I read where Stephen King said he is at his best as a writer when he has a little friend standing in the corner of his office just hanging out. He isn't always there and doesn't know when he will come or go.
King just knows that when he is there, magic will likely occur and he writes as fast and as much as he can. Those are the times when King knows he is at his best as a writer.
While I would never compare myself to King, I can relate to him as far as not knowing when my creative muse will come or go. I do know that it hasn't been with me since Wednesday and I don't see it coming back anytime soon.
Instead, I find myself trying to write with my heart. It's a heart that was broken with the news that my colleague, top assistant coach, and more importantly, my dear friend was found dead in his house Wednesday afternoon.
Two days later, I am still in shock and can't believe that he really is gone.
He has been with me through two divorces, a cancer scare, the birth of my four daughters, and some ups and downs on the football field. Through it all, it has been his incredible wit and big heart that I will remember most.
We started coaching together in 1997 and despite the fact I was his head coach, I realized that he knew more about football than I would likely ever know. Any question I might pose about how to defend an opponents' offense or how to attack a defense, Bill always had the answers.
After he had spent four years at another school, I was able to talk him into returning to my staff this past year as my defensive coordinator. He had just finished a season where his team went 0-10 and the coach he worked for had announced his retirement.
It seemed like a good move for him as one of his losses he suffered a year ago came against my coached-team. However, this year we struggled with numbers in our program and finished with just one win.
Our lack of success had nothing to do with Bill as he was as good of a coach as any I have ever worked with before. He was also the same 'ole Bill as far as humor goes.
During our last game and facing the team he coached a year ago, we were losing by three touchdowns midway through the third quarter. After another failed offensive possession, Bill could tell that frustration was getting the best of me and put his arm around me. He then said the only thing that could have got a laugh out of me at that moment.
"You think this is bad for you?" he asked.
"What do you mean, Bill?"
"I could be over on the other side of the field right now kicking your ass. But, I chose to come and work for you. I feel worse than you could ever feel."
He then flashed me a little smile and walked away. While watching him head down the sidelines, I laughed and was thankful that he had come back to work with me again.
I just wished it lasted longer than one season. I am going to miss the hell out of him.