In 1995, the year I graduated, I joined Phi Kappa. As it was the last months of my time, there was a little controversy about this. T Kyle King stood up for my petition to join. Since that time, two people have altered my life path more than any others. Most people would say it was a minister, a teacher, a coach, a parent. But for me, the first was T Kyle King. The other was a friend in the Air Force in Okinawa. Because of T Kyle King, I found a venue to discuss Georgia Athletics when I was a long, long ways from home, and very alone. In combat no less. And I still remember his emails (apparently better than him) that eventually spurred me to write my own emails to friends. That led to me being a better writer and a better analyst of the sports I follow.
More importantly, what Kyle began in 1995 led to a significant portion of the friends I have. Half of my friends on facebook are from Phi Kappa or Dawg Sports. To give you a counter point, Spears, of Dawg Sports, and I had a few fiery debate exchanges back in the day. Now, although Spears and I don't see each other much, we have a huge amount of respect for each other. Last year, I went to a game with RedCrake, watched the SECCG with NCT, and this year, went to a game with DavetheDawg. All because Kyle was not afraid to let friends and social groups grow, rather than build a castle and control it.
Kyle did an amazing thing, giving me a lifetime group of friends from 1995, then he upped his own game, giving me a chance to write on the best Georgia Athletics blog there is. I don't see him that much, but like all real friends, time doesn't matter when you see each other in person. The hugs and smiles are real, genuine, and from a good place. And for me personally, Kyle has taken many of my confessions and listened and helped where he could. He's heard a lot of crazy from me, and never passed judgement, never stopped caring, and kept throwing me a rope to pull myself up.
Everyone praised Kyle or his great writing and blog and knowledge when he "left" Dawg Sports. For me, I thank him for giving me the chance to expand my friends, social networks, opportunities, writing and speaking, and to maybe be a better person. This blog and my time here helped me in some really, really bad times.
Thanks T Kyle. There may not be an earthly reward I can give you, but I do believe you got a few more stars in your crown.