Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thoughts on Life & Death of Kile and Ghawi



Like you, I woke up Friday morning to the news of the Aurora shooting and immediately put myself in that movie theatre. 

We're human, so that's acceptable – I guess. But, it's more than our species that connects us to the victims.

Shootings happen every day, every hour, but we don't always hear about them. 

I didn't know anybody killed or injured during Friday's nightmare, and if you're reading this in New York, there is a good chance you don't either. 

But, this was a story we connected with, mainly because we were told about it. The story went viral, with different details for everyone. 

Some parents connected with the four-month-old baby shot in the head, many teenagers were shocked with the idea that they might not be escaping to a utopian and magical realm inside a movie theater. 

I was struck by the story of Jessica Ghawi, the 25-year-old sports writer and reporter. 

I was caught because she was young, she had a lot of promise, and her big break in the journalism industry was coming. 

She did the right things: she had a blog, developed a following, and a voice. But was not given enough time on earth to see the fruit of her labor. It just was not fair. She just went to a movie, and never came back. 

She didn't know that her last tweet, article, post, or interview was her last. And I'll never know mine. 

****

I decided to end this strange and reflective day by watching a documentary: The Life and Death of Darryl Kile, which originally aired on MLB Network on July 12th. If there was a time to watch this movie, I thought Friday was it. 

Last summer I interned at MLB Network, and my mentors: Nick Hesketh and Sean Hyland,  contributed to this – what should be Emmy Award Winning – documentary narrated by Bob Costas. 

Kile's death on June 22, 2002 came as a shock to his teammates, as he had a heart attack at age 33. 

After days of mourning and a four-game losing streak, the documentary highlights Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa looking for a way to get his team to focus back on winning.

He struggled coming up with an idea or speech that did not come off as insensitive. "It was a tough, tough call. An impossible call to make," LaRussa said.

Until, he found an article written by St. Louis Post Dispatch Columnist Bernie Miklasz.

According to Miklasz in the documentary, Kile spoke to the media during spring training early in his career just after his dad had died suddenly. He said this:

In order to be a man you have to be able to separate your personal from your work life. It may sound cold, but I've got work to do. 


LaRussa recalled hurrying to the ballpark that night, with the paper in hand. He found the perfect way to address his players. To me, it's the best part of documentary.

MLB Network does a great job of portraying Kile as regular guy. He had a wife, three kids, and never missed a day of work.

That's why the Cardinals decided to play on June 23rd, Kile's day to pitch. Kile didn't miss starts, and that might be the biggest lesson of the day. We have too few opportunities on earth to miss any.

****

We are constantly told to live each day like it is our last, but thats impossible. We have responsibilities we can't ignore, that only magnify with age.

But, now more than ever, we need to do at least two things:

Read about Jessica Ghawi, or someone we connect with whose time was cut short on this earth. Think what they would have do for one more opportunity, and channel that passion into our work.


Take advantage of all our opportunities, we'll never know if we will be presented with the same one twice. So, let's never miss a start.

What did I leave out? Leave a comment below or tweet @PeteBarrettJr!

1 Comments:

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