[Sports] Suicide by Cash

Suicide by cash


We all wail and gnash our teeth at the deaths.

Why doesn’t someone do something?

The millionaire sports earners seem to be killing themselves, either by vehicle or with guns. There have been three self-inflicted gun deaths in the NFL this year and another by drunken driving. Can you name one of them (and, as this is written, two were within the past 10 days). One is/was famous and if I reminded you of him, you’d say, “Oh yeah, him.” But few of us can recall a name right now. If we can even recall the team with which they were associated after a month, that’s amazing.

None of us know what is the edge that has to be passed in order to commit suicide. So none of us understand it.

There are alleged pysch professionals (and even one TV show based on it) associated with most professional teams. If this is true, why do they not spot the ones who are weakest and heading towards and early fate?

A commonality in the NFL deaths is, of course, the violent game. Do you feel immortal when playing and come crashing down when not? Even in the days inbetween? There is the money thing which means you seldom have to wonder what it would be like to have anything. And that includes guns and fast cars.

You seldom allow people around you to say no to these whims. It would not pay for them to be a naysayer.

As a former drinker, I understand a little about the driving under influence thing. When I did it, there was not near the publicity about results of doing so. I remember quite clearly driving home (a good 20 miles) when too wobbly to walk. I made it home. I fortunately swore to never risk it again and did not.

But I also drank into blackouts, waking the next morning with no idea how I got where I work up and with whom I had been after a certain mental time stamp. So I may have driven more often that I know.

All I really know is I never drank to intoxication after January 1, 1983. Because New Year’s Eve was rough.

Like most of us, I grieve for others killed who had nothing to do with the person having a gun or driving a car on public roadways.

I feel sorry the young men never got help or noticed that they needed help.

I used to keep a yearly list on how many of these sports guys died each year. I gave that up because it became depressingly routine. Sometimes, the dead would be at first almost heroically mourned until it came to light they had been intoxicated at the moment of death.

Sometime, often times, they had “traces of (usually cocaine) in their system.”

I know whenever I go I will not.

That lowers the altar of adulation.

So we are back to what can we do about it. The percentage of dead athletes is minimal in the universe of all sports. What role does society (the rest of us) play in it.

I would guess, as the year closes, the best we can do is pledge to pay more attention, to put more pressure on team owners and operators to counsel the suddenly rich, to encourage a car service whenever someone goes out to drink.

It is s sad way to end a life. And there is already enough unpreventable sadness in this world.