Nation Mourns Loss of Basketball Legend, 13-year-old Daughter

It’s no secret that everybody knew who Kobe Bryant was. You didn’t even have to watch basketball to be familiar with his name.

Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were among nine who were killed in a helicopter crash about 30 miles outside of central Los Angeles, California.

When I received the news via text on Sunday, I had to read it twice to make sure I was reading it correctly.

The text simply read “Kobe Bryant is dead.” I was speechless. I responded with question marks because I couldn’t process that thought clearly in my head.

They responded “He really is,” I then scrolled back up to the text so that I could read it again and try to wrap my mind around the news that I had just gotten.

As I was reading it, a news notification popped up on my phone that read “Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant Among Nine Killed in Crash outside of Los Angeles.”

As I was scrolling through social media an hour or so after receiving the text, I read a headline that stated “Kobe Bryant, 13-year-old daughter die alongside each other in LA helicopter crash.”

No family should ever have to bury the body of a loved one, but to have to bury two bodies, a husband, friend, father and role model to many and a daughter, is truly unimaginable.

My deepest condolences are extended to not only the family and friends of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, but also the countless number of teammates that shared the court with Kobe during his NBA career.

Kobe Bryant was just 41-years-old, while his daughter, Gianna departed way too early at the age of 13.

Rest easy, you’ll never be forgotten. Picture: Yahoo.

Remembering Sports Broadcasters/Journalists Who Gained their Wings in 2019

2019 was a rough year to be a sports broadcaster and journalist, I can’t remember a more deadly year surrounding one industry.

Sure, there have been more deadly years in the past, but I can’t remember when they were.

Maybe it’s because I am still in shock at the amount of sports broadcasters and journalists whom were welcomed into heaven over the past 365 days.

2019 started out pretty smooth, and then on May 25, 2019, things took a turn for the worst when then-Auburn Baseball, Basketball, and Football Voice, Rod Bramblett, and his wife Paula were killed by a teenage driver who was under the influence at the time of the crash and topped out well over the speed limit.

Rod was just 53, while Paula was 52.

On December 24, 2019, ESPN’s Edward “Ed” Aschoff passed away after a brief battle with pneumonia at the young age of 34.

On December 28, 2019, Louisiana Sports Journalist, Carley McCord, the daughter-in-law of LSU OC, Steve Ensminger, was killed in a plane crash in Lafayette, Louisiana while on her way to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, to watch the Tigers in the College Football Playoffs Semifinals against Oklahoma.

McCord was just 30-years-old.

While 2019 was a trying year for sports journalists and broadcasters like myself, I hope 2020 takes it lighter on this industry too many people with bright futures in this industry were lost in 2019.

God Bless.

Pictures: Daily Mail, Saturday Tradition and The Wrap).

Passing The Headset: Andy Burcham to Assume Duties as Voice of the Auburn Tigers

Just after mid-day on Monday, the news broke around the State of Alabama that Andy Burcham, the longtime color analyst for the late Rod Bramblett had been named the new ‘Voice of the Auburn Tigers’. While I’m sure that this move had to be a tough one on Burcham, it just seems fitting. As Rod and Andy had just celebrated 25 years of broadcasting Auburn Baseball games alongside each other a few weeks before Rod and Paula Bramblett’s untimely and sudden death. Andy has been in the broadcasting industry since 1988. The 2019-2020 season will mark Burcham’s 32nd year in the industry. Personally, I don’t think I could’ve taken the job under these circumstances, but somebody has to do it and I know without a doubt, that Rod is smiling down from heaven knowing that his longtime friend and colleague, Andy Burcham, has been selected to assume the role that Bramblett held for so many years. While you will never be able to replace the silky, southern voice of Rod Bramblett, now is the time for Andy Burcham to cement his legacy alongside Bramblett and Jim Fyffe as ‘The Voice of the Auburn Tigers’ and Rod wouldn’t have it any other way. In a sense, Rod is simply passing the headset to his right-hand man, Andy Burcham.

The Loss of A Broadcasting Legend

Many across the State of Alabama remember listening to the enthusiastic, deep voice of Rod Bramblett at some point in their lives. Whether it was during your childhood/teenage years or in your adult life. Even if you were a fan of a different school, like myself, you were familiar with the silky smooth voice that Bramblett possessed. Hearing of his passing on Saturday May 25, 2019, left me speechless. Not only by the loss of a broadcasting legend, but also by loss of a great person. This world was a better place because of Rod Bramblett. Rod passed away at a Birmingham, Alabama hospital due to injuries sustained during a car collision earlier that evening. Not only did Rod but his wife, Paula Bramblett was also injured and also succumbed due to injuries sustained. Bramblett took over for Jim Fyffe in 2003. My thoughts and prayers are with Auburn University, its athletic department, and the Bramblett as Rod, represented not only a broadcaster, but also a son, father, mentor and friend to many across the State of Alabama. His compassionate spirit and silky smooth voice. Will not soon be forgotten