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  1. #1
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    Default Thoughts on deaths of celebrities/athletes

    In the wake of the death of Corey Lidle yesterday in NYC, I was reading through the well wishes in the MLB thread and it got me thinking again of something I have thought of before.

    I always get the impression here that the death of a celebrity or athlete is this terrible, terrible tragedy that crushes people, even though its nothing more than the death of someone we've seen on tv a number of times. People are killed all the time, and they sure as hell don't leave their family with millions of dollars when they die.

    Joe Schmo dies on his way to his $30,000/yr job that he somehow uses to support an entire family. When he dies, not only is he gone, but his family is now in deep shit. They have not only lost a father and husband, but all means of support. I'm not trying to sound insensitive by any means, but if we're going to praise the life of some guy based on hear-say from ESPN about what a great person someone was, why aren't we posting nice comments about some random person in our town's obituary section of the newspaper. I think that would be extremely weird.

    I'm really just looking for thoughts on this from everyone. I'd never really thought of it until the death of Kirby Puckett, when there was an "R.I.P. Kirby" thread here, where people were praising the man. It was then that this started to bother me. I'd made a post in that thread, that was deleted by a mod and I didn't feel like fighting over a post in a message board, but the jist of it was, how could we be praising Kirby Puckett? It seems like we are praising someone simply based on the way they play a game, or a role. When in reality, Kirby Puckett, for example, was not a good man and was arrested for sexual assault that he only got off on because he's Kirby Puckett. It really bothered me that people were praising the man with complete disregard for anything he did off the field.

    This may just be a crazy rant because I was up most of the night, but I am interested in what people think about this?
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  2. #2
    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    people are people to me, I dont hold anyone higher because they can throw a ball... but if people want to pay their respects because they were inspired by someone that past, more power to them.

    It suck for me if Ed went, but I would not go leave crap at his house or send money to his kid or treat him any different than anyone else that passes.
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    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Metalhead
    people are people to me, I dont hold anyone higher because they can throw a ball... but if people want to pay their respects because they were inspired by someone that past, more power to them.

    It suck for me if Ed went, but I would not go leave crap at his house or send money to his kid or treat him any different than anyone else that passes.
    Agreed. Just miss their contribution and let it go.

    Reminds me of a cartoon in a newspaper when Andres Segovia died. It was god on a cloud saying to some angels: "OK, you can stop playing those harps now, Segovia is here".
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  4. #4
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    I think a lot of it is because, even though we usually don't actually meet these people, we do spend a lot of time with them, and while not quite family or friend, we do feel their presence in our lives. I spent just about every Sunday of 1992 watching a Winston Cup race and following the exploits of Alan Kulwicki - I was happy when he won or finished well, disappointed when he crashed or was otherwise put out of a race early, and elated when he won the championship. I eagerly waited all winter for his title defense to start in February of 1993, and as the season began I was again following him on the track, hoping for good finishes and proving to the world that his title was no fluke. That all ended on April 1, 1993 and yes, I felt a loss - there was a hole in my life that this driver that I had no idea of what went on in his life other than the 3 or 4 hours I watched him circling a track each week, was now gone.

    I feel sad whenever anyone dies too soon, but I'm just not involved with that person who was taken out in a crash on the highway - they're just a name I'm seeing in the paper for the first time, so it doesn't affect me as much. An athlete or other celebrity is a person whose name has been in front of me for awhile, and whether I followed their career or not, there is a familiarity there. So it's a tougher loss to take.

  5. #5
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 07:07 PM
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    Billy, you're dead on. When Earnhardt died I almost drove out to DEI to pay respects.

    I'd like to think I'm not a starstruck kind of person, but when someone has a tangible effect on your life, I think it's okay to feel the loss, even if they are a public figure you'll never relate to personally.

    But I do feel there's a difference between relating to a public figure and idolatry. ESPN the Magazine had a story about Junior not long after his dad died, and the reporter was riding with Junior through Kannapolis, NC. They saw a vehicle in front of them with a decal of the "3" with angel wings. Junior's comment was, "That's just stupid". I understand what he meant.

  6. #6
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    It's because even though you may not have known a person on a personal level, they can still have a profound effect on your life. Edward is a perfect example in that his music has been with me since high school. I have watched tons of his interviews, concerts and listen to untold hours of his music. Although it won't effect my bank account, etc it will be a loss just the same when he passes. I also understand that Edward is not perfect but it's not for me to judge his life only what he contributed to mine which is lots of enjoyment.

