This past week a man I have listened to for the past 34 years died of a heart attack. The first reason I mention the death of Dave Niehaus, is that many of my fondest memories over the past 15 years have been moderated by him as the Voice of the Seattle Mariners. His descriptions of different game situations bonded my sons and me more closely.
The other reason I mention Dave Niehaus is because I listened to what those who knew him had to say about him. He loved life, his family, his job and the Seattle Mariners, in htat order. He took time for anyone and was known for his passion and enthusiasm. People who had neveer met him personally were shedding tears over his death. I found myself tearing up over the thought of never again associating that voice with my favorite sport and team.
The outpouring of love and grief over Dave's death caused me to ponder the whole friendship issue. How could an entire region consider someone, whom they'd never personally met, a friend? The answer I came up with is the same answer I have for what is the difference between a friend and a radical friend.
First, he was always there! For 34 years, if you turned on the radio of TV to watch or listen to the Mariners, he was there. Secondly, he was nearly always positive! Even when the team stunk, he was optimistic about the future. Hope lived eternal in Mr. Niehaus. Thirdly, he was real! You just knew that he was honest and trustworthy. He was one of us when it came to being a fan. We shared a love and passion for baseball and the Mariners. He celebrated the victories and put the losses behind.
Dave Niehaus was more than a friend. He was a radical friend. Friends come and go, but radical friends are always there, always positive, always real and always ready to celebrate or mourn that for which we share a love and a passion!
Today we celebrate you as a radical friend who is loved by a radical God who's Son gave His all for you, His V.I.P.