Thursday, November 10, 2011

It was a different time and place

I usually blog when I am angry...pissed, to be more exact. And while there is anger in me today, it is more sadness and heartbreak than anger. Twenty six years ago today, Pelle Lindbergh was, for all intents and purposes, killed in a car accident. He lived long enough, via life support, for his family to come from Sweden and say their good byes. He then was taken off life support, and "officially" was dead. I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

I was a young girl, in love with a team that was just electrifying to watch. While my heart belonged to Rick Tocchet, I don't think there was a fan of the team who didn't just adore Pelle. He had an easy smile, and a grace that was just, well, gracious. He loved his team and his fans and life. All of this you can read elsewhere, and is why I am sad on this day...the loss of such an amazing athlete far too young will do that. Why am I angry? Partly because of that loss, but mainly because of so many comments from fans too young to remember this amazing person. "He was drunk. He killed other people. He was a murderer.". "He drank and drove. He deserved to die." Wow, this from people who are barely old enough to drink today. I have a few years on most of those kids, and drinking and driving was not the issue it has become. M.A.D. D. was in it's infancy, having been founded in 1980. The horrors of drinking and driving were not taught in drivers ed at the time...the emphasis was still on speeding. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, setting the drinking age in all states at 21, had only been passed one year earlier, in 1984. We have learned, over time, how dangerous that drinking and driving is. Unfortunately, the young fans of the Philadelphia Flyers, along with his team mates, learned that lesson from Pelle Lindbergh. So, for those of you who learned it in school, and not thru the tragic loss of one of the most amazing goal tenders to every play in the NHL, please respect our loss.

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