Jock Death

Back in High School, a friend of mine, Eric, died suddenly. The doctors never explained what happened, all we know is he was getting ready for dinner when he just fell over. When he got to the hospital, the doctors found that he was perfectly fine, only dead. Even in the autopsy, there was no cause of death found.

You can imagine the stir this caused in my little crowd of outcasts. But outside of my group – nothing. At the funeral, the only people there outside of our group were from his boy scout troop. And they seemed to be there more out of duty than friendship.

Cut to this last month. A boy at a local high school died in almost the same circumstances. One minute alive, one minute dead. The difference is this kid was on the football team. He was on the news. His funeral was huge, with students from all the local schools. My friend was an honors student, a section leader in the band, and was friendly to everyone. This other guy was… a jock.

And people wonder why I still have sympathy for the trenchcoats in Columbine.
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Well you don’t suppose that it could be that the “jock”, which I translate to the althetic, popular, good looking, well liked, highly social guy, was confident, outgoing, made friends easily, and generally knew and was known by everyone. Your friend, based on you attitude I assume was unpopular, reclusive, shy, and not known by many other than his close friends. I suppose the simple fact that one person was known by more people than the other, and if he was a successful athlete he had some popular press, is why his death was more publically mourned. Nah, couldn’t be that, its the media, and society’s bias against the unpopular. Sure, its a conspiracy, feel better now? Just don’t shoot anyone.

I hope you weren’t serious about that last line.

Did the kid that died last month happen to die at a game or practice, or was he at home also?

“Trying is the first step towards failure.” Homer Simpson

As cold as his post may initially sound, I gotta go with Omniscient. It seems to be based more on how well known a person is rather than where they fit in terms of a clique.
Example - If Michael Jackson were to die tomorrow, you wouldn’t be able to find a news channel that wasn’t devoting their entire coveragge to it. Sure, he put out quite a few popular songs and was well known, but was quite strange and didn’t do anything that is likely to have a lasting effect on the world 100 years from now. 2 weeks later, a research scientist that has made great strides in cancer research dies. How much do you think we would hear about this?

High school isn’t easy, but more attention is paid to people that are more active in popular activities and run with the larger population in the community.

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

How many of you know the names of the two “outcasts” who shot all the kids in Columbine?

How many of you know the name of the “Christian martyr” from Columbine?

How many of you know the names of any two of the “jocks” who gang-raped and sexually assaulted a retarded girl in New Jersey?

How many of you know the names of any two members of the “Spur Posse”?

I rest my case.

Oh yeah…we all remember when Princess Diana died, right? Mother Teresa died, like, the following week, & it was just an afterhtough on the news channels, who were too busy covering the flowers, poems, & other drekkerai piling up outside Kensignton Palace…

Killing people isn’t the answer, though. Just console yourself with the fact that absolutely nobody who was popular in high school has gone on to become an interesting person in any respect…

“All you need to be a superhero is a heart that is pure, a mind that
is strong, and underwear that is fresh!”

~Dav Pilkey

Gee, I’m glad I dropped out of highschool in my freshman year… Not only did I avoid being subject to public education… But I got to catch up on all those vital All in the Family and Hogan’s Heroes reruns…
Good point though about the Cancer researcher and Michael Jackson… I wish I could argue against it, but It’s brutally accurate…

I can solve any problem!
Just give a rifle and a clocktower!

I really hope this is sarcasm, or else you’re really making an idiot of yourself.

IIRC, the jock story aired becaused they were trying to tie in his death with the practices of high school athletes, as in, is it dangerous to make a kid go out in 106 degree weather in full pads and make him run til he pukes or passes out.

I supposed if there was a concern about blowing in your tuba too hard, it would have had more coverage.

The only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it–Oscar Wilde

Is ANYONE else wondering what led to all these sudden and mysterious deaths at MadPoet’s high school?

I think this is a job for Mulder and Scully!!

