If you had asked me yesterday whether I thought the 2011 season would be a new era for the Detroit Lions, I would have said yes. If you ask me that again right now, or tomorrow morning, or next month, the answer will undoubtedly be the same. The only difference is the reasons why.
Tom Kowalski, longtime Detroit Lions reporter
After nearly three decades of delivering Lions news to Detroit — and the country — Detroit Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski passed away this morning after being found unresponsive in his home. He was just 51 years old.
An institution on the Lions football beat and known as “Killer Kowalski,” Kowalski started his Lions reporting at the Oakland Press, with one of his biggest stories being the 1982 Super Bowl in Detroit. He started covering the Lions for Booth Newspapers in 1997 and later became a key contributor to MLive.com.
In a lot of ways, Kowalski was the Detroit Lions. He might not have been the head coach, or the owner, or a player on the sidelines, but he brought the Lions to us — the fans — every day. And, honestly, he did it damn well.
He was who I got 90 percent of my Lions news from, and, though I didn’t always agree with him and his opinions, I always respected them.
It’s going to be hard to imagine this season without him — especially given the year the Lions are expected to have. In a lot of ways, I felt like I knew him. Which is something I don’t think I’ve felt with any other beat writer I’ve read.
And it wasn’t just because his face was synonymous with the team or because I’ve read his articles every day for as long as I can remember. It was the way he wrote, the passion he showed, the fact that he new that team, the franchise better than anyone else in the industry. And as readers, we weren’t just spectators, we were right there with him in the press box. He interacted with fans in a way most writers don’t. In other words, I think we motivated him just as much as he motivated us. » Continue reading “Detroit Lions Reporter, Tom Kowalski, Passes Away”