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Fan Driven – In Context

I’ve never been a fan of roller coasters. I remember riding in the backseat with friends, my trusty Walkman in tow, embarking on the annual summer trip
to Cedar Point.

How I dreaded it.

How much did I dread it, you ask? Worse than a Jose Valverde save opportunity.

Anyways, I’m going to pull this analogy back together really quick. I hate roller coasters, but I love professional sports. And at times, they feel like the same thing.

In the blink of an eye, a 6-0 start by the Tigers was followed by four straight losses. In the blink of an eye Joe Nathans career was over. Just like that. Literally day to day the landscape of sports changes. That’s why it’s such a beautiful topic.

It’s also why most sports fans pop alka seltzers like rock stars pop acid. Wait … I guess that’s kind of a dated stereotype. But, we’ll go with it.

But the one thing sports is really good for is flipping the script and sobering you up to the realities of life. The Red Wing’s season came to an end tonight as they fell to the Lightening, 2-0.

And we could sit here and bellyache about Kronwall being suspended, that the league has a vendetta against it’s most popular franchise.

And we will.

But we could also look back at a season that, like a roller coaster, had its ups and its downs and in the end, falling a game short of beating the best team in the NHL.

We will shake it off. There’s always next season. What we won’t shake off, however, is Tuesday’s news.

Former Michigan State Spartan standout, former Detroit Tiger world series hero, former Los Angeles Dodger world series hero, on and on and on, Kirk Gibson publicly revealed that he is in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Soak that in for a second. I’m going to go punch a wall.

You back? Okay. So … does that 2-0 loss still hurt? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

As the years pile on, I go back to every game I listened to on the radio, before MLB.TV existed, before every game was streamed online … when my Walkman was the soundtrack of my summer vacations, packed up in a car with a bunch of kids heading down the road to Cedar Point, listening to Harwell painting pictures of Gibson and Parrish, Trammell and Whitaker.

Kirk Gibson 1984 World Series

How I miss those days.

What do you think?

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