Jim Henderson's commentary on Wally Pontiff

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by Ellis Hugh, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. Ellis Hugh

    Ellis Hugh Space Wrangler

    Aug 9, 2001
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    Commentary: Jim Henderson Laments Another Untimely Death

    Jim Henderson - WWL-TV Sports Director

    I drove past the home of a neighbor this morning where once a young Mandeville athlete and LSU student had lived.

    And I wondered if the wounds left by the untimely death of Ben Wynne would ever heal? More likely, I thought, was that each time the cover was pulled off the fishing boat that remains in their driveway, it was like peeling the gauze off a cut to the bone, opening it anew, confirming that the healing would be slow if ever, the scar deep and permanent.

    Within minutes came the news of Wally Pontiff. And, I had the answer to my question.

    The same feeling I had upon Ben Wynne's death and those of other young LSU athletes whose lives were cut short re-surfaced as freshly as if the tragedies occurred yesterday, not years and in some cases decades ago.

    I remembered how I felt upon hearing similar news during my tenure here -- Pete Maravich, Don Redden, Eric Andolsek -- all here too briefly and gone too soon.

    Young people die every day to be mourned by a few in private. But when a young, prominent athlete dies, our grief for him is widespread for he symbolizes all who suffered a similar fate. And their passing makes us acknowledge our personal grief and how perpetual it is.

    Days like these put our lives in slow motion, enabling us to separate what is truly important from that which the demands of day-to-day living deceive us into thinking are.

    At times like these we are reminded to hold those we hold dear a little longer and to kiss them good-night a little slower.

    Because life holds no guarantees that tomorrow will give us the chance we have today and that "good-nights" at sorrowful times like these can sometimes be "good-byes."

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