So, there might -- and I say MIGHT -- be an impression out there that pro sports is just a plastic collection of cliches, high pay, anabolic steroids or other drugs, athletically gifted punks who think they're high and mighty.
And for some, that is definitely true.
On Monday night, though, a 24-year-old kid from Erie, Penn., had to leave here to go home after his 15-year-old brother was shot to death in what, as of this writing, was an unexplained murder.
As usual, I cannot name him out of fear that people will Google his name and come to this blog. And that would be a bad thing because I'm the guy that had to write the story our paper published on Wednesday.
Suffice to say this young, talented guy came out of almost nowhere this football season, after being cast adrift by another team to the west of us, and became a star.
He was always smiling and super positive when I talked to him. He's smaller than me but he's an amazing defensive player. His trademark is his ability to do backwards flips to celebrate big plays.
In the pic below, he's on the right.
He's just a totally positive person, happy to be here. His Facebook page I found talks about how all he wants to focus on is being the player he is with the team that I cover.
But after the shooting death of his brother, he made an entry in his Facebook page, his status line. It read something like "when is this ever going to stop, how could this happen, why did God allow this to happen, it's crazy."
Here's a picture out of the newspaper in Erie of his brother, a 15-year-old whose shooting death, last I heard, still remained a mystery.
So if you're this player, or this player's family, what do you do? I'll have to talk to this player whenever he gets back. He's always been cordial. He did the back flip when I asked him to. He loves life.
And now he's got to accept death.