Ive known of Mav707 for quite a while.
I met David M. Young at his funeral.
Mav707 was a moderator for us at GoGamecocks.com. As Dwayne McLemore mentioned earlier Friday in a story on the site, being a moderator is a thankless task that can be carried out only by a truly devoted and passionate individual.
David Young was a truly devoted and passionate individual.
David, 59, passed away on Monday, a victim of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound during a hunting trip.
Everything was on the upswing in Davids life when God came swiftly for him this past Monday. He had put his affairs in order, overcome some of lifes inevitable obstacles and, in a couple weeks was to marry Josie, a beautiful dark-haired gal who goes by carolinalover on the GG.com message boards.
David and Josie were excited about spending the autumn and winter of their lives together.
They were on the phone together when David was taken.
Davids sister Linda spoke of how the huge, extended Young family constantly jockeyed for position during evenings of great debate.
Speaking of her brother and her family during Fridays memorial service, she said, We like to tell a story and we like to tell it again.
We jockey to talk and we are not polite about it, she added with a grin.
It was a fascinating revelation, for to be a moderator on a fan message board, you must be the opposite of this. You must be patient. You must sit back and allow threads to unfold at their own pace, keeping everyone honest.
At the risk of going entirely off-track, I need to say this: Back when the Internet first gave rise to the fan-backed message board, we in journalism circles scoffed. Most were filled with fanatical ramblings of conspiracy-driven team patriots. Rumor dominated truth.
And people were mean. Very mean. It was quite easy for us in the biz to scoff and mock.
But something happened on the way to irrelevance. The paradigm shifted. As we all became more proficient at working the Web, as more and more outlets began pumping information into cyberspace and as social media went from a folly to a revolution, message boards became something greater.
Today, they are a wonderful source of information. They provide us in journalism with a good idea of what everyone is talking about and what they want to talk about. A lot of my comrades in the business will not like it when I say this, but I believe it to be true:
The only thing that separates some of us from the best of the message board posters is access and connections to necessary sources.
Mav707 was the facilitator in all of this. By picking and choosing topics, he drove the USC sports communitys discussion. He had a particularly good knack for highlighting the important passages in any of our stories. He displayed an acumen every bit as savvy as one of our editors.
Like Mav707, David was a pure fan. At his service, pictures of the Gamecocks were interspersed with portraits from the family album. His enthusiasm for the school was an extension of who he was in life.
Cousin Billy, who lives in Israel, sent Linda an email, which she read at the service. In it, he said visiting David when he was young often meant firecrackers and movies and every hug usually was a feint to take Billy down with his latest ju-jitsu move.
Billy felt like the most important person in the world, and I felt like I deserved it not because I had an over-developed sense of self-importance, but because David made me feel that way.
Mav707 did that for everyone on the GG.com board. I dont think anyone can deny that.
David liked chocolate, fried chicken, hot dogs and the Gamecocks.
And, my, oh, my, he loved Josie.
On their wedding day, Josie and David had planned to dance their first dance to Kenny Rogers Lady
In my eyes I see no one else but you
Theres no other love like our love
And yes, oh yes, Ill always want you near me
Ive waited for you for so long.
Davids brother Tom stepped in for David as Fridays service came to a close and he and Josie danced the dance. It was potent, moving, tearful, tender and breathtakingly beautiful.
David and Josie found each other, if only for too short a season. But they will meet again.
And Mav707, your memory will live on with every post on every message board of Gamecock Nation.