It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

The rain pelted the ground broken only by the sounds of shoes hitting the asphalt and the weeping of a city.  The streets of the City of Brotherly Love held one of the saddest days in its recent history when blood bowl player and local legend Rarth the Blackheart was laid to rest after dying on the field during a quarterfinal playoff game last weekend.  The crowd attending that home playoff game and everyone watching at home went through an emotional roller coaster as Blackheart briefly was killed in the first half which sent a shockwave of horror through the stadium but the team doctor was able to revive him as he pumped his claw-covered fist to the crowd.  However, on the next to last turn of the game, which was already lost for the Bullies at that point, Blackheart took a hellacious overhand shot from a treeman nearly 10 feet taller than him which broke his neck killing him instantly.  


Blackheart spent 4 seasons playing with the Philly Tailgate Bullies and was their 2nd ever draft pick taken in the expansion draft before the start of season 9.  More than anyone he embodied the very spirit of this blue collar, hard scrabble city because despite his diminutive size of 4’2 he was one of the most feared players in the league and consistently ranked at the top of all statistical categories for KOs, injuries, and deaths caused season after season.  From doing pre game beer bongs in the parking lot with “Blackheart’s Berserkers” or to his foundation “Klaws for Kids” associated with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia the city quickly embraced him as one of their own.  


As the funeral procession passed City Hall and made its way up Broad St to the stadium where tens of thousands of fans were gathered the sound of Philadelphia based R&B group Boyz II Men singing their hit “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” reverberated as the entire crowd sang in unison.  Ted Berry, a fellow expansion pick from the founding of the franchise 4 seasons ago, addressed the crowd with a heavy heart.   

“Rarth was not only the finest blood bowl player I’ve ever stepped onto the pitch with but     also the most dedicated, loyal teammate anyone could ask for.   This loss leaves a gaping hole not only in our team but in our hearts.   He wanted nothing more than to bring a championship to this city and for you the fans and it killed him that we’ve made the playoffs all four seasons we’ve played here but never reached the mountain top.  Next season we are dedicating ourselves to Rarth and bringing the title here where it belongs!   Bring it home for Blackheart!   Bring it home for Blackheart!


The crowd was in a frenzy chanting “Rarth, Rarth. Rarth” as kegs were tapped, beer bongs began to flow as the party raged through the day and well into the wee hours of the night which couldn’t have been a more fitting send off for one of the most beloved sport figures the city has ever known.  What this team does in his memory next season will be can’t miss television!

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