Roller coaster ride
The highest of highs and the lowest of lows in a span of four hours today. Neither involved me.
The low, of course, was the tragic, sudden passing of actor Robin Williams at 63. Nobody could ever have dreamed he would take his own life. He had everything any man could want–a loving family, an adoring public, success enough for 500 people, and most of all, financial security for him, his children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It shows the happiest person on the outside may have demons inside which are simply too much to overcome.
I never watched Robin Williams’ movies, but I do recall his spectacular performance in a 2008 episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as Merritt Rook, an audio engeineerwho rebels against authority figures due to the tragic death of his wife and unborn son. He is charged with arson but represents himself and wins at trial against Casey Novak (Diane Neal). A target of Rook’s harrassment committed suicide, and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) went to arrest him, but Rook threatened to detonate a bomb strapped to his body. He kidnapped Olivia and threatened to torture her if Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) would not press a button to shock Olivia with electricity. Turns out it was a fake, and Rook escaped by jumping into the East River, where he probably drowned due to being handcuffed and manacled.
I guess I’ll never forget where I was when I found out Robin Williams passed away. I remember where I was for the passing of several other notable people through the last three decades, probably the most tragic being LSU baseball All-American Wally Pontiff in July 2002. The Bayou Bengals’ third baseman had just been drafted by Oakland, and he was either going to sign a professional contract, or come back to his beloved LSU for his senior season and another chance at the College World Series and possibly a second national championship, only to die in his sleep.
The high, at least in Kansas City, just came when the Royals wrapped up a 3-2 victory over the Athletics to take over first place in the American League Central division, the first time the Royals have been in first place in August since 2003. Kansas City has won eight consecutive games, but they still have to play Oakland three more times, so things could change quickly. But for a city which has not witnessed postseason baseball since Darryl Motley squeezed the last out of the 1985 World Series, this is heady stuff. The Royals have enjoyed only two winning seasons since 1995, and they have lost 100 or more games four times, including three consecutive seasons in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The 29-year drought is not the longest of the division play era; that dishonor belongs to the Expos/Nationals, who went 31 years between playoff appearances (1981 to 2012).
There’s still a lot of baseball left, but the Royals are in the best position they’ve been to see postseason baseball in a very very long time.
Buffalo Wild Wings was great today. Got there just before 2 and played a lot of trivia, and ate my usual share of food. Went with a grilled chicken sandwich for the first time–good decision. I snuck out at 9:30 to get Liz a pretzel from QuikTrip on Barry Road. She was overjoyed. Glad I could do it for her.
Going to pack up in a minute and drive back to Overland Park. Another good day awaits Tuesday.