Sunday, August 9, 2015

One of My Father's Heroes Dies

(Image of card and PSA slab protected copyright PSA and owner.)

Frank Gifford Passes Away at the age of 84

As a person who never played sports due to having no sort of talent and not being any sort of sport leader, I could understand a certain form of hero worship.  My dad was a very great fan of football, and he liked a number of players a great deal.  Monday nights he would be glued to the television watching Monday Night Football, and the usual announcing trio of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, and Frank Gifford were nearly his good friends, he had spent so many hours with them.  I liked football, but must say, my father could get worked up and often got worked up whether he cared about the participant teams playing or not. 

My father died in 1998, and my allegiance to various players and teams has faded, mostly.  And I've realized that my dad's love for the sport was really the reason I followed it, to have something in common, because God knows, it was rare that we did have anything in common.

Mr. Gifford was a great talent in football, he could do most everything on the field, it is true that he even had 7 attempted field goals amongst his many career stats, first as a half back, then as a "flanker" or, what is now called wide receiver.   Another favorite player of my father was Chuck Bednarik, and ironically, Gifford's career was pretty much ended when Bednarik tackled Gifford so hard the hit could be measured on a richter scale and the stadium grew silent with fears that Gifford was perhaps smashed to death or even worse.

As this site is one where we aim to speak about popular culture I should, I spose, get to the point I meant to get to.  I've read four obits on various sites and each mentioned some regrettable moments in Gifford's life.  I have no doubt each of those events that are to be regretted happened.  I know they did, in fact, because there is evidence.  But my question is, why does it need to be spoken about now?

I realize that people live and after they die they aren't able to be embarrassed.  You cannot slander the dead I have been told.  But, this isn't a case of that.  This to me is a case of showing respect for the families during the aftermath of the passing.  We all sin, and if we sin and fall short of our ideals, I hope our families forgive us, and accept that we are flawed and always trying to do better.  I suspect, and might be wrong but I don't think so, that when Gifford's family reads the obituaries and memorials they won't do anything more than glance or pass over the dark times mentioned.  They would be, to be honest, more familiar with those times, than the writers of the memorials and obituaries.  But to me if you want to write a piece about a person that is highly negative, show some balls and write it when they are alive.  Why wait til they are dead unless you aren't willing to be told you are an asshole?

I am not nor was I a fan of Frank Gifford, my only affection toward him came from knowing my father liked and respected him a great deal.  And my father would be disgusted by the people who can't resist introducing crap into obituaries that are meant remind us of the person who left our world and lives.

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