(Different story in the works for later, but fuck, does this ever suck. Sad day for not just Bulls fans, but real fans of the NBA as a historical institution.)
Those of you who root for the Bulls, a fanbase that geographically and demographically coincides quite nicely with Iowa City, are marking this day with black letters and that one emo Green Day song, as the two most venerable Bulls broadcasters passed away on the same day.
"Red," everyone knew was coming; the timing of the tribute day was no accident. But Stormin' Norman was a shocker. Van Lier died suddenly, as he wasn't discovered until a "well-being check" (read: dead body sweep) was executed by the fire department, who found him dead at his house. He was only 61, and if this video from last summer is any indication, showed no signs of slowing down.
Again: Norm Van Lier, an apparently healthy former professional athlete, dead at 61. Yes, we're all younger men at BHGP, but, for the sake of an example, my dad's only seven years younger, and he's never looked that good. And yet he's probably got another 40 years in front of him. Probably.
The harshest aspect of that is those are the words you expect out of the mouth of a man who's got 30 years of good living in front of him, not 7 months. You never hear "every day's a good day when you're above dirt" delivered smoothly from someone who's checking Priceline for fare across Styx.
What we're getting at, we suppose, that Death is not a particularly caring institution, and that good and undeserving people go before their time every day. So do something with your elders before it's too late. Don't tell them "I feel like talking because you might die tomorrow, who knows!", because that's just plain salty dicksauce. Do talk to them, though; soak in their words like a sponge. Because when you're gone, you're fucking gone, and had Van Lier not been famous, literally only the Lord knows how many stories would have died right with him.
Sorry for the overt sentimentality, but freaking come on, you know? It's a sad, sad day.