September is always a bittersweet month for me. It is a month filled with joy and it is a month filled with sadness.
It has been two years since the day we learned that Bobby Rhine was taken from us all. I'll never forget that day. A quiet Tuesday morning for myself, planning my second wedding anniversary for the following evening, quickly turned into a lost day.
I received a text from our old pal Daniel Robertson saying he had been told of the news about Rhine's passing and then moments later I got another text from a friend at FC Dallas stating the same thing. With each text I didn't believe it. After all it had only been a couple short weeks since I had last seen Bobby and had a nice long chat with him.
I thought there was no way that this could be true but it certainly was the case. Gone in an instance. I told myself, this simply couldn't be possible, he was too young, in too good of shape, he has a family, an amazing wife and two beautiful young kids.
I always think to myself when I enter the press box of FC Dallas Stadium that Rhine will be in the broadcast booth, waiting to say hello with a friendly smile.
Rhine was always good to me over the years since I had moved to Dallas. Even in my early days of covering the team he was always someone that I could talk to after games or at practice. In a way he was miles ahead of some players in a sense that he got where soccer reporting was going with blogs instead of newspapers. Heck, he told me that a time or two.
He was always willing to throw a compliment my way, even if I had been a critic of his play on the field or his comments in the booth. We discussed how I did soccer radio during my college days, so he was always willing to bounce thoughts off me because of that.
The thing I remember most about him was his personality. If you ever met the guy, you know what I am talking about. He had a way to lighting up a room when he entered it. He was an ambassador for the club and the league thanks to his personality - something the club has lacked in the two years since his passing.
I haven't written much about him since his passing. I recall having to write up a short memorial-type piece for SBNation.com's soccer hub, something I struggled through at the time.
Many things have been written on this blog and other places over the last two years too. I totally encourage you to go read this piece on MLSSoccer.com today from Nick Firchau. Holy smokes, it is good. It will get you choked up though, so a bit of warning, grab a tissue.
I know for myself today, I'll go home hug my wife, call my parents and play with my dog. Life is too short not to do those little things. I'd also be lying to you if I said writing this was easy.
Thanks Bobby, you taught me and so many others. We all miss you. #BR19