January, 26 A Sad Date for Sports History

Greg Arias

January 26, the date two sports legend died. 

It's something you will remember for the rest of your life, where were you on January 26, 1983, and January 26, 2020? 

January 26, 1983, was a normal day in the life of a 14-year-old kid who loved sports, especially college and to be more specific, Alabama Crimson Tide football and their legendary head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. 

"The Bear" had just retired from coaching to enjoy the rest of his days, but no one knew those days would end so soon. 

Paul W. Bryant statue, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

I was riding in my dad's car with him and my mom when a special report came on the radio saying that Coach Bryant had passed away in Birmingham. What had been a fun day suddenly seemed different. 

Fast forward 37 years to January 26, 2020, and another normal, fun day suddenly changed with the news of the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a helicopter crash just a few minutes before the news began to circulate. 

Upon hearing the news of Bryant's deaths I almost immediately thought back to this date in 2983. Could it really be possible that two sports legend, both named Bryant had died on the same date 37 years apart?

It's more than possible, it is now a fact and as surreal as it seemed 37 years ago, it feels the same today. 

Vanderbilt head basketball coach Jerry Stackhouse spent 17 years in the NBA and competed against Kobe many times during their careers, and Stackhouse shared his thoughts on Twitter on the passing or Bryant and his daughter. 

Coach Bryant lived a full life and passed of natural causes, Kobe was taken from his fans in such a tragic way, but for those who witnessed their greatness, those memories will live on with them forever. 

Rest in peace Kobe, along with your beautiful young daughter and the others who perished with them, and here's hoping that January 26, will never take another sports icon from us. 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or on Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven


Other Sports