I have a space in my office that belongs just to Edward, and selfishly, it gives me a reason to look up every day to say ‘Hello’. Before his death nine months ago, we communicated nearly every day about anything and everything. Countless times in the months after his death, I found myself eager to send him a message about something I was sure would make him laugh, only to remember he would never reply, and then I would relive his loss all over again. Edward left a seismic hole not only in my life, but in the lives of all those around him — family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances – and above all else, his fiancé, Katy. To know Edward is to love Edward, and that love needs a place to flourish even though he no longer walks among us.
The “Edward Aschoff Rising Star Award” provides that opportunity on a yearly basis. My friends at the Football Writers Association of America created this award as a way to honor him, borne out of love, the perfect embodiment of all that Edward represents. We need more young journalists like Edward, filled with dogged determination and a spirit that connects people to them, so they can do what Edward himself loved best – maybe even more than looking so smooth on television (!!), Edward loved stories that had heart, that showed compassion and empathy, a deep understanding of what makes us all human. He loved digging deep until he had a story only he could tell, and his long list of bylines and television clips is proof that he was exceptionally good at his job. So good, in fact, that when I look up at him, I often try to channel the energy, and the courage, he brought to his job every day.
There is no better way to celebrate that, and to push his memory forward than with this award. So that in 10 years, or 20 years, or 30 years, those of us who knew Edward best will love him all the more. And those who never had a chance to meet him, will love him all the same.