If you were known for only one thing in your entire life, how would you like that one thing to be this:
You were bullied by somebody famous.
That was the fate of Neil Reed, who back in 1997 foolishly put his throat in the way of Bobby Knight's vice-like grip.
Even though Knight was a bellicose boor -- and, by the late-90s, an out-of-touch geezer who had stopped winning NCAA tournament games as he ran a once-proud program into the ground -- many fans/apologists/lemmings never forgave Reed for his role in Knight's exodus from Hoosierland.
The incident, caught on tape that clearly showed Knight throttling the young basketball player, led to Bobby being put on double-secret probation by Miles "Dean Wormer" Brand. Another incident soon followed (of course), and Knight was sent packing.
Ridiculously -- but predictably -- the bully was deified and the victim was vilified. This, of course, is typical behavior of blindly loyal college sports lemmings (see: Paterno Worshippers, Penn State University).
With the pitchfork-and-torch crowd closing in, Reed had to bolt Hoosierland and ended up at Southern Miss. He eventually became a high school coach and teacher.
Neil Reed died last week at 36 of heart complications. I'm guessing that thousands of Hoosierland sickos were happy when they heard the news.
His obituary in every newspaper in the country identified him as the player choked by Knight. That's who Neil Reed was -- not only until his dying days but for all eternity.
Bobby Knight not only ruined Reed's basketball career and Reed's life, the bully also ruined Neil Reed's death.
How sad is that?