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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Kiss of Death

This will be one of the more morbid posts about Auburn football that you will ever read. Just try to put yourself in the place of these young men, and look at things the way they have seen them. Maybe, you will have a better appreciation for what they are, and have been, going through.

 We go back to that dreadful day in June when Desmonte Leonard opened fire into a crowd of people, killing  three, two of which were part of the Auburn football family.
Here is a quote from

"...police say he opened fire at University Heights apartments off West Longleaf Drive at about 10 p.m. Saturday. The shooting left three men dead, including two former Auburn University football players, and three others wounded".

If this were the only obstacle this team faced, we might not be writing about it in October. As death usually is, this was just one cold horrible event this very young team has had to try and overcome. There would be more, much more.

 On September 3rd we heard of the death of Iris Prosch. The mother of starting fullback Jay Prosch, who had transferred to Auburn from Illinois to be closer to his Mom. She had a grade 4 cancer of the brain known as glioblastoma multiforme.

 Then a long time coach's assistant died unexpectedly just prior to the LSU game. Here is a short clip from the Ledger - Enquierer and sports writer Aaron Brenner.

"Chizik revealed that a student coach with the football team, Joe Bagwell, unexpectedly passed away earlier Saturday at East Alabama Medical Center. Bagwell, a Huntsville native and Auburn graduate, was in his first year as a student coach, after previously serving as an athletic trainer".

Read more here:

 The chilling grip of death wasn't thru with this Auburn team yet, as news that Rita Chizik, the Mother of head coach Gene Chizik died unexpectedly. Auburn University released this statement.

"The Chiziks appreciate the prayers and support that have been sent from the Auburn family. We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time,"

These events have shaped this team in ways that many can not comprehend. I read an interesting story on the effects that death has had on this team. It is HERE if you would like to read it. Here is an excerpt from that story, that may help many of us to realize a little of what this team is dealing with.

 "In hospice we visit the family regularly for a year to 18 months after a loved one dies, 3 – 4 months will hardly scratch the surface of the compound grief this team and coaches are facing, it will take time. Brother Chet is probably doing all he can, but it will take time.

 As a trained professional with death and dying, when my dad died and then his brother 3 days later and then a week later when I went back to work at the hospital and experienced many deaths over a 3 day period I had had enough death for a while. I had been used to covering 10 floors and remembering every patient and visit to chart at the end of rounds, but after my compound deaths I had to write myself notes when I left each room so I could do my charting".

 I have this post ready just prior to the Texas A&M game, and then the students and Alumni put together an impromptu Pep Rally for the players after practice Thursday afternoon. Seeing those events inspired me. So, I'll wait and post this later(now if you are reading this). This team has been through enough. I hope you will understand.

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