On this day in 1986, I cried harder than I ever have. In nine days I would be turning twelve. Later that evening, I had a baseball game. That morning, I was awoken by a phone call from my sister. She was crying. "Len Bias died," she kept saying, but I didn't believe her. I thought she was kidding. I didn't know what to think. I ran to the television and turned on channel two and I saw it for myself. I started screaming. I started hyperventilating. My body was trying to claw its way out of itself, but it couldn't. I was stuck with this horrific realization, and I didn't know what to do.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this is the most profound loss I have ever felt in my life. Many of you would smirk at such a statement, but I mean it. Len Bias was everything to me. He was God. I'm not the only one. I've spoken to non-Marylanders who felt the same way. I've also spoken to several people who said that the reason they never tried cocaine was because of Len Bias's death. He was a symbol of super-humanity, a presence so graceful and gifted that it had no earthly comparison. Which is perhaps why he left us so soon. He didn't belong with mere mortals.
The world was a different place back then. On June 19, 1986, I lost a crushing amount of innocence. My life would never be the same again.
Keep resting in peace, Lenny. I will always miss you...