Austin Meek reflects on fatty4ksu
If I’m ever feeling discouraged, I try to remind myself how fortunate I am to make a living writing about sports, something many people happily do for free. It’s ridiculous, if you think about it, and the only reason our economy supports such a job is because of the true, passionate fans in this world. These are the people who read every word, know every recruit and use sports as a way to create community with others. People like Shwan, in other words.
I didn’t know him well, but I remember meeting him several years ago at the old Manhattan Classic AAU tournament. I was relatively new on the beat and still hadn’t found my place. I recognized him by his Internet moniker, which is a testament to his talent and creativity. (I didn’t recognize Trim; nothing personal, pal.) He wasn’t the guy I’d pictured, which seems like a common response from people meeting him for the first time. He probably knew far more about the beat than I did, but he went out of his way to be nice and make me feel at home covering K-State. I always remembered that.
I won’t deny having mixed feelings about how the Internet has affected discourse in sports. At its best, though, the Internet can be an outlet for creativity, a home for humor and insight, and a place where people come together in genuine community. Shwan embodied all of those things.