Around four years ago, I truly starting branching out in my quest for sports knowledge, and about four years ago, I ran into an argumentative figure known to me at the time as only "NYSR."
He and I butted heads on nearly everything NFL related; if I said the grass was green, he would say it was forest green. Eventually, the place we communicated shut down and we didn't see each other for a year or two.
Little did I know that my former adversary would turn into one of my best friends, and yeah—I understand how some of you may feel about "online friends," but when you talk to someone day after day, share personal thoughts, plans, hopes, dreams, etc. then you're friends; online or not, then you get close to them.
When I met him again on a website that I formerly co-owned, www.sportsjabber.net, we seemed to get along better, we seemed to agree more on things and developed a great friendship to the point where we'd call each other every other week or so and just catch up, talk some New York Jets-Pittsburgh Steelers smack from time to time, you know—stuff that friends do.
When I learned that in the two years that I hadn't talked to him that he was fighting cancer, I was floored. I could try and tell you his story, but he told it better than anyone, and you can read it here: http://forums.sportsjabber.net/sjforums/showthread.php?t=30847
Months later, after not being around for awhile, he came back and told us that he didn't know how much longer he'd be around. He couldn't eat, he could barely drink, he was in bad shape—that was in July of 2010.
Scott finally found himself at peace on January 17th, 2011, after leaving a lasting impression on every heart that he touched.
He never complained; he never whined; he never felt sorry for himself; he accepted his life for what it was and made the most of it.
I tried countless times to contact the Jets organization to see if they could do something for him, and they always said they'd get back to me. They'll be getting call after call today until something gets done.
Scott had something in him that a lot of us will never experience—a love and appreciation for every breath. He was the epitome of David VS. Goliath. He was the Miracle on ice. He was the Jets versus the Patriots.
My life will be forever changed because of the impression that he left on it. He taught me that you can never give up. He taught me that you have to continue fighting even if all hope is gone. He taught me that survivor's come in all shapes and sizes.
I don't know if there is a heaven, a hell, a God or a devil. But what I do know is that the world got a little darker when Scott left.
And wherever he is now, just got a lot brighter.
When the Jets come to Heinz Field to play my very own Pittsburgh Steelers, I hope they bring it. I hope Scott guides them to play their best. I hope they make him proud.
I won't be doing play by play for the game this week, I'll be sitting down, watching the game with a candle lit beside of me in remembrance of one of the best friends that I've ever had.
Until the New York Jets exit the playoffs, the banner on SteeHurtin.com will remain what it is. In tribute to one of my best friends, the greatest Jets fan of all time, an inspiration, and my hero—Scott "NYSportsRule" Wedell.
Goodbye Scott, I'm going to miss you, I'm never going to forget you, your story or your fight.