There are some momentous things in life you remember in minute detail where you are and what you are doing when it happens.
9/11 was a day like that for me, so was the day I learned I was going to be an Uncle. Today is going to be one of those days for me and I suspect for many of us here.
I can't say that I knew the man or ever met him (although after consuming what feels like 1000+ hours of media with him in it it's hard not to feel like I do) but it doesn't take a genius to see the massive outpouring of support to see just how great and special Ryan really was.
4500+ comments on the Giant Bomb story, Traffic bursts that have brought the site down so many times it's taken me more than 8 hours to be able to post, Dozens of much better written blogs than mine her on Giant Bomb, Massive threads on Neogaf reddit and other gaming forums, Tribute articles from the biggest names in gaming media, mentions in national media such as Reuters & The New York Times and for awhile Many more that I'm sure I don't know about.
All for a guy who hosted a podcast about video games and random nonsense. On the outside looking in that seems insane. Significantly more famous people don't get anywhere near that kind of notice and especially not this kind of universal acclaim. But if you knew Ryan Davis or even know of him it makes total sense. The man was beloved for good reason.
Because this is a man who lived life the way it should be lived. He was totally unafraid to be himself and totally unafraid to express his feelings positive or negative in a way that very very few people ever do. WYSIWYG with Ryan. He was 100% genuine, if he thought you mispronounced "executable" in a really stupid way he'd let you know it (loudly), if he thought your shit was great you better believe he let you know it as well. But most of all he was fun. He loved to laugh and have a good time. His twitter is 100% full of things Ryan found amusing, and judging by the volume of his tweets Ryan was a very amused man.
The story of Giant Bomb's founding is a well known one now. But Ryan's role in its' founding is perhaps sometimes underlooked if such a thing is possible. Ryan in many ways I felt was the heart/engine of this place, you could really feel his true belief in Jeff and what these guys do. When he hosted podcasts it felt like he was not only hosting but pushing things forward. His feelings and respect for Jeff were palpable in his goodbye blog at gamespot
Would Jeff and the gang even with all their talent been able to pull the greatest comeback in gaming journalism without Ryan's supportive-ness and ebullient enthusiasm? I sincerely doubt it.
And that's the kind of man he seemed to be to those who knew him well from all accounts. Behind the larger than life personality and barbed wit was also a kind, welcoming and loyally steadfast man.
Looking in from the outside he was the validation, the believer that gave Jeff and the rest the resolve to take the risk and be themselves in a way that made them who they are. To cut loose and fuckin go for it. He was the enabler of awesome.
He was the tastemaster, if he liked something it became a thing here. In many ways he subtly set the tone and tenor of the place that became Giant Bomb's community. He was the alpha of energy, his laugh was so infectious that any who heard couldn't help but smile. And when he hated something, somehow his jovial way of doing so also you made you smile. There was no malice in the man. But most of all you couldn't help but enjoy Tuesday nights, when his familiar baritone announced the beginning of three hours playful verbal riffing in the best podcast known to mankind.
Ryan is gone now, but it's us who is our poorer off for it, not him. He S-ranked the time he had here on Earth. I have no doubt he would have preferred to have had more, but what he did have, he lived to the fullest.
For me I feel like I know
We live it up the way he'd want us to while toasting him and his memory.
We should all live our lives the way he did. We should love like he loved, share like he shared, welcome like he welcomed and especially laugh like he laughed.
We should all be like Ryan Davis.