There’s nothing that makes writing about death easy. There’s nothing anyone can say to the parties involved that makes the pain any easier. We all say someone’s going to a better place when someone near and dear to us passes away, but there’s never any real way to embrace that thought.
I won’t overstate my relationship with Jacob Schlottke. We were friends, colleagues in many ways, but overall, we were just two guys who liked talking wrestling and talking about techie kinds of things.
We lost Jacob on Thursday, August 11. He was 27.
Some people might be shocked to know he was battling cancer. I guess I was one of the privileged few he let in on it. While he never seemed to slow down with his passion for wrestling, the internet and becoming a self-made man, it did hamper him in the later months.
I first “met” Jacob in 2002 via one of the wrestling online communities. He’d turned around and left Arizona State shortly after arriving in Tempe, but that didn’t slow him. He was a master at affiliate programs and finding all sorts of ways to make his websites cash in on traffic.
When Shane Jensen founded TheWrestlingTalk.com, Jacob was one of the first to latch on and help Shane develop things that set TWT’s boards apart from others at the time. Some might not remember why TWT was created, but many do, but that is of little importance.
From the time I was working with my own site back in Virginia, and on to InterMat, Wrestling 411 and now USA Wrestling, Jacob was one of my closest technical allies. This guy’s knowledge was above and beyond what anyone truly could grasp.
You’re probably reading this blog on TheMat.TV right now … well, if it weren’t for Jacob Schlottke, this page would not exist. He provided so much help in helping me launch this video portal page, I don’t think I could ever thank him enough. I’d planned on it, since he lived in Albuquerque and my wife and I were planning a trip down there in the not-so-distant future.
Long nights of chatting online about how to improve this and how can we market that … if it wasn’t for Jacob, I wouldn’t know much of what I implement every day.
While he was passionate about wrestling and the techie stuff that went with it, Jacob worked with some big time companies in how to maximize their SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Every wonder why when you Google any wrestling video, most of the time, it shows a link to a thread on TheWrestlingTalk.com first? Well, that was him. He worked with Twitter, eHarmony, McDonalds … big companies looking to increase their reach.
Jacob’s loss hits more than just the wrestling community.
Despite not living near one another for a number of years, like Shane Jensen said here on a message board post, we became friends.
He was one of the first people I contacted when I took a chance on Wrestling 411. He was one of the first people I let know that I was taking a job at USA Wrestling. He was one of the first people I had a chance to kick back and hang out with at a Halloween party up at his house outside of the Twin Cities.
Then there was Kristen. His wife. This woman is a big part of what made Jacob tick. Upon arriving at said Halloween party back in 2008, she was one of the first to greet me with a big hug, even though we’d never officially met.
There was a St. Bernard named Grand, a cat named Dollar, another dog with some other monetary name, and this big ol’ wood duck in the backyard. I mean, who has a big ol’ duck as a pet? Jacob did.
Far too many times in the past few years I’ve felt the need to get my personal closure in writing about a friend who has passed. The most recent painful post came when Adam Frey passed away two Christmases ago.
Adam’s fight was well-documented, Jacob’s wasn’t. He underwent loads of treatment, all the while, he’d be willing to help me with my next little technological improvement I was trying to make with a podcast, a video, a forum, a website, whatever … he was my tech support.
He never mentioned publicly he was sick, and perhaps that was to protect his own privacy … I knew and it really sucked to start a conversation with “hey man, how you feeling?”
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, the other people who knew him better and his lovely wife.
Don’t call him Jake, he never cared for it … but the guy did more for wrestling behind the scenes than he’ll ever take credit for. He wasn’t a braggart, he wasn’t involved in his own ego, he just liked to help, and sometimes he liked to rub people the wrong way, just to keep you on your toes.
I’ll miss my friend and wrestling will miss him more than we will ever realize.
Shane has helped set up a Memorial Fund in Jacob’s memory. If you would like to donate via PayPal, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rest in peace, bud.