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Old 01-19-10, 12:26 AM
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Bender Bending Rodriguez, Esq.
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 31,316
David Epstein: How enlarged hearts, like Gaines Adams', can go undetected

The sudden, unexpected death of a young athlete -- like that of Gaines Adams, the Bears defensive end who died of cardiac arrest on Sunday, or Jeron Lewis, the Southern Indiana basketball player who died last Thursday -- brings with it a special kind of trauma that reaches beyond the athlete's family and friends. There is something bewilderingly different about this than about the death of Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who was gunned down by burglars, or Bengals receiver Chris Henry, who fell off the back of a moving truck. As difficult to swallow as those tragedies were, at least the cause of death is intuitively obvious, rather than hanging discordantly in the air and drawing out the confusion. Adams was not attacked, and he suffered no accident. So how can a 26-year-old picture of physical fitness simply die while hanging around the house? Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher summed up the prevailing feeling with one word: "crazy."

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