Hmm...what to write about? The Brewers heading to the World Series! NOPE. They lost. Please send your condolences to my husband and the entire state of Wisconsin. Fantasy Football? Maybe, but does everyone really want to hear how badly I'm sucking this year? Probs not.
Monday afternoon I was still at a loss. So I did what any good social media nerd would do, I sent out a tweet for help.
One person answered my plea. Seriously, you guys, nobody listens to me anymore.
My first thought was "I know nothing about Indy Car racing". But the more I thought about it the more I realized I didn't have to write about Indy Car racing, I had to write about the human factor. Actually I don't even know if that's the correct term. The human aspect? Humanity? Whatever I'm trying to say I think you know what I mean.
Sports "figures" are human beings, with parents and kids and dogs. Just because most of them make enough money to never have to worry about paying the bills each month doesn't mean that they aren't somebody.
Everything I've read about Dan Wheldon paints him as a wonderful person. A caring husband and father, a great friend and an all around good guy. However, because he's a sports figure, people will view him as only that. Take a look at this comment I saw on a story about Dan and his wife getting matching tattoos the night before his crash:
PLEASE..........DO NOT EVEN TRY TO MAKE THIS INTO A TRAGEDY. THESE IDIOTS DRIVE 200 MILES PER HOUR IN COFFINS.
Are. You. Kidding. Me! He's still a real person. He died. It is a tragedy! Yes, his career presented a certain risk, but that doesn't make his death any less tragic. We all take calculated risks everyday. If a plane crashes and people die we don't say "Well that's what they get for thinking they could fly! Idiots".
I'm not trying to do a whole "Athletes! They're just like us!" post, but I just want people to remember that celebrities and entertainers and athletes are people and when they die they leave behind loved ones. We have no right to say they "deserved" it because their careers put them in harms way. Their lives are important and deserve to be treated with respect.
I sincerely extend my deepest condolences to Dan Wheldon's family and friends. As they mourn his death I hope they don't see any of the ugliness like that comment above, but instead are comforted by the fact that he was a good man and touched many lives.