Seven semesters ago, an ephemeral time period by any standard except perhaps one labeled “Kardashian Marriage,” I began writing this column. Today marks my penultimate penning, the final weekly installment of “Live From Mudville.” And there are so many people I would like to thank before the orchestral music plays me off the stage.
Thank you to those who provided me with a constant source of material over the years. Ozzie Guillen, LeBron James and all the rest of the other volcanoes for traditional column fodder, spewing hate−filled vitriol and naivete that never failed to beg for social commentary on the state of the world.
Thank you Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow, for repeating the trope of the alluring narrative, that black hole of story that sucks in fans and media alike, spiraling the story so far out of control that it almost becomes unrecognizable, too distant from its origin.
Thank you March Madness, Marathon Monday and any other alliterative springtime traditions that I can relentlessly ridicule, all in the name of fun. My relationship with such events is somewhat like a schoolyard bully pulling the pretty girl’s pigtails. Because man, are those fun to write about.
Thank you to the Miami−based Sled Dog Action Coalition, for emailing me at 8 a.m. one morning my freshman year to teach me about cruelty in the Iditarod. Your credibility is through the roof, especially given that your intern presumably spent the morning frolicking on Google News, trolling for someone — anyone, even a Tufts Daily columnist — to send your prepackaged, South Beach rhetoric about a snow sport to.
Thank you to the Tufts athletics community, for welcoming me into its ranks and giving me journalistic access. Thank you to the brains behind the men’s basketball team’s “Circus” promotion, to football coach Jay Civetti and baseball coach John Casey for their willingness to talk and to their players for opening up to a kid.
I’d like to thank you, my reader. All one of you. Over the past seven semesters, I’ve written about Thanksgiving, Patriots’ Day and Christmas. I’ve written about why we love to hate, why we cry at a trivial game featuring players with whom we will never come in contact but grow angry when those same players show that same emotion, and why we love these same players to whom we somehow feel this spiritual connection, bonded through sport.
I’ve written about scapegoating, reactionary fans and knee−jerk panic; the appeal of enmity; the plight of the masses and the road to becoming a legend. I wrote about Anne Frank’s purported blindness, dropping the f−bomb on television and the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl. And then I went out and ate Beef O’Brady’s.
I’ve written serious open letters to idiot coaches, hopeful ones to budding leaders and satirical help−wanted ads for Tufts graduates. I wrote that The Tufts Daily sent me to cover the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and people wondered how I made it back for class later that week.
I wrote about a “fantasy−fantasy baseball” draft featuring only fictional players, and I solicited user submissions for columns about your most glorious moments playing fantasy football. I told readers about my love for Kool−Aid Jammers, “(500) Days of Summer” and “Recess.”
To pretend I, or any columnist at the Daily for that matter, maintains a loyal readership would be delusional. But this is an amazing platform for expression, for a weird kid to make bad jokes and write about the intersection between sports and life on a weekly basis. So thank you for reading, and thank you to those — editors, readers, friends — who helped make this column somehow last seven semesters.
Most of all, I want to thank Jesus. Jesus Montero. Catcher for the Seattle Mariners. I like the way he plays sports. Thanks, Jesus. For everything.