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.


cash27 said...

I made the same comment to my wife earlier tonight about how uncommon these events are in ultimate...I am truly surprised this is not a more common occurance.

Our prayers and thoughts go to their family and friends.


beatty said...

sadly this is what serves to remind us that we're fragile mortals that die. sadder is what these boys will never know.

Anonymous said...

Please note, Will and the driver of the car both were wearing seatbelts according to the police report. The driver swerved to avoid hitting a coyote in the road. The car hit a guard rail and rolled.

What Will did know, he professed from an early age that whether he lived or died, he belonged to his faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

I know. I am his aunt.

Hodag23 said...

Being an on-again, off-again part of the Los Angeles ultimate community for the past few years, I actually knew the driver of the car, Doug Baker, pretty well. Doug was as passionate about playing Ultimate as any player I ever stepped foot on the field with. Though his death was a tragedy, we can all take some measure of solace in knowing that at the very least, he and his friend spent their last living day engaging in an activity that they enjoyed more than any other.


joe said...

After this weekends tragedy I remembered this post. Took some digging but I found it. Still rings true. I worry about my teammates traveling home for break in the snow. Thoughts and prayers to the families and community.