Thursday, July 13, 2006

A FRIEND I NEVER KNEW


O.K., I admit it.....I am a sports junkie. It seems as though I cannot get enough when it comes to sports. I love watching sports, listening to sports, and talking about sports. And for a sports junkie like me, the advent of sports talk radio has been a godsend. No longer do I have to listen to the sounds of silence, or tunes, as I drive along in my car these days. Now I can always listen to interesting discussions about my favorite teams and the games that they play.

Just a week ago, I was listening to one of my favorite local radio personalities: Scott Thompson, of WSZ / ESPN radio in Louisville. I always looked forward to listening to Scott, as he clearly approached his job with great zeal and enthusiasm. His show was always interesting. He was the host of the "SportsDrive" program, which was on the air on weekdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. He was also the general manager and a co-owner of WSZ. According to the station's website, Scott's involvement at WSZ was the fulfillment of a life-long dream for him. As I listened to his commentary last week, he seemed to be full of his usual insights and vigor. There was no hint that anything might have been amiss.

Tragically, Scott Thompson passed away unexpectedly late last Friday evening. Although the story has been in the local papers, there has been no indication as to the cause of his death. He was 45 years old, and left behind a wife and two teenage children.

I was surprised by the extent of my sadness upon learning of the passing of Scott Thompson. Although I never met him, I felt as though we had become friends through his radio commentary. We were about the same age, and I listened to him whenever possible. When I discussed his passing with a couple of fellow sports junkies who work in my office, I discovered that they felt the same way about him. We all feel as if we have lost a friend, even though we never met the man.

I suppose this shows that radio and television personalities have a special opportunity to have an impact upon many people whom they have never met. Scott Thompson connected with me, as well as with my sports-crazy buddies, by sharing his personality with us over the air. I will miss listening to his show and, like many, many others, send heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

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