There was a time on BC when Craig Sager was such a legend that he was in the normal rotation with Tommy Lasorda, Roger Clemens, Greg Oden, Sammy Sosa, Brett Favre and the rest of those who always seemed to be living life in a way that resonated with BC readers. You guys seemed to be as fascinated with Sager as we were. The guy had so much fun that it was contagious. We kept posting Craig’s fun moments. Some of those were legendary posts.
And then came the news that Sager was diagnosed with leukemia. It was the spring of 2014.
I was diagnosed with cancer in November 2013 and underwent surgery in early 2014. That was followed by another surgery about six weeks later and then the waiting to hear if I had clean scans. Sager was diagnosed around the time when I was going through some dark times worrying if I was going to get good news or the news nobody wants to hear.
Eventually I received good news about my scans; they were clean, but it was a very edgy time because things could change quickly.
Meanwhile, Sager began his battle and lived his life like a true warrior. He eventually went back to working games, even getting treatment between assignments. Then there was this year just before Easter when it was announced that he had 3-6 months to live. I’ll never forget the tweets from that weekend where his kids rolled into town and Craig went hot tubbing with the family at 4:45 in the morning.
And then there was the ESPYs in July when Sager was given the ESPY for perseverance and gave his speech where he said:
"Time is simply how you live your life" 🙏We packed a lifetime and then some into these 28 years together. Pay it forward time! #SagerStrong pic.twitter.com/aEiDb2n0Ki
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) December 15, 2016
A couple hours later, Sager was shaking hands and taking photos at the ESPN party, saying hello to those who consider the guy a legend in the business. That was the three month mark in his 3-6 month to live diagnosis. He lived another five months until passing today, which means he outlived that 3-6 month diagnosis.
Was at the ESPYs afterparty this summer & there was Sager shaking hands & taking pics late into the night. Such a legend. Kept living. pic.twitter.com/PAj5xvvzaL
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) December 15, 2016
I remember being torn up one day at the University of Michigan Hospital where a nurse was going over how a drainage bag in my armpit would work. The nurse could tell I was a complete mess. She left the room and came back with a note that said, “You were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it.” Those of us who go through this shit think about quotes like this nearly every single day of our lives. I imagine Sager kept thinking time is simply how you live your life until the end.
In the end he taught me and others like me that we have to keep moving, keep getting up each day and going forward because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
(Fuzzy, but the old time BC readers know what it is)