John Madden is dead.
I listened to a 45 minute podcast today with two sports guys reflecting on how great he was, how he changed announcing, the impact he had on millions of people etc.
Norm Macdonald is also dead.
When he died a few months ago, I listened to multiple podcasts with everyone saying how unique he was as a comedian, how he was always the funniest guy in the room no matter what.
Both men seemed to be private in their last few years, out of the public eye, so their deaths came as a surprise.
All I could think while listening to both podcasts was; “Man, I bet these guys would love to hear this outpouring of love for them from all their peers, it’s a shame this is all happening AFTER they’re gone and unable to listen.”
No one likes to admit it, but hearing others speak highly of you is a great feeling. If I was dying, I would absolutely want to hear what people had to say about me before I died. I’m not above admitting that.
I guess the flip side would be a podcaster saying “Al Michaels was such a great announcer, he really changed the game“, and Al Michaels saying “Hey douchebag, I may be 77 but I’m not dead yet.”
The other other side would be those two guys saying “All I want to do in my last days is be with my loved ones. They’re the people I care about, I don’t care what some podcaster has to say about me and my impact“. They’re just being humble though. They don’t mean that.
If people keep their private lives private as Madden and Macdonald did, then it’s hard to anticipate when you should be paying respects and to whom, but I would want to spend the last week of my life listening to podcasts about how great I was. That would be an awesome last week.