The memorial service for sportscaster George Michael was a celebration of life. He was remembered as a tornado-like force of nature, a loud and commanding presence in the sports world, and a gentle and loving family man.
Celebrities like former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs arrived early at the Washington National Cathedral, followed by family, friends, athletes, and colleagues who worked with Michael, as well as competitors from other stations.
They filled the cavernous cathedral with recollections, smiles and tears.
Michael was a fierce competitor for TV ratings and many who worked on other stations held -- and still hold -- him in high esteem. "George set the bar high and made us all better," said Steve Buckhantz, the voice of the Washington Wizards and former sports director at Channel 5.
News4 anchor Jim Vance, who worked for nearly 28 years with George Michael, told those gathered at the Cathedral how Michael was the first man to tell Vance that he loved him -- something that wasn't easy for men of their generation, Vance said.
"And frankly, it made me a little uncomfortable, and I told him that. And you know what he said? 'Get over it!' And you know what? I did," Vance said.