The time has come to say goodbye. And I’m not too good at this type of stuff. Are you surprised by my tears? Strong men also cry…strong men also cry. So just let me haphazardly rattle off some of my most personally unforgettable sporting-type moments from this year, and then bounce like the trash on a Thursday. Okay, Sammy.
Watching games at Cole Field from the comfort of a stinking, brownish-yellow couch because I was stuck with crutches and a bum ankle. Women’s soccer team going to the final four: the beginning of a doomed career in journalism. Men’s soccer domination on the field, but the Pinger losing to bees on the sidelines. No more curmudgeons.
Charging the field after our football team beat Amherst for the 76th year in a row. Homecoming pageantry: outdoor Beirut, aged alums in striped, slightly different colored ties arguing over football scores from before Prohibition, and having an NFL quarterback on your team. Pink sleeve. Not being a man of details. Watching fall basketball from the sidelines. Thank you Dave and all at PT plus for ending this undesirable activity.
Winter comes. Lots of snow and doubles. Playing in the most memorable game of my career on February 4 against Amherst. The way it should be: spirited fans allowed to charge the court after the game. Going from the ultimate high to almost suffocating under the weight of some of these fans. Then watching Joe Weiss yell to the psycho cybernetics that guide him. Cross-ventilation followed by nothing so much as hermeneutics.
Conquering the scheduling hex and finally getting to watch a Williams hockey game. Of course it was against Amherst. Of course we won. No spirited fans were allowed to charge the ice, though. Other fans dressed in all denim like men in the yard of Shawshank prison. Signs made for godfathers, Canadians, and men who ride motorcycles. Crushing a column. Changing of the guard: men’s and women’s swimming say goodbye to a coach but not to a dynasty.
Spring refuses to come (bear). Team meals that do not include porridge, plutonium, Red Devil or Patuttie. Ice your hand, four. Breathless self-referencing. Did anyone notice that no spring sports teams lost games this past Saturday? Congratulations to all NCAA-bound spring teams. Our campus on Saturdays, when it resembles a country club, combined with spectatorship at tennis, baseball, wiffle ball, lacrosse and various spastic senatorial proceedings. Thank you for dinner, Mrs. Smith. Eight, nine, cake.
Taconic golf course on a nice day…or on a stormy, Friday afternoon with no one out there except my fellow desperately seeking slicers. Putting balls onto the baseball field from the tee at 18. Putting balls into the forest on every hole where it is possible. Slicing your hand cutting pepperoni. Having an Oil Can and Edward Norton Fitzgerald on your team. The Baseball team’s home run derby as the most popular event on campus. Unfair comparisons to the sultan of smug, Rick Reilly. Tying everything into a nice little bow. Columns about heckling. But not heckling MIT tennis players, because only curmudgeons can effectively do that.
Writing your last column in an experimental, sentence-fragment-based narrative. Right. Writing most of your columns in a grammatically tragic and decidedly non-linear style. Right. The privilege of rambling about sports in whatever way you find exciting from week to week. Right, right, right.