It was a year ago Friday that Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bryan Burwell lost his short battle with cancer, dying at just 59.
And his passing was mourned not only locally, but nationally as we as an overflow, standing-room crowd packed a memorial service for him a few days later.
It was a mixture of laughter and tears as a pioneer in sports journalism was fondly remembered over two days.
Many of those he worked with in St. Louis attended plus numerous well-known members of the national media. Among that group: James Brown, Michael Wilbon, Stephen A. Smith, William Rhoden, David Aldridge, Charley Steiner and J.A. Adande.
Others paying their respects included Blues chairman Tom Stillman (who stood during the nearly two-hour memorial service), Rams coach Jeff Fisher, Rams general manager Les Snead, Missouri Valley Conference commissioner Doug Elgin and Southern Illinois University Carbondale basketball coach Barry Hinson.
“I’m upset that St. Louis never understood how big he was on the national level,’’ said KTVI sports director Martin Kilcoyne, who worked with Burwell on some of his appearances on Channel 2. “He never acted like he was that guy.’’
But Burwell’s wife, Dawn, jokingly shot back — “only at home!”
Burwell was that kind of guy.
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