Joe Suhoski signed off from Twitter every day with a reference from Arrested Development‘s fourth season, but which functioned with a deeper meaning: Love Each Other.
I knew Joe, at least initially, as I know a fair number of people with whom I interact regularly: by his social media handle, which in Joe’s case, is @VaBeachRep. We first started chatting on Twitter when I covered the Football Championship Subdivision, and his beloved alma mater, Old Dominion, was in its inaugural season.
Joe had a genuine passion for Old Dominion’s burgeoning football program, and a deeper knowledge of FCS than plenty of college football media professionals. He contributed to a weekly roundtable discussion of FCS I hosted on a different site. It faded away, coinciding with (but not because of) Old Dominion’s move to the Football Bowl Subdivision — and I was long sad it did, because it was a good group of guys with spirited and good-natured love for the game.
Such were my interactions with Joe. I can’t pretend to know him nearly as well as others even in the social media space. I learned of Joe’s death on Monday seeing an outpouring mostly from bloggers and fans of other Conference USA programs who tailgated and took in games with Joe.
We briefly talked of the possibility of meeting up for a beer and some in-person football talk; Joe worked in San Diego from time-to-time, an easy drive for me to make from the north. The timing never aligned, and I missed out on hearing some serious C-USA knowledge from someone who was invested in it.
That was something I admired about Joe. He wasn’t paid to know the teams, and as a fan of a specific program, didn’t need to be fully invested in Conference USA. But he wasn’t myopic. I can’t nor will not try to speak to his motivations, but a byproduct of his enthusiasm was that he could chat with a variety of other fans comfortably and build relationships as a result.
In Joe’s upbeat and friendly attitude is an example we can all follow. Our love for the game is a common ground that can lead us to the three important words Joe tweeted each day: Love each other.