Monday, July 30, 2007

Always in Threes

You know what they say about death? That it always happens in threes? Well it's silly, but I have a trifecta for you tonight.

I guess I was laying a tad too low this weekend, because the news of Tom Snyder's passing shot right by me. Snyder was a an interesting TV character - fearless, innovative, and occasionally controversial. After hosting a late-night show on NBC for nearly a decade, Snyder went to WABC-TV in New York where he became a news anchor. Snyder's Tomorrow on NBC was best-known for its unpredictability as well as the propensity for break-out stars and and offbeat interviews. John Lennon did his last TV interview with Snyder in 1975, while an Irish band called U2 made their American debut on Tomorrow in 1981. Snyder was 71.

Next up in our threesome is Bill Robinson, a former Yankee player and Mets coach. Robinson enjoyed a respectable career, getting three World Series rings - one as a player with the 1979 Pirates "family", and two as a coach - with the Mets in '86, and the Marlins in 2003. Robinson's best year as a player was 1977, with Pittsburgh, when he hit .304, with 26 home runs and 104 runs batted in. Bill Robinson was 64.

Finally, word came today that Bill Walsh, the legendary coach of the 49ers, had succumbed to cancer at 75. Walsh led the 49ers to three Super Bowl wins - two against the Bengals, the team that he started with professionally, running Paul Brown's offense. Walsh was an genius, a magician, and a calming presence on those wine, cheese and crackers Niners of the 1980's. Perhaps the highest respect I can offer is that I loved watching those 49ers lose - because they almost never did.

Condolences to all. I'm sure many more fine people passed recently, but you know the saying about three's, so I went with it.

Hopefully we'll find some happier stuff to talk about.

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