Friday, December 14, 2007

NFL Legend, Others, Dead

I am writing this on my flight home from Chicago. If you’re reading it, then it means I made it. I have my doubts today. There is no evidence this is my final destiny except that also on board this flight, sitting four rows in front of me, is the legendary former Chicago Bears head coach, Mike Ditka. This is the second time I’ve run into Da Coach on this run. The first time I had the same fear, which goes basically like so: At this point in my career, after grinding my name and voice into America’s heads one commercial at a time for the past 20 years, I’ve got a fair shot at maybe a 3 line obituary in the New York Times. Nothing they have on file in advance -- like Henry Kissinger or Ike Turner -- but at least one where the junior copywriter will be compelled to Google me and check the spelling of my name.

But. Here’s the thing. If I were to meet my end while on a flight with a person more famous and accomplished than myself -- statistically likely and certainly the case today -- I will only be remembered for having had the misfortune to die within the same news item as the more deserving party. The crawl on the bottom of CNN will read “Former NFL coach Mike Ditka, 40 others, perish aboard tragic flight 666. The New York Times will say nothing about me in the obit section, but I will factor into the last line in the second-to-the-last paragraph of the news story, “Others killed or missing include folksy pitchman Don Burdett.”

That would suck. So. I hope you’re reading this.


Anonymous Blapthoodle said...

I'm sure glad you made it. Ditka might be a tad more famous, but he's hardly "more deserving." Hoping to hear you on "Wait, wait" soon.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Cionaodh said...

I especially liked Don Burdett's "Ass End of Nowhere" books. He'll be missed.


Welcome back to snowy New England. We've been digging ourselves out the whole time you were gone.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Metz said...

Pffft, such morbid thoughts while flying, you sound like me.

You can be certain that I would be one of many who would be taking to task, the Times or any other publication who would dare to minimize your life in such a way.

Very glad you're home safe and sound though.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the worst had happened and the plane had gone down you are probably right. The headlines would have been all about the passing of Mike Ditka. But your true legacy would have lived on in the lives of those who truly love and appreciate you and your work. I can tell by what I see and read here that you have so very many you are very blessed.

I also am so very glad you made it.

Blessings to you and your loved ones especially this christmas...
Chuck in OR

1:23 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

LMAO@Don Burdett!! My computer died, and I so missed checking in on you.

Blog on, and know that if you go with a famous person or just naturally in your sleep, some of us will care a great deal. I will Google your local paper to see your obit! ;)

Merry Christmas, Tom.

2:59 AM  

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