Monday, March 26, 2007

In memoriam ...

Many years ago the Internet was touted as the magic bullet that would democratize the world. Reality has proven far different from uptoic/myopic dreams, but that doesn't mean that the dreamers were wrong.

Bill Simmons went from a sports fan in Boston with a Web site to the No. 1-read writer on And though many have accused him of selling out, he still remembers the fans. He posted this e-mail today on his NCAA tournament blog.

And one last e-mail from an anonymous reader in North Carolina ...

"I wanted to write you without my name or anything, just as a student of UNC. Our loss last night was tough -- some might say heartbreaking. But what's worse is that it may overshadow the death of a true Tar Heel. Jason Ray, our mascot, died this morning. He was the very first person I met at UNC. He was helping freshmen move into the dorms as a part of Intervarsity (a Christian ministry on campus). The elevators were all jammed up, so he helped me cart a refrigerator, futon, and all my other stuff (and girls have a lot of stuff) up NINE floors in the 100 degree heat. And he did it happily. We became friends and I spent a lot of time around him. He let me wear the ram head one time because I thought it'd be funny (even though I'm sure he wasn't supposed to). You've probably gotten a lot of e-mails about yesterday's game, but could you maybe mention Jason in your article, if only for a second. The world deserves to know who this person was. I don't just want him to be a 'UNC mascot dies' blurb on He was such a good person. A true friend. What every Tar Heel should aspire to be."

To the anonymous writer of this e-mail, I say, thank you. You've honored your friend, and brought honor to your university and yourself. Long live the digital democracy.

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