The tributes have poured in all morning long, from listeners, from friends, from colleagues new and old. A little after 8, Lions head coach Matt Patricia was on the other end of the line. Such was the impact of Jamie Samuelsen, who passed away on Saturday after a 19-month battle with colon cancer.
"I just want to call in and say how sad and sorry I am," Patricia said. "I wasn’t really aware of his condition until last week, and then this terrible news came so quickly right after. Just really hit me hard. Jamie’s just an amazing person. I had the fortunate blessing to have a couple in-person interactions with him and a couple in a private setting in training camp. Just a larger-than-life personality, just a genuine, wonderful, wonderful guy. Obviously your heart just aches for his wife and for his children and for their family, so just wanted to call in."
Patricia has been a periodic guest on the Jamie and Stoney Show since his arrival in Detroit in 2018. Like all of us, he came to admire Jamie quickly. He commended Stoney for broadcasting Monday morning through the pain.
"My relationship with you and the tremendous amount of respect that I have for you guys, I know the media community is hurting," Patricia said. "I know how hard it is for you to get back on and go today and how brave that is of you to be able to do that, and I appreciate that, too. But for a guy from a California who had such an impact here in Detroit, just shows you what an unbelievable person that he was."
"His message is something that we have to push on, the colonoscopy test is something that people don’t like to talk about," Patricia said. "But just personally having a lot of people that have been impacted by that type of cancer, we just have to urge everybody to be safe and to go out and make sure that everyone’s OK. But just wanted to call in. My heart really hurt when I heard the news. It was just so quick, but what an amazing guy."
It says a lot about Patricia that he called in Monday, of his own accord. The Lions actually reached out Saturday night, shortly after Jamie's passing, to propose the idea. It was an obvious yes. Football is football, but life is about people.
"Sports are great and that is our passion, and that’s the wonderful bond that we all have together, but this is really about people," Patricia said. "It’s about families, it’s about support and pulling together and just trying to make sure that everybody knows that we’re there to lean on if they need us. And then also to make sure that we get a message out that if we can do something to help other people, we should do that.
"So I just appreciate you letting me come on, I just felt compelled. Like I said, Jamie walked in the room and you knew it right away. An amazing guy, great family, I know an unbelievable work partner and just someone that would do anything for anybody. So my heart goes out to everybody that had a wonderful opportunity to meet him, but especially his family and certainly for you and everybody there."