NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.
Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.
“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”
The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”
“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”
Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.
“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.
I am so sad to hear about the sudden passing of Rich Tandler. As a fan of the Redskins, I got to become good friends with Rich. He was a great person and will be missed.— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) October 17, 2018
Rich's presence was one of kindness and positive energy, that always left everyone he encountered feeling better for having been around him. He will be missed.— Trevor Matich (@TMatich) October 17, 2018
I am crushed and devastated about @TandlerNBCS’s passing. When you’re in this room together a long time it goes beyond just covering the same team. It’s a competitive but close-knit group out here. Rich was a very good guy; his last years were spent in a dream job. Horrible news— John Keim (@john_keim) October 17, 2018
So sad to hear about my friend @TandlerNBCS. Passed away today. One of my favorite people in DC sports media when I played and after. You will be missed my friend— Chris Cooley (@thecooleyzone) October 17, 2018
Really saddened to hear this. Rich had a contagious smile! He will be greatly missed in the locker room. https://t.co/I5sDvM8o6p— Dustin Hopkins (@Dahop5) October 17, 2018