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RIP Sean Adams

RIP Sean Adams

Yesterday the world lost an amazing man – Sean Adams. A long-time and passionate member of sports media, a husband, father, and a friend to so many, including myself.

Sean had two beautiful children, a wife he adored and friends that could line up miles down the road. He was a genuine yet goofy soul and someone I already miss. While there are tons of tributes to Sean after his tragic and sudden passing  (an apparent heart attack that took him way too early at the age of 46) that say far more about his character and what he stood for, I want to share a personal recent story.

Sean and I met by way of sports – particularly my stint with Austin-based businesses and sports along with the Houston Texans and a few college teams we both covered.

Although I’ve had many encounters, conversations and even sports-related controversies with Sean (we didn’t always agree on play calls and such), there’s one very recent (two weeks ago) incident I want to share because I think it speaks volumes to the kind of man he was and the kind of person I need to be more like.

Somehow in the midst of Hurricane Harvey and its devastation to and around the Houston area, I became angry at Twitter. All of Twitter.

If you’re not well-versed in Twitter or the ‘twittersphere,’ this likely already sounds stupid, but hang tight. I was stranded in Australia for nearly two weeks and zoned into people and businesses using the tragedy to their advantage, make fun of it or make light of it. Being stranded in a foreign country and having to watch my hometown battle all that it did, the social media world just got to me (like it has a way of doing).

I can’t remember exactly what Sean tweeted, but it was nothing bad. Nothing rude, nothing out of line, nothing wrong at all. In fact, when I went back and re-read it, it was to help victims. I fully, 100% admit I was in the wrong here. I remember sending Sean a pretty mean tweet, followed by a text. Again, I can’t remember the exact parameters, but I knew I was in the wrong. I was just angry and he was my apparent and unassuming target. His response was what you’d expect – he stood his ground, pointed out I was wrong and even hinted I may be “tired and stressed.” He was never rude, never got angry, didn’t unfollow me or tell me I sucked at life. None of that.

I took a few hours away from social media (because Lord knows I needed to step away, say a few prayers and come back with a level head), and shortly after I texted him to apologize. I knew I was in the wrong. I knew I had said some dumb stuff to a good man, for no other reason than I was on edge and needed someone to take it out on.

I remember texting him:

“Sorry, I am super stressed. I shouldn’t be an asshole. Lots going on, my apologies.”

After 20 mins I followed up (because situations like this give me extreme anxiety, even when I’m not in the wrong, though I absolutely was this time): “Do you accept my apology?”

He responded just a few minutes later: “Of course, I do. I’m not trippin. You are good people and I’m sure you are stressed with everything. I’m talking to my brother every few hours and he’s north in The Woodlands. I get stressed, just like everybody else, so I’m cool. I’m sorry to hear about your hometown, what can I do to help you?”

Not only did my pal Sean forgive me and drop it right then and there, he wanted to help me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to help anyone that just verbally attacked me and presented themselves as a loose cannon. But that was Sean.

“Move on and be better.” That’s something he told me frequently whether giving dating advice or a bad relationship I had with an editor that seemed unsalvageable: move on and be better.

We continued to text and even yesterday morning, just hours before his tragic passing, we had a short call about a potential way to collaborate and grow my brand. It was short and sweet, but what stands out — he didn’t once bring up my bitchy comments or make me feel bad or judge me. He moved on and told me it was OK for me to move on too.

The thing I wanted to share, more than anything — I am not a quick apologizer. Whether I’m right or wrong, I usually feel justified and hold out on apologies. Sean and I weren’t super tight, although he was always open to brainstorm and help with ideas.

I cannot tell you how incredibly thankful I am that I had the courage and humility to ask Sean for his forgiveness, not to mention how thankful I am how easily he accepted it. He certainly didn’t need to. In fact, he would have been fairly justified to brush me off for a few weeks. But guess what – his time left on this earth wasn’t even a few weeks after that. I would have lost a very dear friend without having said sorry or without having had his acceptance. Although I miss him incredibly already and my heart truly, TRULY breaks for his entire family, I know he was looking out for me. Sean didn’t hold grudges.

I’m not proud that I went off for no good reason on a friend. To be completely honest, I’m ashamed. But this is a testament to the kind of man Sean was. He was slow to judge and quick to forgive, and in my world, that’s the exact kind of friend I need. And, that’s the exact kind of person I want to be.

Rest in Peace Sean – the sport’s world misses you, but we all know your kindness, patience and fervent words of wisdom extended far beyond any stadium or locker room. You were truly one of the best and I appreciate having support and guidance from a friend like you.