Remembering Korey Stringer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Greetings from Detroit Lions training camp, where I arrived in time to watch most of the morning practice and collect a notebook's worth of cool information for you. But before I start putting that together, let me say that I was remiss over the weekend in not paying proper respects on the anniversary of perhaps the saddest day in NFL history.

Former Minnesota Vikings right tackle Korey Stringer died nine years ago -- on Aug. 1, 2001 -- of complications from heat stroke. He had collapsed at the end of a training camp practice the day before. Korey, 27, left behind his wife, Kelci, and a son, Kodie -- who by my count is now 11 years old.

I think of Korey every time I step onto a steamy training camp field. I hope you do as well, and I hope that his completely preventable death helped convince the general public that heat stroke is real, that it's dangerous and it is deadly. As high school and college programs open practice this week and next, please don't forget Korey Stringer.

In case you don't know, more people die annually from heat stroke than they do from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. Here is a primer from the CDC on how to manage the risk of heat stroke.