I know how every obituary starts, more or less. When I was a high schooler, I worked at a public radio station – not an NPR affiliate, but an independent operation that played dentist office music. Part of the job was having to read out obituaries from local funeral homes as they came in. You could classify this as a ‘weird flex,’ but when you live in a town of 12,000 I guess this is a necessary service. Some obituaries state the deceased’s employer. Most offer context about the person who passed away. There’s usually a short biography of some sort. Person was in the U.S. Army; person had two kids, who had these kids, who possibly had those kids. Occasionally, you got the sort of viral goodie about a person wanting to be let down one last time by the Chicago Bears or whoever.

In season 2, episode 10 of Joe Pera Talks With You, the titular character is overcoming the death of his grandmother. If you watch the prior episodes, it’s inferred that said grandmother (and deceased grandparents) raised Joe. The episode hinges on Pera’s inability to write an obituary for his dead grandmother. He eventually does for the local paper, but they have to cut his obituary back dramatically. The editor informs him that running the whole thing would’ve meant putting an entire separate issue of the paper out. The obituary ends with “she loved donuts,” which is perfect and shattering.

Attempting to write anything, in the cold light of day after being informed your hero has passed away after struggling for the last few months, is impossible. There is no perfect obituary. They are both impossibly long and far too short. I could use my Excel skills to calculate all of the sporting events we watched together. I could estimate the cups of coffee shared. I could utilize some sort of heartwarming example of time spent together at his computer repair business. Many amazing memories of my life can be traced back to shared experiences with my grandfather. Many things could be written. It would be too long if I included them all.

So all I can say is this:

Warren County, TN resident and native Robert Barry Warren, age 81, was born January 17, 1941 and died February 19, 2022 at St. Thomas River Park Hospital in McMinnville, TN following an extended illness. He is survived by his loved ones. He owned a computer repair business called Computers Plus from 1997 to 2014. He loved Tennessee basketball and the New York Yankees. Over the course of 28 years, he inspired his grandson, Will, every single day. He loved donuts.

If you are a loyal reader, first, thank you. Second, you may be wondering why this post exists on a website mostly meant for basketball coverage. Here is a four-part answer that serves as explanation and expectation.

  1. There’s enough Tweets out there. Still, I thought it better to share this than to leave cold turkey.
  2. For the first time since March 9, 2018, there will be no Show Me My Opponent for the Missouri game. This breaks a 125-game coverage streak, which is fine. Everything ends eventually.
  3. Two posts that were to come out on Wednesday and Thursday – one on bracketology, one on frontcourt combinations – will be delayed.
  4. The next post on here is most likely to be a preview of the Auburn game. Frankly, I cannot promise that right now, but I will try.

Thanks for reading and supporting what I do the last few years. It made me happy, and it made my grandpa happy, because this was/is all for him. I’ll come back when I’m ready.

2 thoughts on “Hero

  1. I am sorry for your loss and hope for comfort in your grief. I hope to live a life like your hero. I hope that my time spent inspires those whom I love to grow deeper in their faith and to live a joyful life – one that includes dozens of awesome donuts, both real and metaphorical.

    You do great work here. It’s insightful. And it’s why you’ve had shout outs on the Tennessee broadcasts. Somehow I think your hero enjoyed hearing about your work while listening to one of his favorite teams. Take pleasure in that and in all the wonderful memories you have shared with him.


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