Blog Entry

Restored Faith

Posted on: July 19, 2010 5:57 pm

These past few days have been both very trying and enlightening for me.  The CBS Community has lost one of their own.  Ryan Patrich Knoch (AKA: DGNR8 on CBS Sportsline) passed away last Thursday, July 15,2010.  Ryan was born on November 1, 1973 making him just shy of 37 years old.   Ryan leaves two young sons without a father.

I personally got to know Ryan very well through our interaction here on CBS and on Facebook.  At first, he came across to me as just another loud mouthed kid just passing time on an internet message board.  We all know the type.  But it didn't take long to see past his on-line persona and get to know the real DGNR8.  It helped that I have a son of my own that is just about the same age so I had some experience in ferreting out the fluff from the substance.   Ryan was an extremely witty, articulate and passionate person and I will miss him a lot. 

But this blog (my first and my last) isn't about Ryan.  It's about relationships between people that have never met each other.  A group of CBS posters made up mainly of Browns and Steelers fans have spent the past three days on two separate threads coming together to wish Ryan's family well during this time. 

Most have expressed an interest in contributing to a college fund for his children and are wondering how to do so.  Virtually all have expressed shock and dismay over the passing of such a young man.  A few (myself included) have openly admitted to crying when they heard the news.  There have been posts citing scripture, posts recalling some of Ryan's more (shall we say) flamboyant debates, and others wishing they could have gotten to know Ryan better or sooner.  Lifelong Steelers fans flying an Avatar with a Browns motif as a show of respect.  At this writing, there have been almost 160 posts with over 4,100 views between the two threads.  Mind you, these are mainly Browns and Steelers fans.  Folks that normally go out of their way just to belittle each other!

All this for a person they have never met!  All this for a man they have never looked in the eye.  All this for someone whose hand they have never shaken.  It has restored my faith that behind that computer screen, for the most part there are good people out there.  People of flesh and blood who have the same problems as the rest of us.  People who care enough about one another that they put aside their allegiance to a particular team to become human.
Category: General

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2010 10:43 pm

Restored Faith

It is amazing the friendships that have been built over these boards.  I have been limited due to work constraints over the past year, but still people manage to keep in touch and remain friends.

Whenever I logged  on to facebook, and Ryan was there, he always sent me an IM.  Whenever I managed to make my way back here, the second I posted I got a response, and a slightly sarcastic PM from him...always.

Ryan was there to talk to me through some rough times in my life, and also there to mess with me during good times. 

Most of all though, as many of us that beach mentioned know, Ryan was just an all around great guy.  I am still shocked at what happened, having just found out yesterday, but I know that Ryan is looking down on us the Steelers fans a hard time, and reciting lines from Monty Python....

RIP Ryan were a GREAT friend....

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2010 9:57 am

Restored Faith

and if you didn't watch yourself you might just get zapped - and dam was it funny when it happened (right Lym? Smile )!

Hilarious.  Yell

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2010 9:56 am

Restored Faith

Perhaps we will all see Ryan again and for some maybe sooner than later...

Jake, Seeing as I'm older than dirt, I guess I'm one of the sooner ones.  Smile

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: July 21, 2010 7:27 am

Restored Faith

Lyman (Dan) - well said and well titled.  It is hard to understand why things like this happen, but it is comforting to know that as painful and difficult as the passing of a friend, son and father is, that God can and will use it for the good.  For us who are left behind it certainly gives us a different persepective, enables us to put our petty diffferences behind and focus on things that are much more important, some eternally so.  I know many of us have probably contacted a loved one just to say they were thinking about them and to tell them that you loved them while you have the chance.  Perhaps we will all see Ryan again and for some maybe sooner than later...

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: July 20, 2010 10:23 pm

Restored Faith

Well said.

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2010 7:35 pm

Restored Faith

Well put Lyman, puts things into perspective quickly.

I have a friend that is several years older than I who has traveled and worked in various areas and fields eventually returning home to run the family business. After several rounds of suds and shooters, followed by several rounds of suds and shooters we started to talk about the important things to us at that juncture in life.

