Over the last few years, I have developed "friendships" with various people online. It really started when I started this blog, at some point in July 2010. Many of them started when I called into "The Ben Maller Show' and through the subsequent social media platforms where I befriended several listeners from the show.
One of those "friends' was John "Money" Evans. Evans was a sarcastic, sometimes arrogant punk that called into show from time-to-time. Ben Maller, the host of the national radio show, often joked about how ridiculous and annoying Money's calls were. I thought they were hilarious. Probably because he reminded me of myself.
I started my own sports podcast a few years ago, and Evans was one of my "regulars." He called almost every week, and actually had very good sports knowledge; more than any other kid that I can remember. The kid had a passion for sports, and I tried to talk him into pursuing journalism classes in high school and in college. He won't ever get that chance.
Young Evans died in a car crash in May, in his hometown of Fort Royal, Virginia. He was only 16. 16! I cannot even imagine losing a son, brother, or friend so young. I was lucky in that aspect. But I feel like I lost a friend today. It is kind of bizarre mourning the death of someone you never "met," but I am fighting back tears as I write this. I liked the kid.
I often wonder why and when people die. Why are some people viciously murdered, while others go in their sleep. Why terrible people lead charmed lives, and some slave away, only to be poor and miserable. Life often makes no sense to me. This is one of those times.
I cannot fathom a bright kid with so much potential passing away so young. There are no explanations, no rationalizations to fit the occasion. 16 is much too soon for someone to lose their life. RIP Johhny, hopefully someday you and I can talk sports again. John called my podcast from time-to-time, and you can listen here. RIP 'Lil Buddy, we will catch a game together someday.