Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Farewell, friends

The Internet is a strange place where acquaintances are made and communities are formed among people who don’t really know one another. If you’re reading this, chances are that noms de keyboard like Iam4Mizzou and Earthdog Fred mean something to you even if you’ve never met the men behind the monikers.

Stranger still is when a member of the cyber community dies. How do you properly mourn someone whose name you don’t even know?

Just over a month ago we lost a Tigerboard veteran known to most of us only as T2MU61, but to some as Tom. Here’s what little I knew about him: He loved Illinois high school hoops, he retired to New Mexico, and when I was writing my book, his recollections of the exploits of Sparky Stalcup, Charlie Henke and Joe Scott at old Brewer Field House helped me imagine a time and place in Missouri’s basketball history that I didn’t get to experience firsthand.

Today brings news of the passing of Mulawman at just 38 years of age. Again, I didn’t know him, not even his real name, but when it came to thoughtful, cogent analysis of basketball (especially in and around Kansas City), he had few peers in our little corner of the world wide web.

So rest in peace good gentlemen, you true sons of Old Mizzou. We never knew you, but we miss you just the same.