Daily Archives: August 19, 2010

Lou Gehrig may not have died of Lou Gehrig’s disease. And why I love passion in all forms

This story completely caught me by surprise yesterday, and I’m not sure exactly what it means.

But a team of researchers has discovered a possible link between ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and traumatic brain injury, such as concussions. Gehrig was famous for being a tough guy (his nickname was the “Iron Horse,” after all), and it’s now thought possible that his disorder was brought on by some kind of brain injury.

This is fascinating to me, because up until now ALS has seemed to hit people out of nowhere, for no particular reason. Maybe discoveries like this could lead to prevention of ALS, or at least further awareness of what the causes are. Very interesting stuff.

**On a totally unrelated note, and I am in NO WAY, shape or form implying that Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a laughing matter: Denis Leary used to do a bit about Babe Ruth, looking down from heaven, talking about stuff. One joke went like this: (Go to 1:50 of this video clip). Hilarious. Warning: Language not safe for work; use headphones!

**Went to see an old basketball coach speak last Sunday morning. I didn’t know him very well, but knew about him. He was 72, and he spoke to a small group for about 35 minutes, and I can’t tell you he said anything particularly memorable or life-changing.

But when I walked away, I was smiling. Because for 35 minutes, this guy absolutely exuded passion. He was fired up about the sport of basketball, fired up to be sharing his thoughts with us, and fired up about life. I so admire passion, any kind of passion, in life. So many people just go through the motions, and never get fired up about anything.

Then I hear my brother-in-law talk about food (he’s a chef). Or my best friend Clay talk about science (he’s a scientist). And this basketball coach talking to a roomful of strangers and making you so interested that you’re ready to go shoot some 3-pointers as soon as he’s done.

There’s a morning radio DJ down here in Florida who ends every show by saying: “Live with passion.”

It’s a great way to live.