Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The death of the two Gendors players, both younger than me and one my brother's age, hit me hard.
How often have we driven home all night, tired and spent, just four bodies laying in a car pointing toward home? How often have we nested in the back amid sleeping bags and backpacks, removing the annoying seat belt to find a more comfortable way of sleeping?
My freshman year, a car of 4 true freshmen rookies made their way back from their first cross country road trip, first college tournament, and first trip through the Streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Sometime around 3am, one of them woke up from the back seat and surveyed his surroundings. It was then he noticed the rest of the car, driver included, was napping right along with him. I was that guy. Jason Ludden was the dude "focusing from the bottom of my eyes."
John Shutkin, lord forgive us for giving him a driver's license, fell asleep driving back from Mardi Gras six years later and introduced the side of Tyson Park's car to the railing for several hundred yards, before managing to swerve and avoid a fence post. The grinding of metal on metal woke him. He had run out of gas only hours earlier. That was a tough driving shift.
We do this shit all the time. We're brash. We're athletic, handsome, gregarious, confident and take the proverbial bull by the cojones. My only suprise is that this doesn't happen to us more often.
And, thank god for that.