Podcast Picks: The Ringer Podcast Network's Tributes to Jonathan Tjarks
Multiple podcasts // theringer.com
Following the death of basketball writer and podcaster Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer (his media home for the past few years) filled their programming with tributes. Shows like The Mismatch did extended segments, while all Ringer podcasts had a dedication at each episode's beginning along with a call for family donations. The Bill Simmons Podcast invited several of Tjarks' friends onto the show, where they dove deep on what made the man special. From his humble blogging beginnings, to his penchant for unique and nuanced basketball "takes," to heartbreaking final interactions, it's an honest discussion about processing grief. As relayed by J. Kyle Mann, despite being in his final days, Tjarks was still content and happy talking about the recent FIBA international basketball tournament. It's a heart-wrenching story, yes, but there's slight relief knowing he still took solace in basketball during times of great pain.
Despite podcasting being an intimate relationship — you're spending hours and hours with someone's voice, after all — we can still forget that you're listening to human beings and that loss will inevitably impact them. I'll miss hearing Tjarks talk about the Dallas Mavericks (his favorite team), and I'll miss him previewing the NBA Draft. I'm sure his friends and family will miss him much, much more, and it was inspiring to hear them talk about that loss.
You can donate to Tjarks' family, here: gofundme.com/f/Lets-help-our-friend-jonathan-tjarks