April 25, 2001

Words of Thanks

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To think it’s that time of year again, my last sports column for a summer. Damn. I had so much to complain about this week.

Well, before the annual list of thank you’s that most of you all won’t read, I’m going to saunter slowly into the darkness with my 10-coolest-things-in-sports-right-now list. I mean, heck, I might as well talk some sports before we part, eh?

10) Some guy you’ve never heard of is heavyweight champion of the world. Props to Hasim Rahman, who claimed the heavyweight title once again for the good ‘ol U. S. of A. Enjoy the fight with Tyson.

9) Mario Lemieux is playing hockey. Do I have to say more? Have fun, Dominik Hasek. And Martin Broduer. And Patrick Roy.

8) Michael Jordan is not playing basketball. Yet, anyway. Look, I understand, I really do. But if Mike thinks there’s a cooler way to end a career than by hitting the game winning shot to take home a sixth championship, he’s wrong.

7) Ichiro Suzuki. Eight-time batting champion from Japan is hitting .361 right now and has had a hit in 17 of the Mariners’ first 19 games. Can you say Rookie of the Year?

6) Mel Kiper Jr.’s hair. I watched about eight straight hours of ESPN’s draft coverage on Saturday and the stuff never moved. Reportedly the Seahawks took it in the sixth round and have slotted it to play linebacker next year.

5) The Texas Rangers’ offense. 125 runs in 20 games, 13 runs better than next-best Colorado. Now if only their pitching hadn’t given up 129 runs.

4) Miami is in a 2-0 hole to Charlotte. The team everyone thought was going to cruise into the NBA finals has gotten blown out two games in a row at home. Of course, if Philly manages to lose to Indiana, you can kiss the East’s chances of a title good bye. Who’s going to take it, the Bucks?

3) Slap Shot II is being made. Yes, the Hanson brothers will be included. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out as bad as Mighty Ducks II.

2) Tiger Woods. So it may not be a Grand Slam, but all four trophies to the four golf majors are sitting in one man’s living room for the first time since Bobby Jones did it. That’s pretty cool.

1) The capital of the baseball world is … Minnesota? Yeah, that’s right. The Twins are the coolest little engine that could. And they have first baseman whose last name is harder to spell than Galarraga. Everyone with me now, Mi-ent-kie-wicz.


But enough sports, there are some thank you’s to dish out.

First, to my parents, thank you for another year of sending me to this fine institution. One day you’ll understand why you’re paying all this money, I promise.

Secondly, to J.V. You’ve been like my dad for the last couple of years – making sure I didn’t screw too much up, helping me out when I needed it and always having my back, even when I didn’t ask you to. Thanks for the scoldings and the smiles; the talks and the road trips — I’m grateful for every memory.

To Shiva — One hell of a year huh? Bet you didn’t think we’d be knee deep in this much crap when we decided to take over as assistant sports editors. I loved every minute of it though, and couldn’t think of a better person to spend nearly every waking hour with for a year. See you in NYC this summer.

To Schueller — You’re doing fine, kid. Don’t worry so much. Take the summer off and remember to have fun.

To Herman — Amazingly still alive, aren’t we? Thanks for always getting me that sports info whenever I need it and reminding me what it means to get out of the house. Hopefully the Islanders make the playoffs next year. I’ll be pulling for them.

To Tom, Jeremy, Kap, Brian, Jed and Donny — Thanks for keeping me sane when I wasn’t at the Sun and always believing I knew more about sports than I did. From bowling to Lebowski to fried food in boxes, you guys made life fun when I should’ve been stressing like crazy. Oh, and I still owe a couple of people a FIFA ass-kicking, I think.

To Goni, Gelfand, Hirschy, and A.T. — Well, we had a fun six weeks didn’t we? Thanks for giving me a reason to keep coming down this semester and making me feel like I still belong.

To the 118th — Thanks for putting up with an occasionally annoying kid. Ok, often annoying. I’ll miss you seniors.

To the old guard; Sharp, Betsy, Dickball and Jay — Your legacy will live on through me — I promise — since Shiva’s sports knowledge rivals a retarded wombat (on a good day). You all are an inspiration to the current writers. Can’t wait to join you in the real world (except for Thomas, who I think is in what we commonly refer to as a parallel universe).

To Piper, Sarah Beth, Baker, Chris, Lindsay, James, Diana, Larry, Alex and the rest of the crew — You guys are the greatest. But you know that.

To Nigro, Fiore and Schroeder — For always making me laugh. You three are awesome, even if I still maintain I can replace you with monkeys. They’d definitely have to be well trained though.

To Amanda — Seven months. Time flies when you’re having the time of your life, I guess. I’ll see what I can do about finding Remsenburg on a map this summer. Thanks for keeping me smiling, even on my worst days.

To the rest of you still reading — I still get e-mails from people who just tell me they enjoy reading the column (or think I’m a dumbass, whichever), and that means more than you know. Thanks for reading, whatever your opinion of Five Hole. Look for me scrolling by on the credits of ESPN this summer; I ‘ll be down there somewhere (look for something like “Assistant in charge of Mr. Berman’s coffee”). I promise I’ll come back next year with some cool stories.

Have a good summer everyone.

Archived article by Charles Persons