Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eric Boyle (1975-2007)

Wow...what to say...

Damn you will be missed. The best smile of anyone I have ever met in my life and one, as someone said, made you feel so special. He's smiling just because he sees me??? Yeah...he was and, in a way, I think he's smiling on all of us.

There was one night after practice when we were stuck in traffic trying to get over the Triboro Bridge when Boyle turned to me and said, "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"Why do you do it?"

"Do what?" I asked, truly perplexed by the question.

"The practice. You're beat up, banged up, and can barely run. I mean it hurts me to watch you run. But you don't give up. Why?"

I was a little surprised by the question but I gave him the honest answer -- "I don't know any other way. I wasn't brought up to quit midstream."

He looked out on the traffic and the back at me and with the truest, most heartfelt tone in his voice he said, "That's what I admire the most about you."

Now, I'm not used to getting compliments and I don't handle them very well. I tend to get very embarrassed, act gracious, and try to pawn off the success on someone else. But in this case, I couldn't do it. This was clearly directed at me and I didn't know what to say except "thanks."

His vim and vigor, his open, welcoming personality, his drive to push everyone to be the best that they can be on and off the pitch, and that smile of his that made you just know that something evil was lurking behind...all of that will be greatly, greatly missed because I greatly admired you and never got to tell you.

So to my friends and those who happen upon this page, take a moment to think about the friend you admire the most and have never told. Then pick up the phone and tell them. You might never get that chance again.
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