A second double-tragedy in as many weeks rocked the professional football world this past weekend.
A Dallas Cowboys “practice squad” player, Jerry Brown, died in a car wreck in which Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was allegedly driving drunk. The two were also college teammates, roommates and best friends.
Besides losing his buddy, Brent is now charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Nor was it the first time Brent had driven impaired: He’d also been cited for it while in college.
A week before, a Kansas City Chiefs player shot his girlfriend – the mother of his child – before turning the gun on himself.
Everybody makes mistakes. But when mistakes are repeated over and over with apparent impunity, they often become tragedies.
Two lessons from this latest tale of woe jump out at us.
The first is that, if you won’t stop drinking and driving to save yourself, put a halt to it for the sake of those around you. However young and big and athletic, you are not immortal. Nor is the friend next to you, whose back you’re supposed to have.
The second is that, as with any fatal tragedy, we are reminded again how precious each and every day is – and how we do, indeed, need to have each other’s backs.
Young Kansas City Chief quarterback Brady Quinn summed that up beautifully the day after the tragedy in Kansas City.
“When you ask someone how they’re doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back (about) how you’re doing, are you really telling them the truth?
“We live in a society of social networks, Twitter pages and Facebook. That’s fine and stuff, but we have contact with our work associates, our family and friends, and it seems like half the time we’re more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships we have in front of us.
“Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually figure out if someone’s battling something deeper on the inside than what they may be revealing on a day-to-day basis.”
We would just turn his words into a prayer, and say amen.