    As for an everyday Joe, I also feel a sense of mourning for that person's family even though they had nothing to do with mine especially when they leave children behind. Starting a thread about every person who dies doesn't make much sense however, unless there are others whose life that person might have touched. Threads are for sharing a common thought or interest and discussing it.

  7. #7
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    I agree with what seems to be the prevailing sentiment here. If you're a fan, you feel a personal connection to a celebrity even thought you may never have met him/her.

    I work in NYC and walk by the Laugh Factory and Caroline's (comedy clubs) everyday on my way to and from work. When Rodney Dangerfield died both clubs' marquees said, "R.I.P. Rodney. Make God Laugh".

    When I saw that for the first time I was surprised at how much it affected me. Because here was this guy who was always funny. Always. Somehow he connected with every generation, universally, and made me laugh every time saw him; whether it was on tv, movies, HBO specials, etc.

    It's not even like I'm a huge fan who has all of his comedy CDs or has seen all of his movies, but when I thought about it, he was around my whole life and whenever I was flipping through the channels and saw him; I knew I was going to laugh my ass off and feel better than I did before I saw him. Even if I was already in a good mood. So when I saw that on the marquees, it was like it clicked that things would be different from then on.

    On a certain level, I also think it makes us aware of our own mortality. Like, if John Wayne can die, there's no way I'm going to live forever. You know what I mean?

    Wow! This is getting way too deep. I'm going to go over to the "Beautiful Girls" thread and balance myself out...
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  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! the_atomic_punks_rule's Avatar
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    12.20.16 @ 03:09 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoveWalkinIn
    In the wake of the death of Corey Lidle yesterday in NYC, I was reading through the well wishes in the MLB thread and it got me thinking again of something I have thought of before.

    I always get the impression here that the death of a celebrity or athlete is this terrible, terrible tragedy that crushes people, even though its nothing more than the death of someone we've seen on tv a number of times. People are killed all the time, and they sure as hell don't leave their family with millions of dollars when they die.

    Joe Schmo dies on his way to his $30,000/yr job that he somehow uses to support an entire family. When he dies, not only is he gone, but his family is now in deep shit. They have not only lost a father and husband, but all means of support. I'm not trying to sound insensitive by any means, but if we're going to praise the life of some guy based on hear-say from ESPN about what a great person someone was, why aren't we posting nice comments about some random person in our town's obituary section of the newspaper. I think that would be extremely weird.

    I'm really just looking for thoughts on this from everyone. I'd never really thought of it until the death of Kirby Puckett, when there was an "R.I.P. Kirby" thread here, where people were praising the man. It was then that this started to bother me. I'd made a post in that thread, that was deleted by a mod and I didn't feel like fighting over a post in a message board, but the jist of it was, how could we be praising Kirby Puckett? It seems like we are praising someone simply based on the way they play a game, or a role. When in reality, Kirby Puckett, for example, was not a good man and was arrested for sexual assault that he only got off on because he's Kirby Puckett. It really bothered me that people were praising the man with complete disregard for anything he did off the field.

    This may just be a crazy rant because I was up most of the night, but I am interested in what people think about this?
    I couldn't agree more. It's just another indicator of how bad our society actually is.

  9. #9
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    It depends on who the celbrity/athlete is first off.

    I think about the day Randy Rhoads died, I was very sad. I'd never met him and I never saw him play live. However, he had a big impact on me as a musician and guitar player. It was both the way he died, so suddenly with the best part of his life still ahead of him and that by all accounts he was a genuinely nice guy.

    I'm not going to apologize for mourning Randy Rhoads to anybody.

    Then there's Robin Crosby, another great guy who was a victim of his own demons. Unlike Rhoads, Robin had his chance and instead injected poison into his veins. I never met Crosby either and his demise was self-inflicted by his actions, but I felt bad when he passed away. Why not? The guy had written some great songs and was a visible part of a good band. His music is still in my head somewhere and it still makes me feel good. Though I never personally met Robin, I was saddened by his loss for many personal reasons that I refuse to share, and I refuse to feel stupid for feeling they way I did.

