As Rich Eisen explained in his own tribute on NFL Network today, the sport of NFL feels like a family, as this was never more evident that last night when the sad news was announced that we had lost Chris Wesseling. A man so loved in and around the sport that his name was trending in many countries around the world. We wanted to be able to pay our our tributes to Chris and his beautiful family.
Liz Bhandari (@nflgirluk)
This is absolutely heartbreaking. Thinking of @LakishaJackson, baby Linc and family, and the @AroundTheNFL team.
Wess appeared on my podcast last year. We talked about how he came to land the job at AroundTheNFL, how much they all meant to him. And at the time of recording, Lakisha was nesting and Linc was due in the coming weeks. He was so happy.
It’s crazy to think he is now gone.
Duncan Terry (@duncanjterry)
It feels so strange to be so sad at the loss of someone I have never met, but in listening to Chris and his Around the NFL colleagues several times a week, I hear from them more than most of my own friends. They not only tell us about the NFL, but also let us into their personal lives.
The biggest influence Chris had on me was the desire to take what I do in my writing and podcasting seriously, never to ‘phone it in’ and always make sure I was precise in what I was saying, always doing my research.
I will also remember with fondness episodes of the ATN podcast where Chris and Lakisha summed up the previous nights game while handing out Halloween candy to children, cutest thing ever.
Stuart Taylor (@stuie17)
In my professionial life I’ve dealt with illness and death more times than I’ve cared to remember. I’ve always been able to empathise and show compassion but then move on. There was always someone else who required my care or attention. The passing of Chris Wesseling felt different.
I’ve never met Wess, nor have would I ever pretend to know him. However, every day whilst driving home from work I used to listen to Wess and the rest of heroes. The sound of ‘Hey Dan’ followed by the time I spent listening allowed me to forget about some of the more harrowing aspects of my job and get my mind into the mode of being ‘Dad and Husband’ by the time I get home. For this, I will be forever grateful.
A humble, intelligent, articulate man who was clearly devoted to Lakisha and Lincoln he will be sorely missed by all of those who lives he touched, in whatever way. Rest easy, Wess.
Bryan Dickie (@I_am_beej)
Chris Wesseling is a big part of the reason I had a go at writing. His sharp whit, incredible metaphors and love of the sport makes for unmatched analysis. Inspiring. But much more than that; his kindness, compassion and warmth for others is the first thing that comes to mind. Rest in peace
Chris Lawton (@CFLfanUK)
When the sad news broke that Chris Wesseling had passed it took a moment to process. Not because I knew him personally, because of course I did not. But in many ways for myself, and others it felt like we knew him. We felt we knew him because he was a brilliant presence in the NFL community.
NFL fans around the world like to connect and share their passion. And if they are lucky they get to interact with some of the people involved with the game. Chris Wesseling was someone who took the time to interact with many fans. And on those occasions he was nothing but generous, warm and if you wanted to write about the sport you love, often inspiring.
The NFL community is like a family. We have our ups. We have our downs. But we are always there for each other. One family member I never heard a bad word about is Chris Wesseling. We all loved him, his work and his family.
Now our thoughts are with his family and friends as we know they will be missing a bright spot in their lives. Rest in Peace Chris you will be missed and always fondly remembered.
Adam Barton (@abarton93)
Chris Wesseling was unique. He had the best football mind I’ve known but was interested and knowledgeable in so many areas outside of sports.
So many of us never even met Wess but he touched our souls. His humility and humanity were clear just from listening to him on a podcast a couple of times a week. He was one of a kind and will be truly missed by the whole NFL community.
Dale Jones (@DaleJones14)
It is truly a mark of the man’s greatness that he could have such a profound impact on the lives of so many people on ‘the other side of the pond, the majority of whom have never had the pleasure of personally knowing him. Chris ‘The Mailman’ Wesseling embodied the ‘hero’ moniker of the Around The NFL gang in every sense of the word.
My own passion and interest in the NFL is in large part thanks to Chris and the rest of the ATN group. From the early days of the ATN Debate Club, to their growth amongst UK fans including regular trips over for various events and slots on Sky Sports.
Chris’ encyclopedic knowledge of the game game NFL history helped me to better understand the sport, and gain interest in the history of the game, and I thank him for that. Chris’ list of Top 10 NFL books is one that I’m working through, and will look to complete as my own personal tribute to the great man.
News of his passing has saddened me more than I thought possible for someone that I don’t even know on a personal level, but his friendly nature, willingness to engage with so many within the NFL community, and listening to his vast knowledge of the game, his scientific debates, and his witty nature on the ATN podcasts have been an ever present in my life for the 10+ years I’ve been a fan of the NFL.
He and the rest of the team feel in many ways like friends to me, and I will miss hearing him on the pod especially. I’d love to be able to hear that familiar ‘Hey Dan’ just once more.
Chris, thank you for the memories, for helping grow my interest in the NFL and for being a part of my life without you even knowing it.
My thoughts go out to Lakisha, Linc, Dan, Gregg, Marc and Erica during this time.
The NFL UK community mourns with you, and we love you all.