It has been a few days since we got the kick in the gut that Hiawatha Rutland had drown while swimming to shore in Lake Erie. He was 33. I have had a few days to collect my thoughts, look at all of the posts flooding in to his facebook page and remember the good times.
As a fan of football, I knew Hiawatha as the enemy... a guy on ISU bent on beating the Hawks. In life, I knew him as a comedian, schoolteacher and as a friend. He had a huge smile and an even bigger heart. That is how I will always remember Hiawatha. A guy who always had time to meet my friends who had come to a performance. A person who cared about others. Rest in peace.
It is so sad that the leading rushers from 2000-2006 at ISU have all passed. I have never heard of anything as tragic as this. The 1997 Cubs have lost 3 of their starting pitchers, but these losses at ISU trump that. I read that he is the 8th Clone in 11 years to die. In a society today where cliche' is abound (going to war, dying to get on the field, etc. etc.) this is real and sad. It puts in place what is just a game and what is life. Remember to hug your loved ones an extra time tonight.