Last August, Tom Kowalski, who covered the Lions for and Booth Newspapers and who was revered by fans and colleagues for his wonderful coverage as a journalist, died suddenly at the age of 51 from heart failure.

Kowalski was so well-respected that the Vikings, Bills, Buccaneers and Saints kept an empty seat open in their press boxes throughout the season when Detroit visited those respective cities.

Ten months after his untimely death, the Pro Football Writers of America have honored Kowalski by naming him the 2012 McCann Award winner for his coverage of the Lions and the NFL. As the PFWA says, “It is the highest honor and most prestigious award for media members who cover pro football.”

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