Red Auerbach, 1917-2006.*
Entirely too much dying in 2006. I'd like to see a moratorium on dying until at least January of 2007. A brief story:
In their most recent heyday, my father would take me to maybe two or three Celtics games a year. We did not have any kind of a package, and academics do not get the ticket hookups that the law-talkers do. So we relied on scalpers. One game, around 1984, my dad and I went to a game, possibly against Detroit. He sprung for good seats, loge level, but as it happened, our seats were on a corner and basically faced into the abutting row of seats. (Such arrangements were not so uncommon at the Boston Garden.) I was excited to be in the building, but a bit disappointed with the view. I had noticed a pair of unoccupied seats about a dozen rows above courtside on the opposite side of the court, and after some entreaties, I prevailed upon my father to shift to these seats at halftime. We had been sitting there for about thrity seconds when an usher approached, incredulous -- "Hey, man, you're sitting in Red's seat!" I like to think it might happen again.
*I am not the person to summarize his accomplishments. Suffice it to say that not only was he was the NBA's Branch Rickey in a much tougher context, but also he could be buried with a championship ring on each finger, and still have enough left over to re-create the Olympic logo with one to spare.