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Monday, June 16, 2014

This Was A Sad Weekend In Sports And Entertainment

First, the greatest coach in Steelers history and arguably the history of the NFL, Chuck Noll passed away.  The Hall of Famer that is the only coach to win four Super Bowl titles died Friday night in Pittsburgh of natural causes.  He was 82 years old.  Without Noll at the helm, the Steelers never become the juggernaut in the 70s, nor carry that legacy and tradition on to the future generations of the team.  "Steeler Football" wouldn't exist if he hadn't agreed to take over the hapless Steelers in 1969.  The rest is history.  When he retired in 1991, Chuck had a 209-156-1 record over 23 seasons.  Like Dan Rooney said, "He was one of the great coaches of the game.  He ranks up there with Halas, Landry and Lambeau."

Then, I learned that my favorite, and almost everyone in America's favorite, radio DJ, Casey Kasem passed away on Father's Day.  I can't tell you how many installments of American Top 40 I listened to as a kid just to hear the songs and quips about the artists read by my favorite Scooby Doo character, Robin from Batman, and the original Cliffjumper.  He had been hospitalized after getting an infection and passed away after suffering for years with dementia.

Now to make matters worse, one of my favorite all time players in MLB history and HOFer, Tony Gwynn passed away after a bought with Cancer.  He was a big man.  Stocky, like me.  I identified with players like him.  Most sports collectors know well of Tony's feats.  He won 8 NL batting titles, had over 3,000 hits in his career and was looked at as an example to aspiring hitters everywhere; all this while playing for the mostly bad San Diego Padres teams of the 80s and 90s.  This is obviously another lesson in a long line of cautionary tales in the use of tobacco.  After having two surgeries to remove the cancer in his cheek, he eventually was taken back to the diamond in the sky.  He will be missed.

They all will

This is why I always say, my heroes are ghosts.

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