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Its supposed to be a place where we retreat from the realities of life, a place where we can immerse ourselves for a few hours in another world. Akiem Hicks Jersey . Sports have always seemed to do that for us, even if the refuge they offer is temporary at best.Lately, though, the playground just hasnt been that much fun.We were reminded about it on a fall Sunday, where we said a melancholy goodbye to one towering figure and tried to deal with the pain of losing yet another. Vin Scully had just finished saying goodbye to an adoring crowd at Dodger Stadium when word came in that Arnold Palmer had died in Pittsburgh.The day had already gotten off to a sobering start, when joy was snuffed out in Miami. The images of a speedboat crushed on rocks were horrific to wake up to, and the tragic death of rising of magnetic young star Jose Fernandez seemed incomprehensible and yet so utterly final.Reality intruded, and it came at us like a Fernandez fast ball exploding into a catchers mitt. Even the spectacle that is a Sunday in the NFL didnt seem the same on a day more suited to somber reflection than celebration.Yet celebrate they did, in football stadiums around the country and in the stands at Dodger Stadium, where a dramatic walk-off home run to clinch the division was followed by Vinny singing goodbye to a crowd that didnt know whether to cry or scream themselves silly. Hollywood couldnt have scripted the end any better, but the reality was that after 67 years Vin Scully was walking off himself.Its all part of the cycle of life, but that didnt make it any easier. I fought off tears myself watching at home with my sons, knowing that part of the soundtrack of my life wouldnt be heard anymore.Maybe its a generational thing, but for my generation its been a tough few months. The heroes of our youth are fading away, and too many of them are passing away.Baby boomers everywhere ache when they hear the news. Its always another reminder that nothing lasts forever, and that their own mortality is just as precarious as that of the people they cheered for so many years.I saw it in Louisville in June, as the procession of cars carrying Muhammad Alis casket drove slowly through the city streets. If Ali was magnificent, so was the outpouring of love from people who reached out just to touch the hearse or throw flowers on the windshield.Ali transcended his sport like no athlete ever, becoming a symbol for a generation and a hero to so many. He stood tall even as he trembled in his later life and his voice was muted from the effects of Parkinsons.It seemed like he would live forever, but the sad reality is that no one ever does.We lost The Greatest, and that seemed almost impossible. Now weve lost The King, and we have to deal with that.Like Ali, Arnie was more than just a golfer. His mark was made in a different way, but the son of a greenskeeper brought a rich mans sport to the common man and transformed the way we thought about golfers.I just missed seeing Arnie a few months ago, and will always kick myself for it. Two of my colleagues that day at Latrobe Country Club in Pennsylvania did discover him outside his beloved workshop, and reported back that he was still sharp as ever and hadnt lost the sense of humor that endeared him to so many.I remember the Arnie that tried to shake every hand as he made his way around Augusta National a few years back in his final Masters. I walked with him that day, and remember most the looks of delight in the faces of people as he detoured off the fairway to greet them.Mostly, though, Ill remember him as I remember Ali. Both out conquering the world in their prime, seemingly without a care in the world.Ali was the greatest athlete Ive ever seen, and Arnie was as cool as he made golf seem. Vinny was the kind uncle whose voice was always there, allowing us to forget the daily struggle in our lives on so many nights.Their absence leaves a void in my life, and Im sure Im hardly alone. Actually, I know Im not alone because Ive heard from so many who feel the same way.The playground seems awfully empty about now.----Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg Riley Ridley Womens Jersey .com) - The game was all punts and field goals before Kodi Whitfields catch. Anthony Miller Womens Jersey . The FA rejected Wilsheres appeal that the length of his punishment was "clearly excessive" and said Thursday his suspension begins with immediate effect. He will miss league matches against Chelsea on Monday and West Ham on Dec. http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Mike-Ditka-Jersey/ . The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 for Jones (19-1). It was the champions closest call. Despite the loss, it was a remarkable show by the confident Swedish challenger, who had the best of the early rounds and then hung on in the fourth and fifth. On Tuesday, the NFL released this seasons Color Rush uniforms. This year all 32 teams get the colorful uniforms, although not all of them will be wearing them in a game this year.For 2016, the San Francisco 49ers?go with all black with dark red letters and numbers plus a little red trim. See NaVorro Bowman?show off the new uuniform here:The 49ers will wear the uniform at home on Oct. Devin Hester Youth Jersey. 6 against the Arizona Cardinals, who will be in their usual road whites because their Color Rush uniforms are also black. ' ' '
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