FRIENDS from UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
May 2005 - University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Dave Katzman, Rob Tilley, Billy Zimmer
(A Genuine Iron Man Friend)
I have known Mike for the past four years of my life and he has brought me nothing
but good times and lasting memories.
He has been my roommate since Day 1 and ever since I met him, we have done
pretty much everything together, whether it was eating a meal, taking the same class,
or going out at night.
He was my best friend and like a brother to me, and many will say, I was also
like a mother to him.
I was always looking out for him, cleaning up after him, or telling him that
he had a test the next day, and I didn't mind one bit, because it worked both ways.
Mike was the type of guy who would stick up for you in a second, even if he knew
you were 100% guilty, he always had your back.
I could write a million pages or tell a million stories about Mike, because with him,
I never had a dull moment throughout the past four years.
I often tell Sammy and other friends of ours, that I will never meet another person
like Mike Scrocca ever again, and I will always believe that, because not only
is he one of a kind, but he is irreplaceable.
Very rarely did Mike get upset, simply because he didn't have time to care.
He was too busy enjoying life and enjoying the company of his family and friends.
He was the type of kid who was so laid back, and at the same time, up for anything.
Spontaneity was one of his best attributes; because he would drop whatever he was doing
just to have fun with his friends.
Mike was the kind of guy that just wanted to make people laugh, feel comfortable,
and of course, always have a good time.
He could be stuck in the worst situation possible, but somehow everything would
work out for him in the end, which is what we all called the "Scrocca-Factor".
Everything seemed to work out for him, because he helped to make things work out
for everyone else, since he put his friends and family first.
People tell me that we are so much alike and I could not ask for a better compliment.
I am so grateful that I was randomly paired with Mike as a roommate our freshman year
and got to spend just about my entire college career with him.
Mike would constantly say to me, "Steve, we better stay best friends after we graduate"
and I would always reply, "You know we will, Mike" and I still know that we will
forever be best friends.
Billy Joel was right when he said "Only the Good Die Young" and I am so thankful
that I had the privilege to be part of Mike's meaningful and fun-filled life.
I love and miss you, Mike, and will never forget you or the great times we had together.
It wasn't long after I moved into my room that this big sophomore kid
with a huge contagious grin walked in, sat on my bed, and made himself at home
like we knew each other for 20 years.
Mike quickly became one of my closest friends and one of the reasons I called UMD my home.
Mike didn't know how not to have fun.
He always was smiling, laughing, goofing around, and making those around him
smile and laugh as well.
Mike enjoyed the simple things in life, and enjoyed them to the maximum.
I remember staying up with him till 4 am because he had to find out what
the world's most deadly snake was ...
or how he could convince me to drop what I was doing to watch a movie with him
because movies were always better when shared.
Me and Mike would spend hours tying knots in pieces of yarn, rope,
whatever we could find and then enjoy the five seconds it took to stand
across the room and pull it apart.
I think the most amazing thing about Mike was that if you were his friend
you instantly felt loved.
You knew that Mike was just happy you were with him.
If you had any doubts, they were gone when he would come and give you
that great bear hug of his.
Over the past week Mike gave us all one final gift, he gave us each other.
On Tuesday night, after the wake, about 30 of his friends gathered around a bonfire.
We went around in a circle stating who we are and how we knew Mike.
Most of us had not met before but quickly became friends just by sharing Mike stories.
The stories, like a song you can't stop singing in your head, will go on forever.
I love you, Mike.
A Tribute to Miggy
When there are so many great things to say about a person, it's hard to know where to begin.
To me, I could turn to Mike for just about anything.
Having spent my entire college career with the kid, I can tell you that
I don't know what college would have been like without him.
I can tell you about his love for Dave Matthews.
I can tell you that he could watch the same movie over and over
like he had never seen it before, and then memorize every funny line of the movie verbatim.
I can tell you he loved to ski, play volleyball, football and most recently basketball,
and that he lived for the sport of baseball.
I can tell you it wouldn't take much for Mike to break into a full sweat.
And I can honestly say, wiithout hesitation, that Mike Scrocca lived everyday
of his life to the fullest.
Not a day went by that he did not take full advantage of each and every opportunity
the day presented.
As I write these words, they can't help but bring tears to my eyes,
but then I Just think of all the great memories I have of the guy
and that huge smile he carried on his face every day.
A few months ago, Steve Blumberg turned to me and said that he didn't think
we would ever meet another kid like Scrocca again, and I couldn't agree with him more.
Mike's passing will change my life forever.
I have already begun to live more and more like he did.
Mike had more fun than anyone I have ever met.
He knew that the most important thing we can do with our time here on earth is enjoy it.
I have begun to let go of the more trivial things life has to offer,
just as he did, and now focus on the relationships I have with my loved ones.
So my advice to you is tell the people you love that you love them
because you never know if you will get the chance to tell them again.
Live every day like Mike would, to the fullest.
And the next time you go out to celebrate life, drink an extra drink for Mike
(preferably Coors Light).
But this is not a goodbye, we cannot accept that we will not get to see Mike again.
So Mike, although it was your favorite Dave Matthews song,
I will not "say goodbye" to you, but I will see you soon my friend.
I love you, Mike, and this drink's on me ... Cheers.
In the past three years I have spent more of my time with Michael Scrocca than
I have with anyone else.
Learning his antics and being able to participate in his adventures over this time
has been extremely rewarding.
Pickup football, parties, ski trips, camping, lifting; we just did so much together.
I don't have a bad memory.
Mike made life so much more exciting for me.
Although he was the dirtiest roommate ever, I found that I couldn't get enough of him.
I loved living with him.
We shared so many laughs.
I spent two of my years sharing a space in college with Michael
and loved every second of it.
When I think of him I see him watching TV in my bed,
singing country music at the top of is lungs, in his ridiculous ski suit,
or prancing around in nothing but my boxers.
I was hesitant to study abroad because I knew I'd miss his company
and the guaranteed excitement.
Words cannot express how sad I have been this past week.
Being away from home and not being able to see my friend one last time
has just been unbearable.
I take comfort in the fact that he is survived by an amazing group of friends
and a family that he could not have loved more.
I also know that this kid lived every second of every day, while the rst of us would struggle to keep up.
But I loved the struggle. I loved the spontaneity and the excitement.
I loved Michael. He really was the best. I miss my friend.
However, I know that he lives on in me and everyone else that he loved.
Michael was my roommate, my brother and probably the best friend I could of asked for.
For this I am in his debt.
A Hoy Hoy! Let me tell you about my friend Mike.
Whether Mike was playing football, or opening an accounting book for the first time
3 hours before a test, Mike didn't know how to fail.
He was successful at so many things.
The one skill he was most successful at however was being a friend.
Energetic, fun loving, and enthusiastic, Mike was always someone who was there for you.
He had a special place in each of our lives, and I feel truly privileged
to have known and been friends with such a great person for my tenure here at Maryland.
I'll always miss my neighbor, friend, and brother,
but I am so grateful to have been a part of his life.
Dave Katzman, Rob Tilley, Billy Zimmer
See Memorial Tribute:
A Genuine Iron Man Friend