, and so did his classmates.

The thing I take away from this story is that in our culture, we are taught from a very young age to obey authority and know your place and fall in line and don't make waves. On a school bus, your place is to sit there and obey the driver. You may talk quietly but mainly it is best if you just sit there and shut up. It takes a special kid to leap into action despite that lifetime of training to stay put.

David was among 27 students headed to a charter school on Monday when the driver stopped at a service station, pumped about $40 of fuel and went into the rest room while the bus engine idled. In his absence, the bus began rolling down a side street that swoops through an industrial area and was on a collision course with an oncoming tractor-trailer rig.

David said he looked up and saw the truck approaching.

"I hurried up and turned the wheel so I could get out of the truck's way," David said.

After dodging the truck he aimed the bus for the last pillar on a bridge to avoid going farther down the steep hill. "There was nothing good down there," he said.

I love the quote. A more rambunctious kid may have realized the opportunity for an adrenaline rush and taken the bus into traffic. This kid had the common sense to aim for the pillar. I laughed out loud when I read the quote because it sounds exactly like something I would have said at that age. This kid is my new hero. I would wager that David will grow up to be a self-made man. Most of the other kids who just sat there wondering what was going to happen will end up more like the bus driver, a 57-year-old guy who left the engine idling while he went to take a whiz.

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