Eulogy - Tyler Bieber

Tyler Bieber's eulogy was presented at his funeral by Dave Hill and is a part of the Humboldt Broncos memorial page with permission from his family.

Brian Kusch did not want to hire Tyler when Tyler interviewed for a radio announcer position at BoltFm in 2014. In fact, after Tyler left Brian,the station manager, told Andy Cohen and Mike Saretsky, who had both sat in, "Well we can't hire that guy...Can you imagine a radio personality with no personality.... ".

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Anyone who spent any time around Tyler Bieber knows his demeanor could best be described as low key... really low key.

Brain, although not impressed, was a professional and knew full well that the next step in the process was to contact references. Shaun Gardiner, Tyler’s former teacher was at the top of the list.

“You got to hire him Brian, he will be great for the station and the community”

“But Shaun, he was so quiet, so unassuming.”

“Hire him Brian, you won’t find anyone as dedicated, loyal and kind. He can do the job.”

It was on that recommendation that Tyler Bieber started his radio career.

Tyler Bieber was born to parents Marilyn and Terry on February 9, 1989 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Humboldt. He grew up with oldest sister Candy, older brother Brandon and younger brother Brett in the family home on 16 th
Street. He attended Humboldt Public School from Grades K-8 before moving on to Humboldt Collegiate Institute where he graduated from in 2007.

Following graduation Tyler worked in Humboldt for the next couple of years at Extra Foods, IGA, and South 20. Next, he moved to Regina to take a sales position at River City Sports which eventually turned into a management position.

At that same time Tyler started the CFL daily.ca website and CFL daily Twitter account where he aggregated and shared CFL news that focussed mainly on players, trades and prospects. His writing and insights caught the attention of the league’s official website CFL.ca where Tyler was asked to write some articles. He also got to do some pre-game interviews for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In 2014 Tyler was accepted into the Western Academy of Broadcasting College in Saskatoon. He moved back to Humboldt and before starting school he got the call from BoltFM. He started doing the weather, then the sports, he got better and better and finally did the morning show. His wit and humour showed and served him well.

Of course sports was one thing that defined Tyler … a passion for sports.

Where did it start? I asked his mother, Marilyn. “People don't believe me but this is true. When he was two years old he would go outside every day and get the Star Phoenix from Lyndon our paperboy. He would bring it in, sit down at the table and stare at the sports page, every day.

Tyler’s introduction to sports was actually WWE wrestling in the living room with the siblings. Candy would jump on the winner start tickling and she wouldn't stop tickling until well, I won't finish the story but Brandon and Brett can fill you in later.

Tyler's passion for sport was solidified in high school where he and friend Jason Ottman served as equipment managers, trainers, and statisticians for the Mohawk football team. Never complaining, hard-working and dedicated, they carried out their duties in August heat and November cold.

First to be there, last to leave… being part of the program meant being part of the team. Tyler was the epitome of preparedness. He always wore receiver gloves, cleats and Under Armour to every practice and game. It was like he was ready to go in if the coaches needed him. Coach Shaun Gardiner’s son Reid was in grade 2 or 3 at that time and would often come to practise in full gear with his Dad. Tyler would take time to make up drills for Reid and later Shaun would see the pair building forts out of the blocking pads and tackling dummies.

In 2007 Tyler was a key organizer in a One Day, One Game Fundraiser in which he and a number of friends raised $5500 for Special Olympics playing shiny for 12 hours straight. Tyler was the push to put the proceeds toward Special O and spent hours preparing for the event. His friend Justin Lockart said. “Competitive to the end he was just as intense in hour eleven as he was in hour one.”

When Tyler moved back to Humboldt in 2014 he became a Mohawk once again. In the years since he has volunteered to coach the girl’s flag football team with his friend Sam Schlitz. He coached the last three seasons of Mohawk basketball with his friend Ron Roach, the first at the junior level in the last two with the senior boys. Ron said it was crazy, he had a presence… the gym would be loud and I would scream instructions for the players and they would never hear me but Tyler could sit on the bench and quietly whisper one word and all five heads would turn in his direction.

It was Mohawk Football however, that Tyler really enjoyed. For the last three years he volunteered to be the Mohawks receivers coach, still dressed in his same uniform; the gloves, the cleats, the Under Armor. The coaches to a man were unanimous in their praise for Tyler.

Dedicated.

Players loved him.

He made everyone better.

Trustworthy.

He built players up. He built us coaches up.

Tyler had a saying for the guys went to receiver ran the wrong route, or the offence turned it over, or that official on the far side line blew another call, “You gotta rise up boys!”

