The Lions, lying in wait for the new year ...
It is all part of growing up and getting older really, the loss of innocence and childhood. Those we worshiped and followed blindly as kids grow older just as we grow up. When we become adults, they age even more. Their primes pass. Their skills, as happens with every athlete, begin to diminish.
They end up being replaced by a new crop of stars, some of whom are the very children who grew up following them in the first place. Yet every so often, one of those players becomes iconic. Transcends their own playing career and is known decade after decade after decade.
As Tom Friend explained Monday, in baseball, in San Diego, the player who you watched more than the others was Tony Gwynn, the San Diego Padres outfielder who died Monday of cancer at age 54. One of those San Diego children growing up now spends his time in Detroit -- and on Monday afternoon, running back Reggie Bush honored one of the greatest hitters in baseball history on his Instagram.
"Growing up as a young black kid in San Diego if you played baseball then you aspired to be like Tony Gwynn," Bush wrote on his account. "Baseball was my first love and introduction into the sports world and Tony Gwynn was my first role model! My thoughts and prayers go out to the Gwynn family, baseball has lost a true gentleman and ambassador! RIP"
To Bush -- and to so many others of his generation -- Gwynn was one of those memorable athletes and people you just don't forget.
And now, a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
James Franklin can now really compete for the No. 3 quarterback slot, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Eric Ebron has high goals, writes David Goricki in the Detroit News.
The Lions continue their kicker competition, writes Kyle Meinke in MLive.
This is pretty great from Will Leitch of Sports On Earth about the United States knocking off Ghana, 2-1, on Monday in the World Cup.