I feel truly lucky to have know Rich Bircumshaw as a coworker and friend. I'm still pretty speechless at the whole thing, so I've decided to "retweet" my buddy Corbu Stathes' post from today. Rich, Corbu and the other guys in the Clear Channel Sports Grotto were a pretty tight knit group, so it's a bit hard to see the leader, The King if you will, leave us. Here's Corbu's post, and check out his blog HERE.
"I've never had a friend die before.
I've had relatives pass away as well as people I knew in passing or was close to at one time, but never someone whom I had just seen two weeks ago.
That changed last night when Rich Bircumshaw passed away after suffering a stroke in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The death of "the King" as he was known around the radio stations he worked for, was sudden, unexpected and knocked me off of my feet.
Rich, who absolutely hated being called Rick and was often, was one of the greatest guys I have ever met. Sure, he could be a real S.O.B. if he was pissed off at you, but if he cared about you at all, then he cared about you forever.
He had a fuse that could be lit by a passing breeze and a wit that was even quicker. Anybody who has met Rich, heard him on the radio, or attended a function hosted by him has smiled at least once because of something he said.
Whether it was hearing that Cecil Sapp was "a grown man, dog" as he scored a touchdown or he deemed someone "worth the climb", Rich always had a way with words that could leave you shaking your head while your lips creased into a grin. His voice was truly unique in its sound and the message it delivered.
Because of his work as the News Director at Clear Channel Northern Colorado and as the Voice of the CSU Rams, Rich was known and revered all over Ft. Collins, Greeley, and all points in between. He related to the big-timers just the same as the common man or woman, giving them respect if they deserved it and letting them know if they didn't.
For me, he was a mentor and an advocate.
He was a part of many memorable and funny lunches.
He was a part of many lunches that were nothing but blowing off steam.
He was a bevy of quotes.
He was a belly of laughs.
He was a true friend if you were lucky enough to call him that.
There is no doubt in my mind that Rich got up to Heaven and Peter read off the list of people as they walked in.
"Okay, next let's go to Rick Bircumshaw."
"Uh, it's Rich, Saint Pete."
"Oh, you're right, Rich."
Rich, you were awesome, man. You will always be missed and loved.
The world is worse off without you."