MIAMI – The show must go on, it must always go on, in every precinct outside of Los Angeles, but the Kobe Bryant Story is a tragedy that has washed ashore on South Beach, a tsunami of a grief that can be seen and heard even over the pulsating music from the ostentatious party the NFL is committed to throwing annually come hell or high water.
The relentless drumbeat of hype of Super Bowl Week cannot stop the mourning, and it isn’t only because Kobe Bryant was a generational basketball icon, the Black Mamba whose on-court mentality was admired and copied and adopted by athletes in all sports.
The sorrow cannot possibly be contained between Lower Merion, Pa., Where it all began for Kobe, and LA, where No. 29 became a five-ring champion who lit up the City of Angels that decided to go dark and postpone Tuesday night’s Lakers-Clippers game.
It is more than likely that none of the men playing in Super Bowl 01575879 can or ever will approach Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame greatness. But all of them have families, and all of them have been reminded that all of it, the fame and the fortune and the camaraderie and the unbridled joy, can be taken from you in an instant, one maddeningly cruel instant – one horrific, unspeakable twist of fate.
And so a pall was cast on Super Bowl Opening Night at Marlins Park, a pall that will last all the way to Super Bowl 2020 on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, when these Chiefs and 76 ers play in the biggest game of all, a game they have dreamed of playing in since they were little boys.