It almost seems cruel with the bright outlook of the 2011 season on the horizon after watching so many years of turmoil, but longtime Lions beat writer Tom "Killer" Kowalski died today at age 51. If you weren't familiar with Killer's work, you either haven't read anything about the Lions in the past 30 years or you simply weren't paying attention to the bylines.
I didn't link Killer's work much here at D4L, and for good reason: he was too damn good at what he did for me to ever bash him. Kowalski was a man of the people as well: his interaction with readers both via e-mail and on Twitter is unmatched among Detroit sports writers, and he was adored by his peers as well. Even coach Jim Schwartz held a moment of silence before today's press conference in honor of Killer.
The phrase "you felt like you actually knew him" has been thrown around a lot today by the Detroit blogosphere, and for good reason: the entire Detroit community has lost a legend today. All of us at D4L offer our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Tom Kowalski.