My favorite moment had to be, well, meeting him. He was sitting outside at PAX 2011 smoking a cig. I was with my friend at the time who was new to Giant Bomb but had quickly became a huge fan. I saw him, and told my friend, "We should really go say hi!". My buddy was a bit nervous. I mean it was understandable, at this point he was a fairly big deal now and he probably got fans talking to him all the time. Not to mention he had to have been busy, he was at PAX running a website after all. But I know people, and I just knew it wouldn't hurt. I could tell what kind of guy he was just from looking at him, and of course from following GB since it's beginnings.
I told my friend, "Look, we'll just go say hey and tell him thank you for his work. I don't think that's a big deal". That's all I wanted to do and that's all I expected. That is not what we got. When I came up to him and said something like, "Hey Ryan! I'm sure you get it a lot, but we just want you to know that we absolutely love what you've done with Giant Bomb", and prepared to walk away, he put his cigarette out, put his phone away, stood up and shook our hands, and proceeded to pretty much say "Fuck that, we're talkin". I had a great conversation with him. About the site. About his ideals. About what he hopes he's accomplishing. And most importantly, about fun and video games. The conversation didn't stop until my friend called me aside for something. I thought I was right about him. I was wrong. I thought he was a great free-loving dude. I didn't realize how much of just an excellent person he was on top of that, one that unflinchingly stood for his values.
This picture was taken that day after around 5 minutes of talk. You just don't get smiles that real and that quick with normal people. Nah, Ryan wasn't normal. Ryan was Ryan. And he was a friend the instant I met him. I know he's still finding the humor in every single fucking thing, wherever he is. Miss you, friend. And thanks.