TRAGEDY LESSENS THE GAMES.
Byline: KEVIN MODESTI
Mario Danelo's death has jolted this column out of its smug distaste for the Sports Get Put in Perspective angle, which assumes readers need funeral hymns to remind you that these are merely ballgames.
It can't be that the USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. placekicker's death is more horrific, tragic or important than any other 21-year-old's. So it must be something about the timing that's different. To a long list of ripe topics today, these typing fingers refuse to respond.
Thinking about Danelo changes the way you think about anything to do with USC this morning.
Should I stoke Trojans fans' fear of abandonment by Pete Carroll Peter C. Carroll (born September 15, 1951, in San Francisco, California) is the current head coach of the University of Southern California Trojans football team, having held that position since 2001. , and make fun of his cloak-and-dagger meeting with Miami Dolphins officials in Costa Rica Costa Rica (kŏs`tə rē`kə), officially Republic of Costa Rica, republic (2005 est. pop. 4,016,000), 19,575 sq mi (50,700 sq km), Central America. ? For the moment it's hard to work up the annual worry about a coach leaving.
Should I speculate on what it would mean to the Trojans if Steve Sarkisian Steve Sarkisian (born March 8, 1974) is a coach and former player of American football. He played the quarterback position, and has worked with quarterbacks during most of his coaching career. He is of Armenian descent. were plucked from the school's offensive braintrust to coach the Oakland Raiders
This article is about an American football team. For other uses, see Raider.
The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in the city of Oakland, California. , and what that would say about the Raiders? It's just the wrong day for such hand-wringing.
Should I remark on the ahead-of-schedule arrival of the Trojans basketball team, which beat Oregon last week and could be playing UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX for first place in the Pac-10 on Saturday? Not today, when the team's euphoria must be undercut by the reopening of emotional wounds from Ryan Francis' murder.
Should I try to predict how many (or how few) votes Mark McGwire
Danelo was an all–Los Angeles linebacker at San Pedro High School in San Pedro, California. .
Thinking about Danelo changes the way you think about a lot of football stories.
I'd pick on Tony Romo Antonio "Tony" Ramiro Romo (born April 21 1980 in San Diego, California) is an American football quarterback who plays for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He was signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2003. for dropping the ball and ending the Dallas Cowboys' season, but how big a deal is a mistake that means one field goal never gets kicked, next to the loss of an NFL NFL
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga career's worth?
I'd muse on how Monday's national-title game will stay with the Ohio State and Florida kids for the rest of their lives, but how to forget the life that's never lived?
Thinking about Danelo changes the way you think about the biggest game of the L.A. weekend.
After the Lakers' victory over the league-leading Dallas Mavericks The introduction of this article is too short.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, it should be expanded. gave Phil Jackson his 900th NBA NBA
1. National Basketball Association
2. National Boxing Association
NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (= win Sunday, it might have been time to wonder if the coach will still be here for his 1,000th. But let's wait a while before obsessing about the future of a man in his 60s whose career is fulfilled whether or not he reaches the next milestone.
These things will matter again, and soon. There will be a second paragraph for each of these topics. Just not right now.
Thinking about Danelo could affect the way you think about the world beyond sports.
What his parents are experiencing, 3,000 American military families have gone through since the beginning of the Iraq war.
An autopsy was performed Monday in Los Angeles, two days after Danelo's body was found at the bottom of a 120-foot cliff, off Point Fermin Park in his native San Pedro. The record-setting kicker, who led the Trojans with 89 points after making 15 of 16 field-goal attempts in his junior season, had been last seen by friends late Friday night.
For a month, the school's fans had agonized ag·o·nize
v. ag·o·nized, ag·o·niz·ing, ag·o·niz·es
1. To suffer extreme pain or great anguish.
2. To make a great effort; struggle.
v.tr. over the championship opportunity that went away in the UCLA game. Now, a truly depressing realization: If the Trojans had won, Danelo would have been with the team in the Arizona desert on Friday, preparing to take on Ohio State.
The coroner's office made no immediate announcement about the cause of death, and the police told the Associated Press again that a crime has been ruled out, leaving an accident and suicide as the possible explanations. As we've all heard too many times, it can take weeks for toxicology reports to show if the victim had alcohol or drugs in his system.
But, at most, all we may ever find out is how Danelo died. We'll never know why.
USC is all over the news these days. Football comes to a boil this month. The world of games is beginning what should be a very interesting 2007 around here.
Mario Danelo was a big part of that school, that sport, this year. Even if we already knew they are merely ballgames, we can feel like they're a bit smaller today.
(1) Mario Danelo led USC with 89 points this season, making 15 of 16 field-goal attempts.
Matt Sayles/Associated Press
(2) Alfred Orozco shows the site where he spotted USC kicker Mario Danelo's body near the bottom of a San Pedro cliff.
Sean Hiller/Staff Photographer