It was sad news for many reasons when it was announced that Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye has developed an enlarged heart and will miss this upcoming season. Of course the team will miss him and his leadership and his production.
But the saddest thing about it is the fact that Frye, who is one of the nicest guys in the NBA, and he represents the team well.
For fans, this is a strange reminder of things we normally can forget -- athletes can have things go wrong with their health.
As fans, we know that professional athletes are physical freaks of nature. They extend themselves physically past the point we can handle. They run longer, they work out more, are stronger, faster and bigger.
The only "health" issues we normally see are sports injuries -- a separated shoulder (like Frye was recovering from), a sprained ankle or ligament damage in a knee.
Rarely do we see something that regular people from time to time develop -- a heart problem. Athletes aren't supposed to have heart problems.
But athletes, as different as they are with their physical gifts, still can have things like this happen. It is sad.
We wish Channing the best with his health. To go from pushing yourself physically everyday to improve to being unable to play and do what you love has got to be very difficult. Hopefully he can have a relatively speedy return.
But this is a rare case in which an athlete is brought to a more even level as the rest of us. IT really shouldn't happen that we place athletes on this pedestal -- we all have to work to provide for our families and we have skillsets that even they do not have.
I suppose a small part of us inside like the idea that these players are something more -- something better than we are -- because we want to create heroes. So it is a time like this we are quickly reminded that they are nothing more than regular people like the rest of us -- just with different talents.
Get better, Channing, for yourself, your family and hopefully so that we can see you play again.
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