Free of obstructed views and fair-weathered opinions
Farewell to a Friend
This is a blog post no one should ever have to make.
The Yankees lost the Cliff Lee sweepstakes late Monday night. Roughly a few hours later, the Yankees Twitter family lost something much more important.
We lost a close friend.
Many of us woke up Tuesday morning to find that Steven Smith (@stevensmithy) was killed in a tragic three-car accident overnight. The news devastated those of us who chat with him on a regular basis and have had the pleasure of meeting him in person. One moment he was commenting on Lee’s impending free agent decision, and the next he was taken from us far too soon at the age of 24. My good friend Amanda Rykoff and the Times-Union have written marvelous pieces in his memory.
I had the pleasure of meeting Steven at the U.S. Open in Flushing, my first time ever attending a live tennis match. The group of us that made the trip that day were treated to three amazing matches (the Men’s Doubles final and both Women’s Semi-finals) and I was absolutely amazed at his unlimited range of sports knowledge. It made the decision to follow him that much easier. Whether you agreed with his opinion or not, you had to respect the fact that he can talk to you about almost any sport at any given moment. Like most of my Twitter followers, my bond with Steven was strongest with the New York Yankees. While we never met up at a Yankees game, I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few epically awesome tweet-ups (meetings between various Twitter followers) with him — some of the most fun I’ve had this year.
I last saw Steven at a farewell dinner for one of our mutual Twitter friends. Like Amanda says in her blog post, he rattled off every bit of sports knowledge he knew. While it came as no surprise to me, I still marveled at how much he knew. I’ve been taking in information about the sports world since I was ten years old. I can honestly say that he would probably be the one person who could have put me to shame way back when, and I feel like I’m a better sports fan because of him.
But sports is only one part of Steven’s story. He also spear-headed the “To Catch A Predator” phenomenon that started during the MLB playoffs. While I don’t actively participate in the mass tweeting every Sunday night, I will admit to being entertained by all the commentary on the sick pedophiles that were profiled on the show. It was his tweets during the two hours of TCAP that caught everyone’s eyes, and it adds to our love for this man.
In short, Steven Smith was one of many who made my Twitter experience so enjoyable. Whether we were talking about the next potential move that Brian Cashman should make or a sexual predator’s ridiculous responses to Chris Hansen’s questions, we shared a special bond with him — a bond that no one can replace.
My condolences go out to Steven’s family and closest friends in this difficult time. While I could not attend the funeral service today, my thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.
I’ll see you on the other side, big bro. It’ll be one helluva tweet-up.
UPDATE, 12:57 AM: Found a tribute video for our fallen comrade, as well as a song/video you all know that fits our emotions.