My nephew Tim Williams was one of the most talented young writers in the country. I am 65 and I have been in this business since the age of 12. I have been lucky enough to have won many awards over my career, but on my best day, Tim was still a far better writer than I was.
He took his role as the Managing Editor of Sports and News Talk Florida very seriously all the way up until he passed away Tuesday while visiting friends in Boston.
His last text to me on Monday was asking me to make sure that during the two days that he was going to be away from the computer that I had content for both sites covered. I replied, “don’t worry I got you.”
That was Tim a young man who was an “an old-school journalist.” Unlike many writers his age Tim hated to write the popular “click bait,” stuff like 5 Reasons Why the Bucs need to Fire Their Head Coach or 10 Reason why LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time.
400 to 800-word stories that more often than not are based on little more than a few stats and a great deal of conjecture. Tim was far more like Peter Gammons, Dick Schaap, Frank Deford, Jim Murray and the other great writers who took the time to reward readers with wonderfully crafted stories that entertained, enlightened and educated you in a way that left you wanting more.
He was not about to sacrifice quality writing for page views or forgo research for speculation. Tim was not only going to tell what the score of a game was he was going to tell you in great detail why one team was better than the other.
Tim loved covering the Lightning, the Rays, the Bucs and all areas of sports in Florida. He enjoyed working with the public relations people who he was quick to praise for the information they would provide him to make sure his research was accurate and that his stories were factual as well as entertaining.
Tim was praised for his ability to fairly report the play of the people he covered without ever making it personal. He knew that players had families and were human, that they enjoyed being singled out for their accomplishments but also understood that when Tim talked about their failures he did so in a respectful way.
Tim was proud to represent Genesis Communications, to work for Bruce Maduri. He loved working for the websites and for WWBA 820 AM the news and conversation station and WHBO 1040 AM the all-sports station, two of Tampa Bay’s most iconic radio outlets.
He was always talking about his love for the opportunity to join the radio hosts on-air. He would prepare for his spots on The Rock Riley Show, Tyler Bradley, and Tim Mallard, or Erik Kuselias as if he were getting ready for a test.
Tim never wanted to let them down and wanted each on-air opportunity to be meaningful. He loved working with the radio producers and on the news as well as the sports side.
He wanted to make sure that Dan Maduri, David Jolly and Chris Ingram all were promoted and showcased in the best possible way. He had great respect for the news operation and wanted people nationally to know how talented the hosts on WWBA 820 AM were and he recorded the videos to help make that happen.
Tim was far from perfect but he was a hard-working young man with such a wonderful future. While his sudden death was tragic those of us who love him and care about him at least have the comfort in knowing he was doing what he loved up till his final day here on earth.
I would like to take this moment to thank everyone on the Genesis team at News and Sports Talk Florida for their support and their loving comments about Tim. Also, a special thanks to the sports teams he covered and the players who took the time to share their thoughts about his interviews.
Finally, Tim would always end his calls and emails by saying “All the best.” Those seem like the best words to say goodbye to all of you who were part of Tim’s life.
“All the best.”
Here are some of Tim’s stories if you didn’t read them