This year has been undoubtedly tough for athletes and sports fans around the United States. With July coming to an end in the next couple of weeks, we have just passed the halfway point for the year and tragedy has struck the lives of millions.
Although we could go into many different cases, and believe me it was very tough to narrow them down, three stick out in my mind as being tragic cases that could have been prevented.
The deaths of Anaheim Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, professional boxer and former champion Arturo Gatti and retired NFL warrior Steve McNair have all sent shock waves through the professional sports community.
The nation also felt especially saddened for Mike Tyson and his family as they dealt with a tragedy of their own.
Adenhart was fatally injured in a car accident on the morning of April 9, 2009, when he was riding as a passenger with friends.
They were struck by a drunk driver of a minivan who tried to flee on foot but was later caught and identified as Andrew Thomas Gallo. Gallo had a blood alcohol content of .19 percent after the crash; the legal limit is .08 percent.
Adenhart was an up-and-coming talent from Williamsport High School in Williamsport, Md. who was expected to be a top 10 draft pick coming out of the 2008 MLB draft. But, he was drafted much lower due to having Tommy John surgery after an elbow injury.
Former world super featherweight and junior welterweight champion Arturo Gatti was found dead last week in a hotel in Brazil.
Gatti and his wife, Amanda Rodrigues, were on their second honeymoon with their one-year-old son. Gatti was apparently strangled to death with a purse strap that is said to have been used by Rodrigues. She has been formally charged with Gatti's death.
It has been released in the media that Gatti and Rodrigues were having problems and were on the verge of splitting up. Back in March, Gatti was charged with assaulting Rodrigues, who was his girlfriend at the time. He was released on bail and was ordered to stay 200 meters from her.
Gatti retired in 2007, after he was knocked out by Alfonso Gomez. He ended his career with a record of 40 wins and nine losses.
Rumors had surfaced back in 2008 that Gatti was considering a comeback against Montreal welterweight Antonin Decarie.
The former All-Pro quarterback was found over the Fourth of July weekend, dead in a Nashville town home located near downtown.
It would later surface that he was found dead with a young woman named Sahel Kazemi, who shot him four times; twice in the chest and twice in the head at close range before killing herself.
It was reported that Kazemi's actions were the result of being in heavy financial debt and that she had suspicions of McNair being in another relationship.
The tragedy has brought many strong debates about players and their personal lives being thrown into the media spotlight.
Although McNair has been mourned by many NFL fans around the world, many other people are saying that he brought this upon himself by the actions that he chose to take outside of his marriage.
McNair accomplished various feats over the course of his 13 NFL seasons, taking the Tennessee Titans to the 2000 Super Bowl where they narrowly lost to the St. Louis Rams. He also won a co-MVP award with Peyton Manning in 2003 and earning the respect of so many with his toughness and ability to play through injuries.
He was also one of the few Heisman Trophy candidates from a historically black university, at Alcorn State.
This differs a little from the other stories but the significance is clear. Mike Tyson's four-year-old daughter, Exodus, was found back in May by her older brother Miguel.
She was tangled in a cord and dangling from an exercise treadmill. Her mother untangled her, administered CPR and called medical personnel. Exodus died the next day in a nearby Phoenix hospital.
Mike Tyson fought his way back from a very promising, yet very troubled career filled with controversy, drugs, alcohol, financial problems and violence.
Tyson's most infamous moment came in 1997, when he bit off a piece of Evander Holyfeld's ear and had his boxing license rescinded as a result.
Tyson would go through the next 11 years struggling with addiction problems, bankruptcy, being in and out of prison and receiving countless criticism for his actions. He would also regain his license in an effort to earn money to pay off all his debt, without much luck.
In 2009, all had seemed right for Tyson. He had announced that he was completely clean from drugs and had his life back in order.
He was close to marrying again and was on his way to being normal, in his eyes. Then came the unfortunate death of his daughter.
After much grieving and anguish, Tyson would go on to marry his girlfriend, Lakiha Spicer, in Las Vegas back in June.
Tyson's last fight was in June of 2005 when he embarrassingly had the fight against Kevin McBride stopped by his trainer, Jeff Fenech, due to exhaustion. Tyson ended his career with 50 wins and six losses.