One last goodbye to our Flyers writer Matt Martin

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This isn’t an easy article to write, but today is the funeral of our Flyers writer Matt Martin. After a long battle with Leukemia, Matt passed away last week and will be laid to rest today. A few members of our staff who knew him best have decided to write one final goodbye to a truly inspirational man.

I never thought we’d be in a situation where we’d have to write something like this and I’m sure Matt is having a laugh at my soppy attempt at thanking him for all he did. Matt’s seen this site grow so much since he first joined us and we really wouldn’t have been able to get this far without him.

The first conversation we ever had via a phone call will always stick with me. Matt mentioned briefly his fight with leukemia, but did so as if it was a minor inconvenience, like he’d miss a day of work because he had a cold. He was so, so optimistic, so full of life and character. He embodied everything, and I mean everything, Philly Sports Network stands for.

Matt was one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever had the privilege to talk to. I remember the fist-pump and elation when he told me he had beaten Leukemia the first time around, and the amount of support and motivation we all gave him when we found out it had returned. But he didn’t need it. I’ve never known somebody to fight so hard and play it off like it’s nothing.

Nothing was ever too much for Matt. He’d still find a way to turn the darkest day into a bright memory, teaching us all to live life to its fullest and to appreciate every last second, no matter what battles we’re facing. Whether it was the sassy Cowboys jokes that reminded me just how special this family is, or maybe a slightly deeper sentiment, keeping us all updated with your battle, Matt you were a selfless soldier who meant the world to all of us. To still be such a kind father, loving Husband, passionate writer, funny podcast-talker and true friend among all of your struggles, I’m so sorry you had to endure so much pain you didn’t deserve.

It seems like only yesterday that Matt was telling me about an agreement between him and his wife that meant he would be able to come to London as soon as he’s well enough. We’d joked about me ruining the trip with emotional speeches and it breaks my heart that I’ll never get to spend that time with him.

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to come out there and shake your hand. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for the final goodbye, but I promise you that PSN will blossom in your name and we won’t ever stop, because that’s not in your vocabulary and it certainly isn’t mine. Thank you for inspiring me every single day, for teaching me valuable lessons and letting me teach you about how the Premier League Works. Football may not be coming home, but you found a home with us and I’m so, so glad you did.

I love you man. Rest in peace.

Liam Jenkins

Matt has been with Philly Sports Network for about 2 and 1/2 years. During this time I’ve gotten to know him very well. He was a Flyers writer, a very passionate one at that. Matt was one of the most knowledgeable about the Flyers that I’ve seen in a very long time. He knew the team in and out, past and present. Matt was fantastic with prospects. He wanted Carter Hart to start the 2018 season with the big club, so look how that one ended up. He provided explanation after explanation for such.

One thing Matt was very good at were debates. He made you see the other side, the other side of the argument. Sometimes in this business we need to see that, and that’s exactly what he did. People get clouded with their opinions, and sometimes fail to see the other side. Matt was very good in a good way to point out the other side (Giroux lol).

This whole time he’s been fighting this terrible disease, he was always been in good spirits. He was never down, and Matt never feel bad for himself. Matt always tried to keep the Flyers writers upbeat in the group chat. In addition, he contributed a ton by posting stat after stat before each Flyers game. He would also allow us to use those stats in our Recaps.

Matt’s strongest suit was he was a family man. He loved his family more than anything in the world. When we got together last year at Lancaster Brewing for a beer. Matt couldn’t express his love for his kids and his wife more than what I already knew. He loved the Flyers and Phillysportsnetwork for sure, but his family was first and foremost.

I was fortunate to know such a great man. Matt I will always love you, and you will be missed. Rest easy. I’m going to dedicate this next Flyers season to Matt. I hope they win the cup for him. 

Jamey Baskow

You never really plan these things. You never heed the warnings given to you. All the signs, the clues, nothing. You pay no attention to it because we last forever, don’t we? Matt made it abundantly clear that this day would come. The subtle hints, the sly comments here and there were supposed to make it easier when it actually happened.

It didn’t.

Matt was an amazing human being. He was a realist in its purest form. He made sure that before I spouted off, I understood both sides to the story. He was notorious for his strong opinions as well, but was much better at backing them up than I ever was. Matt was a fighter, whether fighting off detractors from his work, or fighting off leukemia. Strike that, Matt was a warrior. 

Matt kept telling us at PSN that this day would come. He kept telling us that it was always a possibility. None of us wanted to believe it, especially me. I just watched him line up on the d-line this time last year in our flag football league. I just watched him chase down the quarterback, down after down, JUST last year. Waking up on a Saturday morning to news of Matt’s passing wasn’t something I ever expected.

Sure enough, Matt was right, again. The man was wise beyond his years, although he was pretty much the dad at PSN. He was the voice of reason, the voice talking us off a ledge when we all got so worked up. Matt was the voice of reason. His keenness for doing so, paired with the kindest of hearts he possessed, is what will make it harder than we ever thought possible to get over the fact that he won’t be calling us out in our group chat, or telling us the other side to a story in which we thought there was only one side. 

To Matt, your memory will live on longer than us, we will make sure of that. Your sense of self and ability to see every side of an argument is something that won’t soon be forgotten. Most of all, the bond we’ve created with not just each other, but with everyone here at PSN, is something I will cherish until I see you again. 

Rest easy brother, I love you.

Derrik Bobb

From the day we are old enough to understand the concept of family, we are led to believe that those who fall into this category are predetermined. In the beginning, it all has to do with blood relations. If someone shares similar genetics, they are family, plain and simple. In my adult life, I’ve come to realize that family comes in different forms. You don’t need to share the same great-grandmother to be considered family. It’s all about the love you feel for someone. Philly Sports Network, for example, is as much of a family as a family can get. We are in constant contact, enjoy each other’s company (real or virtual), share similar goals, and are affected by one another’s happiness and sadness. As is the case with any family, we all assume different roles.

For me, Matt Martin was a big brother. He was strong, wise, and compassionate. Above all, he always pushed me intellectually. Matt was the master of getting me to see all sides of a topic or situation. He understood that true knowledge came with understanding how others perceive something. It came naturally to him but Matt helped me grow as a person with every conversation we had. Matt may be gone from his physical form but my admiration for him will never disappear. He was the true definition of a fighter and found pleasantries in life even during the darkest of times. I hope that one day I can aspire to be close to the man he was. Matt, I love you brother. Rest easy my friend.

John Gove