Now, I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way, but I love, love, LOVE Jeomi Maduka. Yes, Jeomi, you are pretty much my hero. I think you’re the next FloJo, Lisa Leslie and Marion Jones, all wrapped up in one slightly shorter, steroid-free, highly-educated package. In fact, last semester, I wrote the story about you when you were selected by The Sun as 2008’s Athlete of the Year. I see you around campus, walking with your friends between classes or on your way to a workout, and all I want to do is run up to you and ask you to sign my snow boots.
But I don’t.
I don’t because that would be weird, right? You’d look at me, all 5’5 of my former athlete self and wonder, “Who the hell is this kid?!” Never mind that I know all of your stats from the previous three seasons, and can name every single one of your all-Ivy selections. Now I sound like a stalker again, don’t I? Crap.
And herein lies what just might be the most frustrating part of being an editor for this esteemed paradigm of earth shattering journalism, the sports section. Between the hours 6 a.m. and 3.a.m my life is consumed by Cornell athletics — to quote that classic cliché, I bleed Big Red. (Oh, God, did I really just write that? It’s worse than I thought.) I spend hours pouring over stats and looking up jersey numbers and obscure bits of information. What’s senior forward Jeff Foote’s middle name? Bernard, which I think is a lovely name, by the way. I am seriously considering naming my firstborn Bernard — either that, or Mulligan. What’s one of wrestling head coach Rob Koll’s favorite shows? Why, none other than that classic pop culture phenomenon, American Idol, of course. (No word yet on whether he sings along with Paula. Who are we kidding, of course he does.) True or False, senior wrestling star Jordan Leen’s hometown is named after a flower. True! Leen hails from good ole Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. He also loves Johnny Cash, and you know what, so do I. I guess that makes me half an athlete, right guys? Right?!
And yet, if I saw the esteemed Mr. Foote in the street, would he recognize me? I’m going to have to go with no. Every where I turn, I see athletes—wrestlers who’s praises I sing every week, lacrosse boys whose stats I scrutinize on Sundays, basketball players whose jumpers and left hooks I’ve spent many a long night analyzing. Why, last weekend at Pixel I danced within a short stick length away from senior lacrosse middle Johnny Glynn (who, might I add, was really stylin’ in a baby blue bandana — can somebody say gangsta), senior volleyball setter Hil Holland, and a group of extremely shall we say, enthusiastic, water polo boys who I believe were responsible for showering the dance floor with beer. And yes, maybe I was seriously considered framing that fermenting sweater and mounting it on my wall. Don’t judge me.
I’ve stood in line for coffee behind senior men’s basketball point guard Louis Dale, and eaten dinner on West Campus across from the lightweight crew team. Well, helloo, Luis-Francois De Lencquesaing, you amazing little polo player, you. The Parisian junior just might hold the title for longest moniker on any of this year’s Red rosters. Don’t ask me to pronounce Lencquesaing (there’s like, hella consonants!), but you can bet your squishy Homecoming foam finger that I can pick his beautiful bilingual face out of a lineup—or the salad line at the Terrace.
I know it’s not anyone’s fault that I continue to languish away, a sleep-deprived, pale-skinned lackey scurrying around in the shadow of those much faster and stronger than I. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never be able to have my sweats washed in the Teagle Issue Room, or be able to count away games as excused absences from class. I just, well, you know, thought that as a perk of covering Cornell’s athletes as a sports editor I might, I dunno, end up becoming friends with some of them.
And what’s worse is, I just can’t seem to take a hint…
Yo, Shannan Scarselletta, we had a class together last semester, do you remember? On Thursdays I’d sit behind you and do the crossword and silently brainstorm angle ideas for your basketball team’s home contest that weekend. For those 50 minutes, it was almost like we really were friends. Oh well, I can always dream, can’t I? Also, umm, you have a really cute backpack.