    I've never gone down to visit their graves or anything, although I've always wanted to go to visit the Rhoad's music store and maybe buy something. The thing about celebrities is that they become familiar faces in our lives. We welcome them into our living rooms each week or every night, we pay money to watch them pretend to be somebody else, throw/catch a ball or run real fast. We cheer them, curse them, forgive them and love them. We like them because they're good at what they do. Sometimes we wish we could have their talent,wish we could be them but most of the time we just enjoy their abilities as they go through their paces.That's one of the many things that make us human, the vast majority of us are able to admire a number of celebrities without crossing the line into crazy-town, and there isn't anything wrong with that. When a famous person dies the reaction isn't because they're more important than Jos Schmoe, it's simply that more people knew who the famous person was. Every week, in towns across the country, there are memorial services for people that you've never heard of that are standing room only, that's because in their little world they managed to touch the lives of hundreds of people directly. See, celebrity operates on different levels, that's all.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Nice thread, LWI...

    You sparked a memory, Axx when you mentioned Robin Crosby...

    I was sorta sad when SRV passed away, but I was very happy he conquered his demons beforehand...

    I think people mourn famous/talented/whatever people so much is because they inspire us in our own lives. When they die, they become so much more human than they ever did before...

    I have never cried or really mourned when a famous person dies but the ones that will affect me the most are Edward Van Halen, Neil Peart, and Michael Schumacher (F1 race driver)...

    When I got my DUI a month and a half ago, I thought the world was coming down around me. About a week later, Steve Irwin died. That really put things into perspective because I thought about how I had problems, but nothing compared to what his family is facing losing a loved one.
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    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=fast98dodge]
    I have never cried or really mourned when a famous person dies but the ones that will affect me the most are Edward Van Halen, Neil Peart, and Michael Schumacher (F1 race driver)...

    QUOTE]

    Now that is one fuck of a list.
    Any sentiment for someone we don't know:
    When I heard about Peart's ridiculously heartbreaking losses? My thoughts were black for an hour or so.

    When I saw Schumi break his leg at Silverstone? Nearly threw up. Wanted my F1 with the master intact thankyou. As soon as we knew he was OK. OK.

    EVH. He is driving his own car. Sad for a bit, you steer into the wall for long enough, eventually you will hit it. It will be a shame.

    I will never wear a black arm band for someone I don't know, but when I realised Bill Hicks was dead (ten years after the fact) I was pissed off that so little was recorded. I am very selfish.

    It is what it is.

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Viking's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 03:26 PM
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    The only celebrity death that had a big effect on me was Elvis. I was 12 at the time and just getting into his music in a big way. And yes, I did cry.
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    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking
    The only celebrity death that had a big effect on me was Elvis. I was 12 at the time and just getting into his music in a big way. And yes, I did cry.
    I was the same age going to spend the night at my best friends house when I walked in the kitchen to tell her, my mom was bawling her eyes out. He was her Eddie and now that I'm older, I can appreciate how someone can be a part of your life even when you didn't know them firsthand.

    One comment about all this, just because you mourn a celeb doesn't mean you don't feel bad for someone lesser know. The people I see on the local news can be heart wrenching to hear about especially when it's a child. There is a child who died locally who will stay with me for the rest of my life. I literally cried for days because of the tragic way his life ended.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 09:07 AM
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    I guess it all depends on how that person who died touched your life. If it's someone you don't know, you feel sorry but it doesn't effect you as much. If it's a family member who you were close too, that certainly will bother you.

    As for celebrities, it's almost the same thing. I personally don't know Eddie Van Halen but as a huge fan of his music, it will hurt when he eventually dies. Growing up, he was my musical idol. I have spent enough money listening to his music, attending concerts, buying t-shirts, etc.

    One last thing, sometimes you don't know how you feel if so-and-so died. You can't always predict it.
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    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    I don't really care for the way the media exploits celebrity deaths. This guy who died really was not cared for by his teammates since he was a scab who crossed the picket line in 94. Yet they are all now expressing their sorrow and disbelief over his death. Why be nice after when somebody is dead?

    I also feel that if this guy played for a lesser known team, he would have just been on the news ticker. However since its the Yankee's it is going to have 6 hours of coverage dedicated to him.

    I do agree that thousands of average Joe Schmo's die every day without any fanfare. Great people who go unrecognized in every day life but are loved by just as many people. These people go unnoticed yet because this guy can throw a baseball, his death is deemed to be a greater disservice to mankind. How many GI's died in Iraq that week? Yet we now lump them on to the 2600+ number. Its a shame. Those people deserve 6 hours worth of news coverage more then this guy. I don't fault him because its not his fault. Its the media and us.

    IMO giving recognition to Randy, SRV, Dimebag, etc is different. The arts offer so much more to civilization then playing a game. In a few years nobody outside of this guys family is going to remember him outside of looking up stats for the 2006 season. However with music, you have something tangible to relive when you put that disk in .

 

 

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