I was saddened to read the obituary of Ahmet Ertegun in today's New York Times. The man "who championed Soul and Rock" died on December 14th, 2006, aged 83. Twenty six paragraphs containing one thousand, two hundred and fifty one words taking up nearly one half of the page are devoted to the memory of Ahmet's life. Ahmet loved "music, jazz, blues and hanging out". Amen Ahmet. But there was another Ahmet. The other Ahmet loved football. One sentence or eighteen words is all that was devoted to Ahmet's other love.
The New York Times was right to give the late Lamar Hunt (who also passed away yesterday), the man who first coined the phrase "Super Bowl", much of the credit for turning the derivative game into the exceptionalist American phenomenon it is. Hunt's other passion oil also got an honourable mention. But in failing to acknowledge Ahmet's 'love' of football, stating matter of factly that Ahmet and his brother founded the New York Cosmos Association Football Club with their music fortune, the New York Times may have missed the essence of the man.
As Ahmet passed from his coma to the sounds of Charles, Coleman and Coltrane, a net rippled and the crowd cheered.