Remembering Tyler Bieber: a journalist, coach and trailblazer

This morning the CFL community learned that Tyler Bieber, a Saskatchewan native and member of the CFL family, was one of the fourteen victims who lost their lives in the Humboldt Broncos bus collision on Friday evening.

I want to begin this piece by offering my deepest condolences to everyone who was affected by this unspeakable tragedy. There are no words to describe the shocking nature of what took place 30 kilometres north of Tisdale yesterday, the horror of which will forever impact our nation’s athletic community. Fourteen lives were lost. Thousands of others — those of partners, relatives, friends, teammates, and more — have been changed forever.

With respect to all of the victims of last night’s tragedy, this piece will focus on just one in particular: Tyler Bieber.

I never had the opportunity to meet Tyler, but he was someone who I admired from afar. Tyler ran his own CFL website, cfldaily.ca, for years and used it to provide outstanding coverage of the league long before the rise of many non-traditional media outlets. The website is no longer accessible, but a WordPress affiliate page is still active. I would encourage everyone to read Tyler’s work — while the content is a few years old, it still serves as strong insight into the league we all care so much about.

Tyler was also one of the pioneers of CFL social media, founding his @CFLDaily twitter account in January of 2010. The account was multi-faceted and, like so many of Tyler’s project, ahead of its time.

In addition to sharing his own articles, insight, and analysis, Tyler used his twitter account to amalgamate articles and news from around the league. Despite being relatively inactive for the past two years (more on that in a moment), Tyler’s account still has almost 10,000 followers. His was one of the first accounts I followed after joining Twitter and a huge part of the CFL’s social media landscape.

I’ve embedded some of Tyler’s tweets from over the years below to demonstrate how knowledgeable he was about the CFL and its players. Whether it be CFL-NFL player movement, quirky stats or player analysis, Tyler knew it all and was eager to share.

It was his outstanding knowledge of the league that earned Tyler the opportunity to write for CFL.ca toward the end of the 2011 season, an impressive accomplishment for an amateur journalist. Tyler wrote about Grey Cup predictions, league all-stars, coaching history and more for the website, providing a unique voice to the league’s largest formal online platform.

My personal favorite piece of Tyler’s was the CFL name game article that he penned following the emergence of Bear Woods in the 2011 East Division Semi-Final. It highlights not only Tyler’s passion for league history, but also his wit and sense of humour. Despite the sombre emotions of yesterday’s accident weighing heavily upon me, I couldn’t help but laugh while reading the article this morning.

I understand that the reason Tyler took a step back from his work covering the CFL was his decision to pursue sports journalism as a career. Tyler didn’t attend journalism school and, in an ever-changing media landscape, finding work without a degree in journalism was tough.

This was what led Tyler to return to his hometown of Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Tyler was hired by CHBO radio in Humboldt and became the voice of the Broncos SJHL hockey team, which, of course, led to his presence on the team bus during last night’s tragedy. Tyler also coached high school basketball and football in Humboldt, giving up his time to mentor the young athletes of his home province. Tyler can be seen manning the Humboldt Hawks’ sideline in the banner photo of his personal twitter account.

As a non-traditional media person, I owe Tyler a sincere debt of gratitude. Tyler Bieber was one of the people who paved the way for guys like me to offer my thoughts, insight, and analysis about the CFL for relevant, legitimate news outlets. I will never forget his contributions to the league, its fans, and to non-traditional journalists like myself.

Is it possible to miss someone you never even met? What I’m learning today is that the answer is yes.

Rest easy, Tyler.

You will be missed by all.

John Hodge

John Hodge

John Hodge is a lifelong follower of the CFL who has been writing about the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist of the Jon Gott lookalike contest.
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John Hodge
About John Hodge (344 Articles)
John Hodge is a lifelong follower of the CFL who has been writing about the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist of the Jon Gott lookalike contest.

16 Comments on Remembering Tyler Bieber: a journalist, coach and trailblazer

  1. So sad to hear the news about Tyler Bieber in that horrific accident yesterday. May his family & friends eventually find solace & comfort. Rest In Peace. Tyler.

  2. Humboldt22 // April 7, 2018 at 4:45 pm //

    Tyler was born and raised in Humboldt.

  3. Wingback // April 7, 2018 at 4:49 pm //

    Lets all remember his family today. This is such a sad time.

  4. Why is it always the great guys like a football coach who has to die young like that. Just awful

  5. I’m really sorry to learn this. I’ve appreciated his writing too, this is yet another loss.

    That name game article made me laugh. And it has again.

  6. Great article John! Thanks for this.

  7. grnrider // April 7, 2018 at 6:19 pm //

    RIP Tyler. I always enjoyed his articles & tweets. I also remember the name game article – if you haven’t read it before, click on the link above & read it. Shows that he would have had a great career in sports journalism. A life taken way too soon, along with the other 14 that have passed away from this horrific accident. 3PrayforHumboldt

  8. Told him I was gonna get a Edmonton wildcats hat so he didn’t have to keep wearing that hilltops hat. Someday I’ll get that hat to you man

  9. Colour me green // April 8, 2018 at 12:33 am //

    Gutted today after what happened and just reading tweeter, Facebook and CBC news amongst others. Tragic and hits a small province like ours that is sports mad in a huge way.
    All the best to those impacted by what has happened.
    Excellent article and tribute to what appears to be one hell of a man.

  10. Makes all this non-stop Manziel headline crap to date seem so minuscule and irrelevant. God be with you Tyler…and the rest of the kids and adults alike who perished with you…RIP. 🙁

  11. sth1988 // April 8, 2018 at 8:47 am //

    Such a sad event. Heart goes out the families, the town of Humboldt and the province of Saskatchewan.

  12. Pat &Wilf Horn // April 8, 2018 at 9:05 am //

    Hugs and prayers to all The Bieber Family, may you find the strength in each other in your home and extended family and community in the days ahead! Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you!

  13. Prayers For Humboldt

  14. Very sad for all involved directly and indirectly.

    I feel for the families, friends and loved ones.

    It’s great that those who know these individuals will continue to tell their stories as we need to keep those stories and their memories alive.

    It will be long, long road to healing.

    • I should have added how sad I am for this team, their club, the staff, players and their city and fans and everyone in that community as nothing will ever get them back to the old normal.

      If there was anything to make the healing process start it has to be the response from everywhere and everyone at home and beyond and last night’s service was tough to watch but at our house we watched from start to finish.

      The President of the Broncos showed the kind of leadership that people look to in a tragedy and speaks volumes of the quality of that organization.

  15. Sue Russell-Perna // April 9, 2018 at 2:42 pm //

    My deepest condolences to Tyler’s family and everyone else in Homboldt who are dealing with the horrible loss of the hockey team in Humboldt, Sask

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