Monday, April 13, 2009

"Outta Here!"*

Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away today in Washington, D.C. He died in the broadcast booth before he was sceduled to call a game between the Phillies and the Nationals. He was also the voice behind NFL Films. Yes sports fans, he was that guy.

I'm sure all of you have had nightmares (or dreams for some of you depressed folks) of dying. Car wreck, plane crash, gun fight, etc. At the same time, I'm sure that many of you have had thoughts about HOW you want to die. We all wish to die as peacefully and as painless as possible. I'm assuming that most of you want to die doing something that you love.

Really, what more could you ask for?

Kalas' death reminded me of two other examples of people dying while doing what they loved. One is fictional, the others are real.

1.) Remember that scene from Malcom X when Sammy died on top of that prostitute? And she was screaming bloody murder after he didn't quite rollover after he got his? Granted, going out on top of a whore in a dirty hotel ain't the prettiest way to leave, but dying during sex? I mean, I ain't gonna lie, it kinda looked cool to my 12year old eyes at the time. Hell, I ain't saying I'm trying croak the next time I poke. But, if I'm say, 70 something years old and I'm still getting my Clarence Carter on, I won't mind having a stroke while strokin'.

2.) Jax: 1976-2008

Kalas' death also reminded me of the untimely death of Binkis Recs member and Atlanta indie Hip Hop cornerstone Jax. Jax died on stage doing what he loved, emceeing. Once again I ask, what more could you want?

3.) Hank Gathers: 1967-1990

Man, when Hank Gathers died on the basketball court, I was scared as hell. Granted, I was only 10 when it happened. But I used to play basketball everyday and when I heard that he actually died on the court while shooting free throws, I was shook. He died from having an abnormal heartbeat and at the time that sounded scary as hell. I thought I was gonna "catch it" and to this day I think that's one of the main reasons I fell back on organized sports at a young age. But, Hank died doing what he loved. What more can you ask for?

4.) Reggie Lewis: 1965-1993

Another scary incident. Reggie Lewis pretty much died the same way as Hank except he died during a practice. But it was from heart complications nonetheless. Died doing what he loved though.

Myself, I can only dream to die doing what I love, but I just hope its somewhere cool. Like, I love writing and all, but I'll be damned if I wanna die at a office computer. Hell no. At least let it be on a beach while brainstorming about a story.

So with all of that, I ask you, how do you want to go out. I'm not trying to speak death into the atmosphere or anything like that. Just asking, seeking some healthy conversation...

*before anyone trips and calls me insensitive..."Outta Here" is a play on what Kalas used to say after homeruns, get it? got it? good.

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