Thompson remembers Tucker

Editor's Note: Longtime BASS Senior writer Tim Tucker was killed Monday, July 16, in an automobile accident near Gainesville, Fla. His contributions to our sport were immeasurable, and he will be deeply missed by everyone who loves bass fishing.

The first interaction I ever had with Tim Tucker was on an internet message board. I had heard of Tim, many stories in fact, and to tell you the truth I was a little scared of him. I was working as a producer on the FLW Tour back then and someone on the internet had found fault with the fact that I was fishing an event as a co-angler. A melee ensued and Tim Tucker came to my defense. I'll never forget that.

Here was this guy that I had heard stories about — the hard-boiled writer who was tough as nails and held no quarter for any shenanigans when it came to the sport of bass fishing. And if there were lines drawn in the sand between the supporters of the two leagues in bass fishing, Tim definitely came down on the side opposite which I was standing at the time. Yet he sprang to the defense of a woman he did not know on a public message board known for it's ruthlessness toward anyone who disagreed with the pack.

He was a teddy bear.

We later became fast friends with a mutual respect that was drawn from our interest in and passion for the sport. We shared many laughs, gossiped while waiting for countless weigh-ins to start and celebrated the successes of our friends in the sport — both in front of the cameras and behind. Tim ruffled some feathers along the way, but no one could ever doubt where his heart was. He wanted only the best for the anglers he followed all over the country.

When I got the call today that Tim had passed away, it was like a kick in the stomach. You know, whenever these kinds of tragic events happen, it always occurs to me that none of us ever knows how fast we are hurtling towards the end. In my mind I envision it as an object moving at mach speed, with all the associated fireworks and sound effects, and then coming to an abrupt stop at a brick wall. Where it doesn't matter that you were late to that last appointment, or that someone dogged you out at the office last week, or that you had a spat with your spouse over something inconsequential, or that you haven't returned that email you meant to answer. We all race through life. Literally race. And when the end comes, most of the things we are so preoccupied with … don't matter.

I know that Tim was head over heals about his twins and that he spent a lot of time with them. He talked about them all the time. He seemed to have mastered the balance of work and life. His kids are around 10 years old so, thankfully, we can hope that his influence on them will be felt throughout their lives.

But at the end of the day, the little stuff really does not matter, does it? Most of us will never know when the carousel will stop turning. Or when an ordinary afternoon will turn into a life changing event for the people who love us. It's an old cliché but I think Tim would agree that we all need to take stock of our blessings and make sure the ones we love know the depth of our feelings and why we hold them dear.

I hope he had no regrets. And I'm glad the last words that Tim and I spoke to each other were kind ones.