Dear Tyler Sash,
Since I hate sports, you know this is not a normal fan letter.
I won’t remember your athleticism as you beat our home team during playoffs when you were in high school. I won’t remember you wearing the black and gold of the Iowa Hawkeyes. I won’t even remember you as a Giant winning in the Super Bowl.
I will remember you as a good man.
You were pointed out to me at an Indian Hills Community College basketball game. I was told you were the brother of the assistant coach on the opposing team. Oh yeah…and you happened to be on the team that won the Super Bowl that year.
You wore a hat and did nothing to draw attention to yourself. It was all about your brother and his team that night.
But IHCC is a small community college and it didn’t take long for the entire crowd to know you were with us. After the game, I met the real Tyler Sash.
You greeted each person as if they were your greatest fan.
My husband and I brought over our son who was a college freshman. When your high school team played our high school team he was the ball boy. He got that coveted position because his dad had been running the chains for the local team for a couple of decades.
When I introduced him, you stepped forward and stuck out your hand as if you were meeting a celebrity. I asked for a photo and you put your arm around him and smiled as if you ran into a long-lost friend.
You were patient with me because I was unsure how to take a picture with my husband’s phone. I think it took three tries before I got that picture.
We stepped back and I watched as you greeted each person the same way. I saw the same wide smile captured on several other phones. You even looked around to see if anyone was too shy to approach you and nodded to encourage them.
You didn’t act like a celebrity that night. You acted like the friendly Iowan that you were.
It was appropriate that they laid you to rest on 9/11. That is the date so many lives were cut short in 2001. We will never forget them.
We are heartbroken that your life was cut short and we will never forget you.