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Let us now praise famous men

Updated: December 29, 2006, 4:54 PM ET
By Wright Thompson | ESPN.com

A new year always brings regeneration. Reporting a story not long ago about a little town fighting to survive, I was told by a resident that you can't have living without some dying. Those words have stuck with me. Most of the time, they're true. There are no ends, just beginnings.

But this year, after the deaths of so many sporting icons, I wonder. We lost a lot of pioneers in the past 12 months, and looking down the list, it seems as if we're almost out the people who built the games, ...

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