Completely pasted and forgetting all else the one thing I remember from that night was Mark saying "the greatest wealth I have in my life is the friends I have made and kept".

I worked for him an entire summer, he owns a campground, and the people that came throughout the season that knew him made his summer simply by being there conversing and sitting by the fire with some cold ones. I met a lot of his family and friends those few months and I'm proud to say that they are all friends of mine that I will take with me no matter where life leads me.

It is the same with some of the people that I have met through talking sports on this site and others. Just reading their thoughts on various subjects gives me an escape from my daily troubles and a glimpse into whatever anyone else is going through.

I can honestly say its a pleasure to know a lot of you without ever meeting you in person.

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2010 12:44 am

Restored Faith

Like the others in here Ryan has been on my mind non-stop for the last 72 hours. I can't help wondering when he went from being a guy behind a keyboard to a true friend. I can remember certain comments and threads but I can't remember when his opinion really mattered to me. I just know that it did.

Ryan was just such a compelling figure. Prior to him reaching out to me on Facebook I was very in to my anonymity but once he found me that wall crumbled pretty quickly. He and Lym were already friends and immediately the three-way chats would begin. My one regret is that I didn't copy and paste some of those conversations. It would be great reading for some that didn't know Ryan well.

They usually consisted of Ryan telling me to say something to Lym that had a hidden meaning meant to bust his balls and then Lym telling me to tell Ryan to go f*** himself or vice-versa. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. It took all of 3-4 days to get Mano on board and then it just spread out from there ...

FOT, Hoya, Phantom, Brownskidmark, Dvldawg, Ny, Momluvs, Irish, Ravenroc, SA, Geno, Metal ....... etc.

What did they all have in common? Ryan

Some of those guys had no interest in being my friend. Some I had no interest in. Others didn't seek out Lym or Mano or FOT and so forth. But they all sought out Ryan cause no matter what he had to say, good or bad you just wanted to hear it. He was the attractive blue light and we were the flies and if you didn't watch yourself you might just get zapped - and dam was it funny when it happened (right Lym? Smile )!

I could talk about Ryan for hours and I probably will. When it comes monotonous feel free to tune me out. I think like Lym above me I'm doing it more for me than I am for others. It's painful knowing I will never talk to him again. I catch myself subconsciously clicking the chat button on the bottom right of the screen to see if he's on - and of course he's not and never will be again.

Sad times.

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2010 11:36 pm

Restored Faith

Until connecting on Facebook, the point was never acknowledged that there are good, decent people out there hiding behind these avs and teams and sports fanaticism. Ryan Knoch drove it home when he reached out and talked to me, even though we never got to know eachother like some of the very fortunate members like beach, Mano, and lyman knew him, and I'm terribly sad it had to happen like this, it's nice to have the point driven home by the overwhelming sympathy and support for someone you've never met offline, someone you've never sat around and had a beer with, someone you've never had any other connection to outside of a mouse click, and find yourself truly caring about it.

Thanks lyman for making this post and putting down what we all feel

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2010 10:12 pm

Restored Faith

You said it all, my aged friend.

They call this a community, and until these last few days I think I always took that with a grain of salt.  Having experienced the outpouring of sympathy and love for a man whom none of us had ever met, I can honestly say that I do feel like I'm a part of a community.  Even a family.

There are thousands of posters in this community that I have never interacted with and who, if they were to stop posting tomorrow, I would probably never miss.  But there is also a handful of posters, yourself included old man, that I just couldn't be as happy living without.  DGNR8, or Ryan, was one of those precious few.  His passing has hit me hard and I don't know if posting in these forums, within this community, will ever be the same for me.  I will move on and I will continue to contribute, because there are still so many of you that I care about and want to interact with, but I think I'll always feel a bit of a void in here from now on.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2010 9:43 pm

Restored Faith

As much as we say that the internet takes away from human interaction, it is truly amazing what the internet does to enable a person, of unknown importance, touch the lives of so many. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or