The e-mail was short: “Josh, me and you need to have a little chat. No problems, just want to talk.”
So, one night in Nov. 2005, I took a phone call. The voice on the other end was Chris Mascaro ’06, and he was offering me the opportunity of a lifetime.
What if you had the opportunity to go to every Cornell athletics event for free, home and away; receive an all-access pass and the best seats in the house to every event; meet and talk with all the players and coaches; befriend the staff and administration in and out of Athletics, at Cornell and other schools; chat with famous media personalities, coaches and athletes from around the country, in college, professional sports and beyond?
Would you take it?
I started to cry. I haven’t cried in a long time.
I don’t know why it happened, but something about his story leveled me. It made me horrified, saddened, inspired and reflective, all at the same time. Maybe you’ll feel the same way.
Adam Frey, a junior and Cornell wrestler, has always been a man of incredible physical and mental strength. On March 25, only a few days after competing in the NCAA championships, Adam was in a car crash. A car came at him in the wrong lane, and going 55 mph his car fishtailed, rolled, hit a tree and sent him flying to the back of the vehicle.
The first time I read the words describing this, I was sitting in my chair at my desk, unaware of what I would learn next. It was Thursday, two days after the accident.
Yes, I go to the Cornell “fitness centers.” A number of my friends drive into Ithaca to “The Island” — a tropical gym paradise as far as I’m concerned, though I’ve never been there — while I remain stuck on “the main land,” in the small, overcrowded, equipment-bare, oft-broken gyms at Cornell.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — With 13:40 left in the first half and Stanford leading 11-4, sophomore Ryan Wittman finally freed himself at the top of the key, and more than a yard behind the line, fired up a 3-pointer with a defender coming at him. Hitting the floor from contact in time to watch the shot fall in, Wittman hurried back on defense, not knowing it would be his only made shot of the half.
NEW YORK CITY — Senior co-captain Gretchen Gregg grabbed a rebound and dribbled straight for sophomore point guard Lauren Benson at the top of the arc. You would have thought the game was still in contention, until the two players smiled with joy, and Benson heaved the ball to the ceiling as the clock expired and the team mobbed the floor.
Using unmatched efficiency on both ends of the floor, Cornell never relinquished the lead and toppled Dartmouth, 64-47, in the playoff game to determine the Ivy League’s NCAA bid. The win capped the greatest season in Cornell women’s basketball history, with the team scoring 1889 points and winning 20 games, an Ivy title and an NCAA Tournament invite: all for the first time in its 37-year history.