For several years I avoided Richard when I saw him at church. I knew exactly who he was, and what he did for a living, and as a young blogger I wanted nothing more than to talk sports with him. However, knowing it was his full time job, I tried to give him space. I wasn't sure how it would be received if a young youth sponsor saddled up next to him after a service to talk about Josh Hamilton's four home run game, or Dirk's 48 point performance against the Thunder in the playoffs.
Over the past year or so though, I broke my own rule. I started talking to him about TCU, the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavs, pretty much anything I could think of. And I was always met by the same response. One of grace, sports brilliance and comedy, all fired out of his mouth at a rapid pace.
Turns out Richard was one of the friendliest people on the planet. He was always more than willing to hold a conversation, about sports or anything else, and eventually when we'd see each other after a TCU game, he'd give me that knowing look, and a "Go Frogs" if the results were favorable.
I'll miss him greatly. In the past year, he had become one of the examples I've looked up to for several reasons. He was a great dad, and I am absolutely crushed for his kids. He was a dedicated husband. And his passions for Christ and sports mirror my own.
Just this past week he walked up to me as he was dropping his kids off at Vacation Bible School, and he mentioned he read my piece on the ridiculousness of coin flips in the Super Regional.
"I was just making this argument to the guys in the press box last night," he said, "I'm glad we're on the same page."
You will be missed, Richard. By a lot of people. I'm glad I had the chance to know you.