Mike Mady: Tom, you will be missed

roarreport.com beat writer Mike Mady reacts to the death of fellow reporter and mentor Tom Kowalski.

The Detroit sport scene took a monumental blow today. 

The passing of Tom Kowalski struck me with surprise and sorrow, as the Lions’ most recognized beat writer was lost.

Tom was a relentless source of Lions information. With a thorough knowledge of the game, his contributions to reporting made him a reliable supplier of what was, what is and what will be for everything Lions related.

Working across all media platforms– TV, radio and print – Tom earned the respect of fans because he offered erudition rather than verbosity.  

Going further than simply building a concrete reputation from himself, Tom was never shy about lending a helping hand.
 
Tom has had a direct impact on my career and extended offerings of assistance to me with frequency.
 
He took me – as an intern – to my first training camp.  Not only showing me the ropes but also orchestrating a one-on-one interview between one of the Lions’ starters and myself. 
 
When questions arose or if I wanted a second eye to scan an article of mine, I knew Tom would happily help.
 
He was passionate about sports – something you could see and admire about him – often talking about the most recent Tigers news when walking in the training camp media room.  I also had the pleasure of watching playoff hockey with him, as he displayed his hospitality by opening his home to me. 
 
A story that helps illustrate the character he possessed was a few weeks ago, which marked the first time he saw me at training camp by myself.
 
There had been some time between conversations between us and I honestly didn’t expect Tom to recognize me.  He had been helpful to me in the past but with over a year between interactions, I couldn’t hold it against the guy for not remembering a young journalist he he once helped out.
 
Right?
 
But when Tom saw me, he not only approached me but also showed a genuine interest in how I’d been.  He made me take his number and encouraged me to call him should I need anything.
 
That’s just the type of person he was.
 
Tom, you will be missed, not just for your knowledge and not just for your articles.  Not just for your radio and TV appearances.  Not just for your sense of humor and willingness to help.  Tom, you will be missed for the type of person you were.
 

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