Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Dungy Family's Nightmare

I am not a sports fan at all, and know next to nothing about football. Before today, the name Tony Dungy meant nothing to me; it was a name I didn't even know. But today, I know that Tony Dungy is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, a team that was having its best season ever and was well-positioned to be in the Super Bowl. I know this because James Dungy, Tony Dungy's 18-year-old son, was found dead in an apartment near Tampa, Florida; and the initial signs point to suicide.

Having gone through both the death of a child and the suicide of a very close family member, I know what both experiences feel like. And even though this news has nothing to do with Liberty Street's political focus, I could not blithely blog on about domestic and world affairs until I acknowledged this family's loss.

I would like to share a very moving essay about Tony Dungy and today's tragedy with you all. It's by Mike Celizic at MSNBC:

A day ago, if someone told you that you could have Tony Dungy's life, you'd probably have taken it.

Dungy was enjoying one of the best years imaginable. The job he had worked so hard at all of his life was providing rewards that few of us ever experience. He had five wonderful children and a loving wife to whom, by all accounts, he was very devoted. Money would never be a problem. In a business and profession in which few escape criticism, jealousy and envy, he was as universally admired as it is possible to be.

But you don't want to be him now. Only one thing has changed, but it is enough to turn the greatest of years into the worst.

I pray that Tony and Lauren Dungy and the rest of their family will find the strength and the courage to go on with their lives now that their son James is gone.

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