Martin Manley, the former Kansas City Star contributor whose insight into sports made him a key component of that paper's sports section, committed suicide yesterday—and left a sprawling website to explain why.
Manley, who most recently had been filing daily sports updates on his personal blog, appears to have planned his 60th-birthday suicide months in advance, and explained his arguments for killing himself along with lengthy memoirs about his career and relationships—all of them in a calm and reasoned voice that betrays the assumed nature of a man about to take his own life. One reference to a fortune he'd recently made in gold left Overland Park residents on a rush seeking alleged buried treasure; cops had to debunk the idea as a hoax to keep citizens from destroying an arboretum.
National sports fans might best know Martin Manley as the creator of the NBA's efficiency index, a catch-all rating that, while since eclipsed by John Hollinger's PER system, is still endorsed by the league as an official statistic.
Manley's main argument for killing himself was to avoid the creeping ravages of death; the website he left in his wake includes opinions on conspiracy theories, synesthesia, gun control, and numerous other topics. All of them are written in the past tense, making it an all the more unsettling experience to read the thoughts of a man who, very sanely, was organizing the conditions of his own death.