Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tom Kowalski rembered as nice guy

   Like most of you, I was shocked to learn of the passing of the award winning football writer and Oakland County resident, Tom Kowalski.
   Found unconscious at home a couple of days ago, Tom's death is shocking on several levels the first being his age. At just 51, we immediately think that is too young. And it is.
   It's shocking on another level because of all the people he touched through his writing, TV appearances and radio show.
   To go through life and be remembered as a truly nice guy, one that made a difference, is a real honor. Tom attained that status and then some.
   Last night's news showed veteran news reporters choking up when talking about Tom and the memories they had of him.
   Likewise seemingly tough-guy professional football players from the Lions were on the verge of breaking down.
   A consummate beat reporter, Tom covered the Lions like a blanket. That has to be a tight line to walk. First you try to write positively about a group of people that haven't had a lot of positives to mention for several years.
   He had to be on both ends of the story, sort of friend and foe. But he was well respected by the Lions family apparently from the top right on down for being fair and getting the facts of the story right.
   While Tom and I weren't close, we were friends. He always acknowledged me by name whenever he saw me which hasn't been too frequent the past several years.
   Always outgoing and upbeat, Tom physically was larger than life. I never heard a negative word come from him.
   In a time when our attention is being pulled so many ways, Tom was one of the writers I would turn to when I saw his by-line. For me, there aren't that many.
   I looked to him for not only an accurate story but an entertaining one as well. I hadn't seen Tom in quite sometime and had made a mental note to contact him in hopes of spending a little time with him.
   It's too bad I waited longer than I should have. That opportunity is forever lost. But one thing that isn't gone, even with his passing is his ability to teach.
   Known for new writers to go to for guidance, we can all look to how he conducted himself in life and take a lesson about how to treat people.
   Even in passing, Tom Kowalski continues to teach and leaves a wonderful legacy we should all try to incorporate in our daily lives.


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