By Cameron Blair
So it comes to this. My semester as your favorite sports columnist has come to a close. Before this semester, I was worried about coming up with enough material for a weekly column, but since there was never a glob of white space left on the sports page I was able to come up with something every week.Now, the quality of my material is up for you guys, my dear readers, to judge. To end the sports column season, I will present a list of things I learned in my 16 weeks of being your sports columnist.
I have discovered that lists are a great way to learn and remember things. Of course, sometimes one can lose a list and forget everything that person was supposed to do-it’s just a vicious cycle.
Nonetheless, I present you with the 31 valuable and trivial lessons I’ve learned in my first run as a sports columnist.
1. Press passes are one of mankind’s best inventions. I had the opportunity to watch every Eastern men’s basketball game while sitting on press row, which is close enough to get hit with a basketball or a rubber duck if one is not careful.
2. I love my job.
3. Mike Rose led Eastern in scoring and steals this season and he can get into the paint at will. He should win OVC Player of the Year next season.
4. Darnell Dialls led the team in rebounding and cool hair. He also has a bright career as a graphic designer ahead of him.
5. I always hoped Dialls would come help us design the Progress, mainly because it would be beyond cool to have someone six-feet-nine-inches tall in the office.
6. Justin Stommes will have a breakout year next season. The sophomore-to-be is six-feet-three-inches tall and can run the point effectively. Can you say matchup problem?
7. All of Eastern’s assistant basketball coaches are great basketball players. Word of advice: Don’t play pickup basketball with these guys if you see them at the Fitness and Wellness Center.
8. This job has allowed me to meet a major league baseball player, Josh Anderson, and a potential Olympian, Dallas Robinson.
9. Did I mention I love my job?
10. Eastern’s women’s tennis team was beyond dominant this season. They won 10 straight matches at one point during the season and were barely edged out by Samford in the OVC championship.
11. I never want to be involved in an altercation with a tennis player. They may be some of the most intense competitors I’ve ever seen. I thought an actual fight was going to break out at a match over a scoring dispute. Cool stuff.
12. Tennis Head Coach Rob Oertel has incredible taste in music. He also suggested that I buy a Sirius Stiletto satellite radio system for my car.
13. I am forever in debt to Rob Oertel.
14. My mugshot is misrepresentative of my appearance. I needed a haircut, a shave and some sleep the day it was taken. Don’t judge me by my mugshot.
15. Eastern’s baseball team is becoming a breeding ground for major league prospects. The Colonels have had seven players drafted since Elvis Dominguez took over the program and will likely have multiple players drafted after this season.
16. Dominguez is also the most quotable coach at Eastern.
17. He’s also a Yankees fan, but I can look past that.
18. Speaking of prospects, left-hander Christian Friedrich is projected to be a top-10 pick in June. I’ve seen very large men buckle their knees when Friedrich drops his curveball on them.
19. My editor encouraged me to do a column on trying to get a hit off of Friedrich.
20. I refused because I wanted to be able to keep the small amount of dignity I have left.
21. Friedrich will be on a major league roster in no more than three years if he stays healthy.
22. Hopefully he ends up with the Cubs. God knows they need left-handed pitching.
23. Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry coached Dominguez during his playing days. I am a huge Cubs fan. I love networking
24. I’m not sure if I said this yet, but I love my job.
25. Track and field/cross country coach Rick Erdmann is one of the best in the business. He’s won approximately 369 conference championships during his tenure at Eastern.
26. Erdmann is also probably in better shape than I am.
27. Writing the sports column will, in all likelihood, be the only time I will ever get to write about a Nazi sex orgy scandal.
28. That is, unless, I make it to Washington, D.C. and get to cover the Congress beat.
29. I’m going to miss doing the sports column next semester.
30. I know you guys will miss me, too.
31. Some advice for the next sports columnist: If you can’t think of any column ideas just make a long list of random things.