Honoring the life of Kevin Kyes (MaizeMan)…
Been trying to write this several times since Dog texted me at 10:30pm Wednesday night. It kind of hit me a lot harder than I thought it would to be honest. My wife (Dawn) woke up early and saw I was up which is normal since I am an early riser, but could tell something was wrong. Didn’t work that morning because of the weather conditions (construction) and told her the terrible news.
I couldn’t sleep at all that night after texting Dog back and forth a few more times. I kept thinking about his family/friends and all the times we spent together. Thinking I should have called him earlier and talked to him, or text him a lot more this year. Last time I chatted with him was 3-4 weeks ago and of course had to deal with Michigan football and revolved around the quarterback situation.
Like most here and elsewhere MaizeMan (Kevin) was an online pal whether you ever met him or not. He was very informative and gave people a chance to see the inside of Michigan football in his own eyes whether information that was given to him or information he gathered himself. He had a huge following which he took a lot of slack for no reason a lot of times. He never allowed it to get to him either (it bothered me more than him at least what he showed) or even cared about it. It was his opinion in most cases so he didn’t care what people thought about it. One guy was so jealous of the man that he would take his information, twist it around, re-write his stuff, and post it as his own to remain an insider, but enough about that.
Most only knew Kevin from being online, on a message board, or receiving his emails and once in a while answering questions from personal messages. My wife asked me how long did you know him and honestly can’t really put a number on it besides 20 some years. We were friends on several different message boards before creating what we have today at GBMW. I got to meet the man, got to become friends with him, and honestly was one of my buddies when all said and done. We had some good disagreements back in the day (for example … Devin vs. Denard), but I always respected the man even if I didn’t share his thoughts and I believe he did the same with me as well.
I contacted his wife (Connie) on Christmas Eve with some text messages and she sent back a heartfelt message letting me know that Kevin always loved talking with me, meeting me, and dishing about Michigan football. He had 6 grandchildren that all called him PaPa and wanted to spend more time with them when he was going to retire soon.
A few posters who were jealous or didn’t like his information made fun of Kevin and had no idea what he did. Kevin never liked to correct people or even attack others even when it was misinformation about the man (again would tick me off to be honest, but he begged me to let it go). He didn’t care because it was only an online deal and he just wanted to share information he gathered to people that wanted a closer look at Michigan football.
He worked for the Bunn corporation (not a janitor like so many believed or kept spouting off elsewhere) who traveled all over the place. Usually whenever he was in the area he would give me a call to see if we could meet for lunch/dinner, just chat and get together on his way by or heading home to break up the long drive back to Pelham, Alabama.
Kevin was a kind man that was too good in some ways because he could have corrected people very easily on so many accounts, but didn’t care. In some cases if he corrected things it could have cost him access to the program so he let it go because it was more important for him to have access than care what some people thought about him or his information. This is why so many posters loved the guy because he just told them what he saw and let them form their own opinions. He would never try and correct people on various things (something I need to work on) because it is their opinion.
I will truly miss the man not for his online information, but for his friendship and honestly he is one of the most kind people I have met. Really miss the times we spent chatting online, talking on the phone/text messages, or in person. We had some good times watching what we both love Michigan football. Getting an inside look of Michigan football and sharing that with many people was a great joy. Going to the Michigan football coach’s clinics and spending 3-days together was always a highlight of spring football for me. I went to other practices without him and I missed it to be honest or didn’t feel the same. We got to watch Michigan football up close, talk to coaches, talk with each other about life, family, football, eat/drink and have a good time while meeting people there.
We created a little group that included CoachBT, Doc4Blu, my brother WerlsWolverine, and many others to form the site we currently have now along with MaizeMan. We started going to the spring clinics and became an annual thing for us with different people along the way. The little group expanded when we met up with Morencie124, TWebber55, SteveDeace, and several others. I am truly sorry if I forgot anybody during that time period.
The group kept on expanding throughout the years even when I couldn’t go and that was always great because more fans could actually get an up close look at Michigan with O-Dog510, EnergyBlue1, Gomer767, and Mongoose0614. Again, sorry if I left anybody out, but Kevin loved that part of it because he thought it was special and wanted to share it with more and more people. At first, I was hesitant because of our access at that time, but Kevin said these are good people and we should share it with them because they are just like us — FANS.
He always loved when CoachBT would come to the spring clinics with us because he would tell me he can’t figure out the offensive / defensive lines when trying to tell posters. He would always love Coach’s perspective and make it easier to try and share information with the board and be as accurate as he could. One year we did chats after the clinics which turned into late night affairs especially when we had to be up so early in the morning for meetings, practices, and “chalk-talks” which was a way of saying eating, drinking, and talking football.
The one thing I will miss is when Kevin would call and say “hey I am going to be in Findlay for a meeting Thursday afternoon” or some other town how far away is it for you, can we meet up for dinner, etc… Those were some of the best little get togethers because they were out of the blue. I wish they happened a lot more frequently and be honest more recently as well.
I will miss my friend Kevin, but will celebrate and remember the good times we shared … GO BLUE!!