He was the first come, the last to leave.

The coaches too remember Tyler at the all-important post game debriefs when they dissected the game, plan strategy for the next week and no doubt discussed that blown call by the official on the far sideline, all over some cold refreshments. Tyler would never say a word just sit there and listen with that stupid grin. He was always the first one there and the last one to leave.

Tyler also volunteered at the Kelly Bates Football Camp since its inception several years ago. He also coached at the Senior Bowl at the provincial level and in a few weeks from now he was set to coach twice a week at the Saskatoon Minor Football Academy.

Yet another sports passion was flag football. Tyler played in and served as vice president of the Humboldt Flag Football League. He did everything from scheduling, to handling insurance, to being league spokesman. In talking with his teammates I found out he was competitive but always within the bounds of fair play. He wouldn't quit or celebrate until the game was over and not surprisingly they told me he was the first come and the last to leave.

He was competitive. Tyler text his teammate Evan Nyhus after preseason game at 1 o'clock in the morning.

“Can't sleep, you up?”

Evan replied “yes.”

Tyler: “We can't run a four two for the rest of the season. It won't work against these guys.”

The strategizing carried on late into the night.

“One time Tyler and I spent six hours making up and going over plays for the team,” Evan said. “Next day I looked at the play sheet and only one of my plays was on there, the rest were all Tyler's.”

Mohawk Coach Cory Popoff talked about that competitiveness matched with fairness. “We played poker and he would do everything within the rules to win. I never beat him once head to head, you couldn’t read him. He loved it.”

Even at poker Cory said he was the first to come and the last to leave.

Tyler's personality, that didn't shine through during his Bolt interview, was a truly a beautiful thing. Friends and family describe him as quirky, goofy, loyal, dedicated, a true friend, you could tell him anything and you knew he wouldn't tell me anyone else. If he was comfortable with you he would share his wit, cutting humor, maybe even prank you. Tyler loved to one up his friends … everything from hanging hotdogs from the ceiling of a coworkers office to plastering a buddies car with Carolina Hurricanes stickers after NHL Stanley Cup win or how about those ever popular Andy Cohen t shirts. He was ruthless. Of course, if you ever got the best of him he would never acknowledge it, he would just quietly walk away with that smirk.

Tyler beamed when he talked of recent sports trips to Miami and Boston to see his beloved New England Patriots and Tom Brady among others. His Regina buddy Ryan James said the trips were filled with sports games and sports bars.

“At every bar we went to Tyler made friends with the bouncer.” he said, “I think he just wanted to make alliances in case something went down.”

It was no secret that Tyler didn’t really yearn to be the Humboldt Broncos play by play man. He was happy to do it but when originally asked he was concerned that it would cut into his volunteering and coaching. His manager Brian was able to work with him and schedule other announcers when Tyler was away coaching a Mohawk team. “He was rough at the start.” says colour man Dan Torwalt. “But he got better fast. He became more and more confident, prepared, full of stats and stories. He loved talking to the players and coaches.”

And of course family too was important to Tyler. He loved them all and was so thoughtful. Last Mother’s Day Marilyn was away on a fun trip to Nashville. When she opened her suitcase a card from Tyler fell out. At the same time he was on air back in Humboldt wishing his Mom a “great and happy Mothers Day. I love you Mom.” On Monday, Brandon looked through Tyler’s room gathering memories. In Tyler’s closet Brandon found his old Vancouver Island Raiders Junior Football team playbooks.

“I didn’t remember even giving him those but he kept them, probably used them to make up flag football plays.” he laughed.

Not too long ago at BoltFM Brian asked Tyler to figure out how many hours Tyler had volunteered that week. Tyler came up with 22 hours, an average week. Brian, the guy who wasn’t sure about hiring Tyler, used that information to nominate Tyler for Humboldt’s Junior Citizen of the Year.

Brian cited the involvement with the Mohawks saying Tyler Bieber is Mohawk Athletics, as well as, the Humboldt Flag Football and helping Big Brothers Big Sisters set up a new program through their organization which uses the role of mentors to help boost self-confidence, self-esteem and an active and healthy lifestyle for boys age 11 to 14. Tyler, Brian wrote, is a major asset to our community.

I wish I had time to share all of the incredible and genuinely funny stories family and friends have shared with me this week. To say Tyler was loved and respected by his friends and community would just begin to explain the effect he had on all he knew.

With great sadness we know that this time Tyler will not be the last to leave.

You gotta rise up, Tyler!

God Bless.

© Copyright Humboldt Journal

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