Thursday, December 31, 2009

Remembering Those We Lost in 2009

Happy New Year everybody! I'm going to take one final look back at 2009 (I say that, but it may not be true). Of course, 2009 was a tough year for celebrities passing away. It also was a tough year for many athletes who left us.

The most troubling may have been Steve McNair. McNair was in that slot of very, very good but not great quarterback ... but he gave us lots of memories on the field. His death was quite tragic and left all us wondering who he really was.

Vernon Forrest was also gunned down as he was trying to stop someone from robbing him. Fellow former fighters Alexis Arguello and Arturo Gatti both committed suicide.

Just a few weeks ago, we lost Chris Henry when he was thrown from the back of a pickup truck. He was just 26. Jasper Howard, a 20-year old UConn cornerback, was stabbed to death trying to break up a fight.

It was a tough year for baseball when the Angels 22-year old pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a car accident just hours after pitching. Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was one of baseball's most interesting characters and quickest shining lights. Dom DiMaggio may have been most remembered for who his brother was, but he was a heck of a ballplayer himself. Harry Kalas' voice was silenced and Phillies games and NFL highlights haven't been the same.

Twins owner Carl Pohlad also passed away. So did Wizards and Capitals owner Abe Pollin and Pistons owner Bill Davidson. NC State women's basketball coach Kay Yow lost her battle with cancer in 2009. Miles Brand, who was president of the NCAA and the man who fired Bobby Knight at Indiana, died of pancreatic cancer.

February 26 was a tough day for Chicago Bulls fans as legendary broadcaster and coach Johnny "Red" Kerr and legendary player Norm Van Lear passed away on that day. The NBA also lost one of the nicest and most classy men when Wayman Tisdale died.

We also lost Jack Kemp, who trancended sports and became a politician and a vice presidential candidate.

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