I haven't written much on the Bleacher Report lately. Not because I have been too busy or had lost interest in the topics; the simple reason was I have had no inspiration—until now.
As you all know by now, we lost one of the greatest beat writers in history this past week in Tom Kowalski. The loss has been felt by many people, from vice presidents of professional organizations, to fans of Killer's work who waited for a new article on an hourly basis. I, of course, fall into the category of the latter.
His loss has shaken many of us. Not only do his friends and family mourn his passing, but so do the faithful followers of both Killer and the Detroit Lions. You don't need to know someone in person to mourn the loss of that individual; technology has made long distance friendships very possible.
I am a part of a special group of Detroit Lions fans that communicate daily on another website and the question was posed the other day by a member, "How do you explain the loss of your local beat writer to non-sports fans?"
What an excellent question. I mean really, how do you explain it? They won't get it. To them it was just a guy who wrote stories and/or a blog for a newspaper or other media outlet. Not to mention it is only sports—so what's the big deal? You didn't know him personally so why are you upset?
Oh, how I feel sorry for them. Sorry that they may not have a passion in life to which they subscribe. For me, my passion is the Detroit Lions, and the binding connection between myself and the Lions was always Tom Kowalski. They are what I live and breath 365 days a year and I have never been ashamed to say that.
While I never met Tom in person, we did exchange tweets and emails every so often. I would ask him questions about the Lions and he would provide me answers. If I needed information about a player...ask Killer. An idea of their defensive strategy? Killer. Why a player wasn't playing? Yep, that's right, Killer.
He wasn't just some guy giving me information over the Internet like I was ordering something from some sporting goods website. He was my main link to my passion. He was the answer to my questions. The writer of the stories I read. The cap on my bottle of Bud Light. In short, I think he was a friend—not in the typical sense, but a friend none the less.
So when you have to describe how the loss of Tom has affected you to someone who may not understand the world of sports, just ask them to think of one of the funniest, wittiest, most intelligent and talented people they know, with whom they share a common passion. Now ask them how they would feel if this person left the world too soon.
Yep, that should do it.
Goodbye, Killer. You're the best, baby.