Griffen Kramer, an 18-year-old senior at Thousand Oaks High, died this Halloween weekend. He was found lifeless yesterday at a friend's house in Agoura Hills after spending Saturday night there, according to the Ventura County Star.
His dad, Erik Kramer, is a football great who played on various NFL teams from 1987 to 1999; the younger Kramer had followed in his dad's footsteps as a backup quarterback for the Thousand Oaks school team.
The Chicago Bears Tweeted their condolences to Erik, the team's former quarterback, this morning:
Though the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and coroner have not declared an official cause of death yet — and toxicology tests can take weeks — high-school officials announced in a statement to the Star that “initial indications suggest his passing was due to alcohol poisoning.”
A sentimental Chicago Tribune story on Erik Kramer from 1997 featured young Griffen as its starring lede:
To Griffen Kramer, like most 3-year-olds, nothing is for keeps. Hide-and-seek takes on infinite proportions, for example, and seeing mommy or daddy walking out the door suggests a scary permanence.
“Every time I leave in the morning,” Griffen's father Erik laughed last week, “he acts like I'm going for good.”
Hard as it is to figure out the inner workings of a toddler's tender psyche, however, Erik knows where young Griffen is coming from, for a sense of permanence is ever-elusive for most professional athletes. Even more for someone who has aspired to be the starting quarterback for the Bears over the last few years.
Little Kramer showed a lot of promise early on. Here's a video someone apparently posted to YouTube about Kramer's Pop Warner career and filling his dad's huge footsteps:
Strangely, Kramer is the second young Agoura Hills man to die unexpectedly in the past week. Agoura Hills High graduate Josh Feinberg just committed suicide in Malibu last Wednesday. “I swear when it rains, it pours!” Tweeted one local resident this morning. “RIP to the homie Griffen Kramer. You're gone, but never forgotten. My heart goes out to his family.”
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