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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 40: Class of 2020

KT Man,

We met the new cohort. One year down the road from your cohort. I can see better what you were getting into. They came from all over. Iowa. Utah. Chicago. Switzerland. Taiwan. California. Of course. All young and beginning a new chapter. So willing and interested. Eager. Uncertain but convinced. A curious combination.

You would be busy with them. One year down the road. I imagine 5Fore would be finishing the golf hat. Readying it for market. Maybe still experimenting. Materials. Features. Markets. Brand. Two quarters and it would be go time. A launch somewhere else.

I went to Pre’s rock to hear Steve as part of the orientation for the new cohort. Not Pre but a classmate of his. He was a gifted narrator and related the history of Prefontaine to them. Though so familiar to us, this cohort was from across the country and globe. And we can’t forget the past. We don’t want to. Steve died in 1975 in a car crash. You died in 2018 in a car crash. When Steve came to this part of history, he looked at me and began to weep. Join me in weeping about the loss of a classmate. A son. Another fine person. How do we even think about this? How do we reconcile?

Linda, Sev, Mads, and I joined the cohort of 2020 in a tail gate for the program. We listened to their stories. How they ended up here. Their connection with sports. What they saw in their future. It was a curious focus on the person but it was the group that came through. One by one they sensed that they were part of something bigger than themselves. They were part of a family. A group with a collective identity. It was quite remarkable.

As we departed, Sev wanted to take a picture of us in front of the Sports Product Management sign over the canopy. Remember. This is a tail gate. Chaos and bedlam hand in hand with anticipation of a Game Day game. Jennie was tasked with getting the group together. From small talk of everyone distributed into a single moment of standing in formation for a click. A moment distilled with everyone present. We have no idea how she did this but indeed we have a picture of your new cohort. One year down the road.

The day will be silent. Long silence and slow movement. Maybe some football but only because you were a footballer. My interest is waning without you to help me understand the nuances of the play. My interest is waning in most things without you in play. So, we’ll struggle against this and keep watch for every moment we can bring you into our lives. Much like Steve related about Pre 43 years down the road. Remember the past and the people. Be here for them. Be here for you.

We love you so much.

JT Man

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