We all have those people who had a big influence in our careers, whether it be parents or bosses or colleagues. One of them for me was Tom McEwen, who passed away at the age of 88 on Sunday.
His influence in the Tampa Bay area was incredible. Sports fans in that area owe more to him than any owner, coach or athlete.
But his influence on generations of sports hacks is even more enduring. Tom had an ego but he never let that get in the way of helping young guys navigate their way through the shark-filled waters of being a journalist. The advice he gave me during my time as a stringer for the Tampa Tribune helped make me who I am.
The last time I saw him was at The Outback Bowl and it was sad. He had lost a leg and did not look like the vibrant center of attention he was in every press box or hospitality room.
In this world we live in, too many people have streets named after them. Not Tom McEwen Boulevard next to Raymond James Stadium. They could name a dozen streets after him and not do the man justice.