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RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . .

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Piotr Rasputin, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Tripp McNeely - AKA FightScribe, AKA GimpyScribe, AKA Big Game, and known to me as James - died this week, aged, um, mid-30s. As most here know, he was depressed over the death of his grandfather, who had raised him like a son. The actual cause is unsure, but it is known that he had stopped eating in his despair over losing his father figure.

    If I may:

    James and I worked together for five years at one of Singleton's many SoCal newspapers. He was maybe the only guy in the newsroom who everybody both liked and respected. He was one of those uber-grinders who did whatever was necessary to put out the best possible newspaper every single day, including writing, reporting, editing, and giving dudes who weren't pulling their weight (or were getting on his nerves) the red ass when necessary. And of course, coming in on his days off.

    James was the type of guy who would call you a "DUNCE!" one moment, and give you the Angels shirt off his back in the next. He was passionate about sports, about his teams. He loved the Rams, the Angels, the Lakers and UCLA. When the rest of us would be lamenting those teams' fates - as I was pissing and moaning about the Lakers to him just last week - he was always the optimistic one. He was a guy who, like most of us, would have days where the reality of this business would beat him down. But he would pull through, and be the same fun-loving, joyful guy by the end of the shift.

    He was born with a condition whose name I do not remember, and whose effects were such that he was in a wheelchair for just about his entire life. James had many surgeries as a child, and even in recent years had some days that were much worse than others, physically. But the reason I don't remember the name of his condition is because it meant less than nothing to the attitude he brought to every single day. Note that I said he was "in" a wheelchair, not "confined" to a wheelchair. He worked with the energy of 10 men, and talked smack with the wit of 20 quality comedians. His condition never affected his work, except in the fact he could not drive himself to assignments, and it certainly didn't affect his ability to have longterm relationships with pretty ladies.

    He covered high school softball; it was his baby. And, even with his physical limitations and the fact he didn't get to as many games as he would like, the one year I covered the sport, all the coaches first question was where in the hell is James. In recent months, he finally got the job he was made for, as high schools editor. And he endured all the Singleton cuts and kept perservering.

    We spoke just last week. He was upset. We talked about his grandfather's passing, spoke of getting through such times, discussed ways to honor lost loved ones by the ways we live. We also talked about the Lakers and did our usual quoting of Andrew Dice Clay to each other. But the guy who usually can be counted on to respond to "Yeah, I'm out here traveling, but my wife is back home" with "Yeah, I know, Piotr. Wanna talk to her?" was down. He was in the dumps because of his grandfather. And just as he always had come back from adversity, I assumed he would do so again, and we would speak soon.

    But we won't speak. I would give just about anything to have one more conversation with him, to call each other "DUNCE!!!" one more time, to pat each other on the back for sticking with the Lakers through the recent troubles, to just sit next to James for one more shift on the desk.

    Robert Plant's quote on the death of John Bonham is what keeps going through my head. "All I know is I had this great friend, who was so full of life and energy, and now he's gone. It's all so . . .FINAL."

    I think that's a paraphrase, but you get the point. Many of us are in shock, and I hope others who knew James post their thoughts on this thread. Thank you all for indulging my need to get some thoughts about our friend down on paper. I'm proud to have called him a friend and sometime mentor. And everything I do in journalism from here on out, I know he will be watching me and thinking of ways to improve my work.

    Rest In Peace, James. Know that everyone whose lives you touched - and that's a LOT of people - misses you terribly.
     
  2. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Jesus. He was just active yesterday. Can't recall conversing with him directly, but he came across as an extremely decent guy. RIP.

    EDIT: Is there a guestbook we can sign or some kind of memorial online?
     
  3. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Was this the 'THANKS DAD' thread?? What a terrible story...did anyone who knew him realize how devastated he was?

    God. RIP, James. I hope you find peace with your beloved dad.
     
  4. SEeditor

    SEeditor Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Sorry to hear. RIP, James.
     
  5. GBNF

    GBNF Active Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Piotr,

    I 'm not one for RIP posts, but I do send my regards to his family and friends, especially you. Sorry bud.
     
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    RIP, Tripp.
     
  7. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Here's his thread about his grandfather's death:

    http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/posts/1874644/
     
  8. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    I didn't know him, but he came across as a great guy. RIP. Piotr, that was a great tribute to someone who was obviously a close friend. My best wishes go out to you, his family and anyone else grieving.
     
  9. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Piotr, that's a hell of a tribute. This sucks.
     
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    That's terrible news. I don't know James personally, but we did speak on occasion a while ago. His humor was great, and, like Piotr said, he was very passionate.

    Back in March, he was looking for a spot in a fantasy league, and I remembered it. When I needed someone to fill an empty spot, I thought of him immediately. He was really grateful for the chance to play -- too much for something so simple, I thought. I guess that's just how he was.

    It seems really trivial, but I'll miss his contributions to this site. He was funny, smart and will definitely be missed.

    Take care, James.
     
  11. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Damn. As a Celtics fanboi, I always appreciated his commentary on the NBA finals from an L.A. fan's point of view.

    I also had an extremely influential grandfather pass away recently, so while I obviously can't understand Tripp's pain, I can say that I hope he's reunited with his grandfather now.

    RIP, you'll be missed around here.

    My condolences to Piotr and his family and friends.
     
  12. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Re: RIP (the poster known as) Tripp McNeely . . . he passed away Wednesday

    Damn, this really sucks.

    RIP James.

    He PM'd me last week to thank me for the kind words I said on the thread of his grandfather's death. Struck me as a real nice guy. I only knew him a little bit, but this really hits home.
     
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