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Why do we Care?

Why do we care so much? How is it that when someone I never met, and had precious little chance of meeting, passed away unexpectedly, it affected me for days? How is it that three years later, it still affects me?

I have such strong memories of Sean Taylor flying around the field, wreaking havoc, just playing like the meast he was. But my enduring memory will be when I got online at my desk in my office and saw that he passed the night before.

Just shocked. Not sad yet, just shocked.

I mean, ST was invincible. Remember all the interchangeable Chuck Norris/Jack Bauer/Sean Taylor jokes people made? He was invincible.

The only thing I can relate it to is when Magic told us he was going to die. As unpopular as it may be around here to admit this, I followed the NBA a hell of lot more closely growing up than the NFL. Oh, I followed the Skins pretty closely, but I played hoops every day after school. Hell, my best friend and I would steal a six pack from his parents and sneak off to the basketball goals in his neighborhood playground at midnight. Oh yeah, the courts were unlit. We loved B-ball.

My team was the Celtics, because that was my dad's team. I followed McHale, Bird, Parish, DJ, Walton, Ainge, et all breathlessly in the 80's. So that meant I hated the Lakers. Specifically, Magic. Hated him. God, he was good. Everyone remembers the missed free throws in the 84 finals; no one remembers the unbelievable reverse layup he hit over McHales's outstretched arm as they should. One of the best clutch shots I have ever seen.

Oh. The Baby Sky Hook. God. Larry's JUST miss desperation three that went 2/3 of the way in before rimming out.

I hated Magic.

But one day after my 15th birthday, Magic announced he had HIV. We didn't know a lot about HIV then, except that it was bad. Real bad. Like, dead-in-three-years bad. I know he is alive today and this may be hard to imagine, but it was a death sentence for him then.

I vividly remember sobbing on my bed. My dad came in to check on me; his eyes were red too.

Some kind of weird symmetry that 15 years later, my dad called me that morning. He was crying too. I could not pull myself together November 27, 2007.

And I think that's OK.

I wish I had answers for why we care so much, but I don't. I just know that I do care that much. And it hurts when something like this happens. And it still hurts three years later.

Just like I suspect it will hurt 12 years from now.

God speed Sean.

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