Hot Tub Tragedy
The drowning death of game-changing QB Randall Cunningham's son hits sports fanshard
Certain athletes just resonate with fans. It's not always about skill level or accomplishments, a lot of times, it's harder to define than that, coming down to an It Factor.
Randall Cunningham — the forever scrambling quarterback of not-so-ancient NFL lore — certainly had that. If you started watching NFL football in the 1980s, Cunningham was probably one of your guys. It doesn't matter what city you actually lived in and how far away from it that Cunningham played, his moves grabbed your attention. When Randall Cunningham played on TV, you watched. HIs Fog Bowl game was one of the greatest single-game playoff performances by a quarterback ever, and perhaps, more importantly, full of the type of on-field drama that defined his career.
His Monday Night Football appearances were appointment TV. In many ways, Cunningham and Bo Jackson were the original video game sports stars.
That's why the news that Cunningham's 2-year-old son drowned in a hot tub is hitting so many sports fans so hard.
Cunningham always seemed so in control, so cool under pressure and now he's dealing with the type of tragedy that no parent wants to even imagine. Cunningham was out of town when the youngest of his four kids, 2-year-old Christian Cunningham, was found in the hot tub by an unidentified woman who was at his Nevada home with the kids. Las Vegas police are investigating, but say neither foul play or neglect are suspected.
Belying the wild way he played — without Cunningham, there never would have been a Vince Young — the 47-year-old Cunningham is an ordained minister who runs a church that's just six blocks from the Las Vegas Strip with his wife Felicity. ABC news reports that Cunningham often performed baptisms in the same hot tub that his son's lifeless body was pulled from.
Christian Cunningham was on the field with his dad just last year when the quarterback was inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame at halftime of a widely-televised game, giving sports fans an image of what he looked like even before the news broke today.