I do mean my last line, not in that I condone their actions, but in that I have a deep understanding of the mentality behind them. The shooting made me realize that my school life wasn’t a whole lot different from theirs, save that I had teachers that encouraged me to divert my emotions into my arts instead of going around hitting things.

You misunderstood me if you think that I don’t understand fully why one was praised and the other forgotten. By my attitude, it is easy to see that I was unpopular, reclusive, shy, and not known by many other than my close friends, but my friend was outgoing and friendly – it just didn’t matter. The posts following mine have presented my point better than I could. The only people that get noticed any more are the jocks, the performers, and the killers.
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Oh, the kid died at home, watching TV. He went to another school in the district. They are, however, the only two cases of a grown person dying of nothing that I’ve ever heard, which makes it strange that they should happen within a few miles of each other.

As to research into Tuba blowing… don’t underestimate the dangers of marching tuba. I totalled a $5000 horn and permanently fouled my ankle my one year in drum corps. Whether it was lack of oxygen or distraction by the colorguard is beyond the scope of the debate.
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

It was surreal reading your line0he was perfectly fine,just dead. Well,theres your best oxymoron there!

Everything and everyone comes into their own sooner or later. It just so happens that jocks reach their peak in high school, artist, et al., appreciate thier gifts in adulthood.

Was Einstein a popular kid?

I treated Art as the supreme reality, and life as a mere mode of fiction–Oscar Wilde

Metroshane, I don’t think it is so much that jocks reach their peak in high school (well, some do) but that they are a part of what is considered the most important thing in high school. Sports (an I am speaking on this as a basketball player) are highly written up and talked about not only in the school, but in local papers. I was in 3 or 4 articles in the Atlanta Constitution before ever playing a game.
But plays, band, etc just aren’t as talked about and I think it has something to do with the spectator portion of it. If you go to a basketball or football game, you can not only watch the game, but hang with friends, talk, flirt, walk around, and be noisy and have fun. Most other school activities involve sitting and watching. More people attend an event where they can not only watch but have freedom to do other things. Therefore, that even becomes more popular and the people in that event become more well-known.
I don’t think there is much that will change that philosophy in a high school setting.

Now this is only a slightly educated guess, but when you hear about these seemingly healthy young people suddenly dropping dead during basketball games (or baseball or track or whatever), it often comes out later that these kids complained to their parents, coaches, doctors, etc, about heart palpitations or “funny” feelings in their chest, sometimes for years before their deaths. Certain people are susceptible to heart arrhythmias (not necessarily athletes, although those are the ones you hear about the most) and when you get that heart rate going during strenous exercise, sometimes the arrhythmia turns into a fibrillation, which then in turn causes the heart to stop sometimes.

MajorMD probably can tell you more about this, being a doctor. I’m just going on what I’ve read in various medical books.

“We are what we pretend to be.”

  • Kurt Vonnegut

Dang, this thread just keeps planting itself right in my pit of knowledge. I had one of those heart conditions, called Wolfe-Parkinson-White syndrome. Very rare and tough to detect. It involved an extra electrical node in my heart that could have led to spells of my heart beating up to 600 times a minute. I never had symptoms and it wasn’t discovered until I had to go through an NCAA mandated physicl for college hoops. It is fixed and no longer an issue, but it could have been one of those things where I am playing one minute and dead the next. It gets noticed more in athletes (like other arrythmias) because increased heart rate often triggers a problem (like Hank Gathers of Loyola Marymount a few years ago). Sorry, I seem to have taken this thread a little off topic.

I hope that i didn’t imply that jocks were useless to society after high school.

what i meant was say you have a great actor or violinists in high school. these things aren’t that important to kids, but when they get to be adults, there artistic values change and they appreciate different things.

I treated Art as the supreme reality, and life as a mere mode of fiction–Oscar Wilde

I didn’t take your post the wrong way metroshane, and I think you make a good point. It just spurred a thought in my head and I decided to run with it.