This is the column where I leave the cleats on the field.
“Try to focus on something you want to leave behind,” Sports Editor Steve Derderian said to me via text as I was thinking about what to write. So, technically, I should be writing about a piece of my heart, because Ithaca College has certainly captured that in over the last four years. Maybe it should be about the money I’ve left behind at 2nd Floor Bar.
What do I want to leave behind to a place that gave me more than the cost of tuition could have ever bought? Memories and experiences that will impact me for the rest of my life.
Don’t worry, Mom, you didn’t just buy $55,000 memories. I learned so much along the way. But the thing is, while I will probably forget the conditions for causality — sorry, Professor Mogekwu — there’s just something about the experiences I’ve had in my lacrosse career that will be tattooed on me forever.
For example, I know that any butterflies I may get before a job interview will not compare to the feeling of the 2013 double overtime game against SUNY Cortland under the lights in a blizzard. The same goes for any work assignment, presentation or task in the postgrad years, which will not come close to the hardness of running a six-pack — a running drill you’re better off not knowing — in the middle of February. No block in the road in the coming years will compare to overcoming two anterior cruciate ligament surgeries in high school to become a two-year men’s lacrosse captain in college.
You see, sports are magical because they provide people with these moments that give life experiences to build upon. Without a doubt, school does this as well: My C in Intro to American Literature freshman year taught me that I should speak up in class. However, while I can’t remember what books we read or the name of the professor, I can remember the smell of the grass in last year’s Empire 8 Championship game.
Sure, maybe it’s because I’m a sports junkie and have been obsessed and immersed with athletics all my life. I know, sports are just games, the same as Monopoly or Tetris.
But, like it or not, sports have a profound impact outside of a box score. Not only for the athletes who play, but for the viewers and the fans as well. Sports are something that can move and inspire mass amounts of people; cities can be united through sport, as Boston experienced last year with the Red Sox winning the World Series after the Boston Marathon bombing. Though you can quit a hobby or end a relationship, you can’t dump your hometown team.
Just understand that next time you see a final score, there’s much more that went on than pom-poms and touchdowns. It’s been an unforgettable four years, but those years will live on in memory.
Someone check campus for a pair of size nine Nikes.