The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Vernon Forrest Dead, Age 38

Shot in Atlanta in a gunfight with thieves

First Arguello, then Gatti, now Forrest. They say these things come in threes; maybe it’s just easier to think that way since facing up to the senselessness of each of these deaths on their own terms would be too much. Forrest was by all accounts a decent man, a man who gave of himself to help others; but he was a fighter by nature and inclination, and if the reports are true than this time perhaps he fought a battle that he should have let pass him by. It’s facile and worthless to say something as cliched as “live by the sword…”; but in all three of these recent boxing deaths I suppose you see another side of the sort of personality which drives men to excel at fighting other men hand-to-hand for a living. Some lives are lived close to the edge, and some make it through regardless; and some get a push at just the wrong time, and fall.

For whatever reason, Forrest’s death hits me the hardest. It’s the most unexpected of the three and the third in such a short time, and as a fan I felt more connection to Forrest’s career than the others. I wish there was more to be said, but there’s not; there will be a time to celebrate a fine career and to look back fondly on his achievements, but tonight there’s a good man dead who was alive yesterday, and a child who goes to sleep for the first time without a father. That’s awful, and it matters more than anything to do with sports or fan memories.

My condolences to everyone who knew and cared for Vernon Forrest.

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July 26, 2009 - Posted by | Boxing |

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