COLUMN: We take too much for granted


Dwayne Haskins’ tragic death on Saturday morning is a reminder that we take too much for granted. Some of the initial reactions to it are also a reminder that we need to keep the athletes we admire human, too.

I woke up on Saturday to text messages asking if I had seen the news. My first reaction was disbelief and hope that it was not true.

Aside from being both a Steelers and Buckeyes fan, a more personal connection in a way is Haskins was born the same year as my own younger brother. From a sheer human standpoint, I could not imagine the pain caused by losing someone close to you that young.

Unfortunately, what I had received in texts was indeed true. And even more unfortunate, without naming names — most probably will know what I’m referring to — some of the reporting confirming it, once the initial shock wore off, made me angry.

See, what we often forget — and I am guilty of this, too — is that whether it is a football game on a Saturday, or Sunday, or a basketball game, or baseball game, or a hockey game, or auto race etc. the participants are human. And, just like our own, their life is fragile and can be taken in any number of ways at any time.

Dwayne Haskins was much more than his unfinished NFL career stats. He was much more than a record-setting quarterback for my beloved Buckeyes. He was more than a great stat line within a high school box score in New Jersey.

He was someone’s son, husband, friend.

He was a human being, like you and I. He just happened to have a much cooler job than you or I likely ever will.

His NFL career having not gone to plan yet was not relevant to the fact that a 24-year-old young man had died and those that loved him were grieving.

And the hole in their hearts that will never again be filled is a heckuva lot more important than the one on a depth chart.

In the big picture, what he did or didn’t accomplish on the football field does not really matter. The impact he had on those grieving does.

Let it be a reminder that we’re all human, regardless of whether we agree on politics or not, root for different sports teams, have different beliefs etc.

And, while the exact details of what happened Saturday morning that led to the tragedy are not fully known, let it also be a reminder that we never know when our time is up, and we should not take there being a tomorrow, or a next season, or a next anything, for granted.

Give someone you care about a hug.

The family, friends and teammates of Dwayne Haskins no longer have the chance to hug someone they love.

You do.


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