Super Bowl XLIII
Written by Bill German   
Monday, 02 February 2009 05:00
As a long-suffering Jets fan, it was hard for me to get too excited over yesterday's Super Bowl.  My team hasn't reached the big game in 40 years.  But there was another reason for my initial lack of excitement. You see, win or lose, Jets tickets are usually tough to come by.  I've only been to one game my entire life.  And the reason I got to go was because my friend's cousin was a player in the NFL.  His name was Shane Dronett and he was a defensive end for the Denver Broncos.  And so, in September 1993, when the Broncos came east to play the Jets, my friend and I went to Shane's hotel room to pick up our free tickets.  It was the only time I ever met Shane, but he seemed like a nice guy.  He was amused when I told him I'd be rooting against him.

Well, a week and a half ago, Shane committed suicide at his home in Georgia.  He'd been suffering from a brain tumor and I guess the physical and emotional pain got to be too much.  He was only 38.  He'd played in the NFL for ten years (after being an All-American at the University of Texas), and participated in Super Bowl XXXIII ten years ago as a member of the Falcons.  Yesterday's game may have been one for the ages -- and I thought Springsteen was fantastic -- but it was hard not to think of Shane.