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Alex’s Tuesday Takes – April 10, 2018

Published: Tuesday, Apr 10th 2018, 3:04pm

by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

I would like to sit here at my computer and talk football, but right now, it simply doesn’t matter. Not to me, not to Saskatchewan. On Friday evening, we saw the unthinkable happen right before our eyes as the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League had their bus hit by a semi truck on the highway going to Nipawin for a playoff game. 15 of the 29 people on the bus, most were very young men, didn’t make it out alive.

First, my sincere and deepest condolences go out to the families of everyone involved in the crash. This is something that should never happen to anyone and it happened to 29 all in a split second. I simply can’t imagine what they are going through. No parent should outlive their child. Ever. My heart breaks for them.

For those that know me, I work in News Talk Radio. When word came of this happening on Friday afternoon, I heard it was bad. We just didn’t know how bad. Now, when things like this happen, or shootings, or whatever, I first go into “News Mode”. I look for the stories and how we will tell this on air. This one was different. I had to stop and just say ‘oh my god’. There was no “News Mode”, there was only shock and heartbreak. I spoke with my show host that night and we decided to see what happens and make plans later.

The next morning I woke up and immediately checked my emails and Twitter and our fears were confirmed. 14 passengers dead (a 15th not long after). My heart sank. Like many others in the CFL family, I knew Tyler Bieber, play by play announcer for the Broncos on 107.5 Bolt FM. I received a text from a friend in mine in Saskatoon who let me know that Tyler was on the bus and didn’t make it. This was no longer a news story to me. This was real life, emotional and just too much. I cried. A lot. At least until I had to get ready to go to my other job.

Luckily for me, I had something else to sort of take my mind of things. As long as I kept busy, I was okay. The second I stopped to think about it, the wound re-opened. So I spent the majority of my day just moving, working and not thinking about it as much as possible.

Over time I’ve found that everyone grieves in different ways. I try to be that rock for my family and not let things like this come out emotionally. I feel pride in being that person in my family that can nurture and protect, but I just couldn’t. Not this time. I broke down when I watched Coach’s Corner, especially the lasting image of my friend Tyler Bieber.

Tyler and I weren’t close, in fact we only met in person a handful of times. But wow, what a remarkable young man. He lived and breathed sports and that’s what connected us in the first place. We continued to talk over the years on Twitter and Facebook as well as other online forums we were both in. I can honestly say that he was one of the smartest people I know. His one liners, quick wit and genuine smile personify him to me. He always found the positive in everything, even when my Denver Broncos beat his New England Patriots. As much as he took sports seriously, he didn’t. Sports were more of a social thing to him. It gave him reason to speak to as many people as he could. Many of you know him for running the CFL Daily website and Twitter account. Many others know him from radio and from his time spent volunteering at football camps and coaching and reffing basketball.

I was lucky to know him. My life was better knowing Tyler Bieber. Even though we didn’t speak a ton, I’ll miss NFL Sundays and CFL Friday Night chatting with him. Thank you Tyler for making this world a better place.

I didn’t know anyone else on the bus, but after the last few days, I feel like I do. The good stories of all these people are coming out and that’s where the focus should be. Sadly, we can’t change what’s happened and sadly, I’m full on into “News Mode” now, but I felt I needed to piece this together as my own personal way of grieving. Like I said, we all grieve in different ways and this is apparently my way of doing it. I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m making this about me, because there are plenty of other people that this has affected much worse and those are the people we need to keep in mind. Know that we are all thinking of you. We all share the heartbreak.

We are all #HumboldtStrong.


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