In case you were wondering about my initial response to the news of Chris Duncan's passing, there you go. Just don't think that reaction is limited to the passing of professional sportsball players or famous people in general. It's the exact same thing I think every time I hear of someone being diagnosed with cancer, undergoing cancer treatments, or dying as the result of complications due to cancer.
The Chris Duncan news does not impact me any more or less than the same news about any other random person I never knew personally. Cancer isn't picky. Money and fame don't insulate people from it. The only real difference between Duncan and some other person who probably died of brain cancer yesterday is that I can put a face with his name.
Plenty of people will write far more eloquently than I can about Duncan, and many will include his stats, his contributions to a World Series winner in 2006, and his professional work outside of baseball which was outstanding. Instead, I'm focusing on a tiny glimpse into his world that really got me in my feels. That's right. I'm talking about the humping of the World Series trophy.
I remember the reactions to such a vulgar and heinous act. Whatever. It's totally okay to put anything from a newborn baby to alcohol to bodily fluids in the Stanley Cup, but hump the World Series trophy once and be condemned for it. Really a shame for someone to express absolute joy in celebrating baseball's penultimate team achievement like that. Could he have been a little more subdued? Sure, but at least he didn't go out drunk driving or couch burning celebrating lesser things.
I'm not saying I support trophy humping, but if you check the cover image and look closely 3 rows down....that's me humping a WS replica trophy....in 2012. Tidbit: I was also wearing a limited edition "Honkin' For Jaime" shirt. There are maybe 5 in existence. Much proud.
The point is that there are far worse things than trophy humping and being remembered for it, because at least people remember you. Just don't remember Chris Duncan first and foremost for the way he died. Please remember him for the way he lived instead. If the same thing were to happen to me or any of the 4-5 people who read this, I'd wish the same for myself, and I'd do the same for you.
I don't truly hate many things, but I truly hate cancer. I hate cancer so much that if cancer were to appear on Earth tomorrow in the form of a person, I wouldn't wish cancer on cancer. In the interest of unnecessary disclosure, I don't hate all cancers equally, and I should perhaps use "cancers are" more than "cancer is". It's almost a shame to lump them all together when there is a hierarchy of hellishness for the many, many types of cancer.
Not all are equally detectable or devastating, and some are more treatable than others. Cancer isn't a spectrum. It's more of a tiered system - groups within a hierarchy which is basically a pool without a shallow end. Brain, blood, and ovarian are all top-tier cancers. One or more of those has a place on the Mt. Rushmore of cancers. Thanks to advancements in medicine, increased awareness, and early detection, breast, prostate, and testicular aren't in the same tier.
That's not intended to marginalize any type of cancer, because every single cancer diagnosis arrives with a similar set of fears, concerns, and struggles. Cancer can't even pick a lane, and it's not the least bit selective about picking victims either.
Chris Duncan was 38. I'll never know what his thoughts were on the subject, but I can assure you that if I pass due to cancer (or the complications from it), then please think one thing should you think of me.