The Sportz Nutt Talks About The Good-byes We Had To Say In 2016

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My last column dedicated to 2016 and this one deals with the goodbyes we had to say this past year. While in the entertainment world it was one of the worst in recent memory, the sporting world also said goodbye in many forms to some of the greatest to ever be involved in sports. While all goodbyes are in and of itself sad, these are the ones that hit me the hardest.

Craig Sager:

Anyone who has read my columns know my love for Sager. Never one to give into others, he was always able to be himself without fear and was a one of a kind talent. We all have a lot to learn from Craig who fought brilliantly to live as long as he did and who was unique in his own way.

Arnold Palmer:

Growing up, there were a few names synonymous with golf, and Palmer was one of them. Truly one of golf’s greatest, he pioneered the sport into mainstream popularity when it was needed most. In an era where equipment was tailored or refined as much as it is now, he dominated the game in a way like no other.

Jose Fernandez:

This one hit very hard as he was one of my favorites. A dynamic player with a  cannon for an arm, he was set for Hall of Fame greatness. What more, the stories from friends, family and teammates about his demeanor off the field make him one of the greatest in life as well.

John Saunders:

He had such a calming yet forceful voice and was one of the leading men at ESPN. I don’t personally have many memories of him and his games/moments called, but perhaps that’s a good thing, because he called so many and set the bar for how games should be called.

Dennis Green:

Not just because I’m a Cardinals fan, but he was one of the first coaches I remembered when growing up. Green had a voice that really showed his true character, as there was a definitive love for the game that came through with every word he said.

Pat Summit:

I am by no means a NCAA Women’s Basketball fan, nor will I pretend to be so. That said, you can’t deny how important Pat was to the development of women’s basketball, and how incredible a job she did. I only appreciated her body of work after she was gone as I listened to what others had to say.

Gordie Howe:

Mr. Hockey. Enough said.

Muhammad Ali:

No explanation needed.

And there you have it.