Howdy, guys. Hope y'all don't mind me posting this.
Texas lost a great one this week. SWC legend and consensus All-American Center Bill Wyman passed away on Wednesday.
I grew up in the same town as the Wymans. We didn't know him as Bill. Bill was Bill. His dad was Mr. Wyman, and the first word that came to mind when one first saw him was intimidating. Here is how The Statesman describes his playing days:
One old teammate said Wyman was so hardcore, he sported a bloody nose after every practice.
I probably barely shared 10 words with him growing up, as he sat there on the practice sidelines of all sports, his thick curly hair puffing out from his work hat and his bushy mustache masking any reactions he might have to what he saw on the field. He looked like a 1970s NFL offensive lineman, because that's what he was. Theoretically, he could've had a 20-year career in Hollywood as a tough guy henchman, but in reality he moved to the Texas Hill Country to be near his extended family, build houses, and raise his kids. And he excelled at all of it.
In truth I did not know either Bill Wyman all that well, but I was lucky enough to play one year of football with the younger. He was a natural leader; it came with ease and his demeanor reflected it. There weren't many All-State 6'4", 265-lb tackles (who were also competitive amateur swimmers in their free time) in Hill Country 3A football in the mid-'90s, but there he was. A competitor to the end of every game, but always with time to slap a junior wingback on the helmet and smile with some words of encouragement when our quarterback reprimanded me. This came so naturally that there was no doubt it was inherited from his father.
Big Bill passed on Wednesday after complications from Parkinson's, and there are plenty of beautiful things to read on Facebook that I could never do justice to here, but the family notes that donations may be made in his name at the site below.
Donations in Bill’s name can be made to the National Parkinson Foundation Gift Processing Center at:
PO Box 5018, Hagerstown MD, 21741-5018 or www.parkinson.org – memorial to Bill Wyman
Mr. Wyman was Longhorn through and through, a great Texan, and we'll all miss him greatly.