Alex Hoegler: Site Expert
I still remember reading the Vancouver Province every day during school while I was in Grade 6. That’s when I started reading and following sports journalism, and there was one man who really spoke to me more than anyone else in the industry.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading so many world-class sports writers in my lifetime, but Jason Botchford stood out differently than everybody else. He was never afraid to be creative and humorous in his writing. It’s never easy mixing those two qualities in sports journalism, but “Botch” always made it happen.
How much did Botchford mean to me, even though we never met in person? Any time he liked one of my tweets (usually an attempt to get into the Provies or Athletties), it made my day and made me feel special. That’s how big of a deal Botchford was.
Even when it was midnight and time for bed, I stayed up refreshing the page; waiting for Botchford’s articles to come out late at night. I always game 82, because it meant six more months until we got to read the Provies and Athletties again.
Botchford inspired me to always be true to myself. Always right how you feel; don’t write something just for the sake of pleasing everybody. If you do that, you’re not going to go far. You simply have to write what you feel and think. Simple as that.
It’s impossible to guess where bloggers and other journalists would be today without Botchford. A quick scroll through Twitter, and you’ll find many prominent Vancouver-based writers who detailed how Botchford helped them.
You simply don’t replace Jason Botchford; a caring husband and father. The world lost a great man, and we can only be thankful for everything he did. Botchford will never be forgotten. He leaves behind a legacy that we can only try to achieve ourselves.