Jaylon Ferguson, the Baltimore Ravens’ 3rd-round draft pick in 2019 and who had played for the team the last three seasons, died yesterday at the age of 26. Tony Siragusa, a starting defensive tackle on the Ravens’ first Super Bowl championship team (the 2000 season), one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, also died yesterday; he was 55.
The Ravens no longer occupy the same place in my world as they once did, but they are still “my” team so yesterday’s deaths are especially difficult to process. Not to equate the way too early passing of two players on the same day to a rash of injuries, but the Ravens’ 2021 season was derailed by an inordinate number of injuries. They finished the season with 17 players on Injured Reserve, including both Pro Bowl cornerbacks (Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, Peters missed the entire season) and a Pro Bowl offensive tackle (Ronnie Stanley). That number does not include their starting quarterback (Lamar Jackson), a former league Most Valuable Player, who missed the last four games with an injury.
Some say that in the long run luck is supposed to “even out.” What did John Maynard Keynes say about the long run? “In the long run, we are all dead.”
I didn’t know Ferguson or Siragusa. I did know German (his first name; pronounced Her-Mahn, not Jer-Min or Her-Min). He was a core member of the local Corvette community. He died on Tuesday after suffering a massive heart attack. My wonderful wife and I just saw him at the monthly Penske Cars And Coffee on Saturday the 18th.
While we did not know him well, we always chatted at the many car events we attended. He was always kind and considerate. His death is a bigger shock to me than those of Ferguson or Siragusa.
I am well aware that I have often complained about the seemingly unending procession of bad events, both major and minor, that have occurred in my life. Trying to process three significant deaths in the same day–we found about German yesterday–has been both a continuation of that procession as well as a wake-up call, of sorts. Carpe Diem cannot just be a slogan; it has to be a way of life. However, that axiom cannot be used as an excuse to live irresponsibly. At the same time, it has to be a reminder to enjoy one’s life as much as possible.
As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.