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For the Great One


Seeing us gathered around the television on Tuesday, waiting breathlessly to see the fell blow that ended our mortal hero’s reign, you might have thought us jackals awaiting a feast. One passer-by did make note of this, commenting on how we’d paid little attention to the hero’s recent victories, yet had all come to watch his fall.

I see something more noble in our purpose. Every good biopic ends with the death of its protagonist, and every great story must come to a finish. Without this last day, the tale of the Jennings would not have been complete. It wasn’t morbidity that drew us to that box, but simple storytelling. Good storytelling, even. We had to see how he fell. We had to have it finished.

And so it was that our conqueror breathed his last, falling not with a cry of rage, but with a quiet sigh of exhaustion. It was no great opponent, no dire warrior of youthful and fresh might, that destroyed the hero. It was an unnoticed arrow to the heel, a simple convergence of statistics. Even mighty leaders can fall to a sickness, and the bravest of conquerors can have their physical hearts betray them. The Jennings was mortal, as we all knew, though may never have believed.

Therefore, as a humble storyteller, I pen this eulogy. A certain ‘great’ found revisited attention during the last week, but it was not the one whom Hollywood portrayed. A youthful man, rising from obscurity to conquer where none before had tread, before finally falling in the morning of his fourth decade. Many will come after. Others may conquer further, slay more, and reign longer. None, however, will ever be first again.

Farewell, Jennings The Great.


|   Castellano