By this point, if you know me, you know sports are my thing. I can get down with just about any sport.
Sports have been woven into the deepest parts of the fabric of my being and have turned into my lifeline. I’m sure if I broke it down it would be much less intense of a connection than I make it out to be, but my progress through life to becoming a young adult can be pinpointed to certain events and these events always lead me right back to sports.
It was moments like watching Derek Jeter’s last game at Fenway — mind you, I am a Yankee through and through — and while so out of place, getting beer poured down the back of my shirt and trash-talked by some die-hard Red Sox fans, I realized I loved every moment of it and I love telling this story.
Jeter was having an off day at the plate — struck out once, soft ground-balls, spray chart not looking too good, but hope was never lost; he was a playmaker, and he always pulled through.
Long story short, he cleared the Green Monster on a MOONSHOT and the whole park went bananas. Looking back, it could have been all the Yankee fans in attendance chanting “Jeter… Jeter… Jeter,” after, but there was one thing I know for sure — there were no boo’s.
And there I was, amidst one of the greatest rivalries in sports history in a city I’m not familiar with — visiting for the first time — and I am blown away that this foreign place can just melt over the aura that Jeter gave off over such a storied career.
And the thing that stuck with me most is that people felt that moment, Jeter’s last time at Fenway. I mean, Jeter meant so much to New York. He was “Mr. November”, “#2”, our captain, and these crazy sports fanatics with strong accents, spilling beer down my back, were in awe at that moment too.
Other moments impacted me too. Wearing The Jersey and going to the Sweet 16 on an at-large bid in 2016, or watching the Birthplace boys play in the NCAA D-III Final Four back in 2017-2018 on my phone from a hotel room in Manhattan the night before St. Patrick’s day.
Now that was really special because they weren’t even supposed to win the conference that year, and there they were, and there I was, huddled around an iPhone 6 on the edge of my seat as if that were the NBA finals.
Moral of the story is that sports are really special, not just to me, but in general. Miracles happen all the time, and nowadays sports are just something to believe in.
So that’s why I’m here.
“For the Record” was originally created as a spin off of a Players Tribune article I read, written by this one basketball player.
Now, before I get into who it was let me explain to you why it stuck with me, because as soon as I name drop you’ll think, “Duh, anyone with a sense of humor and an interest in basketball would have liked the piece too.”
This guy was a STUD. Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Star, NBA MVP, etc., the accolades don’t stop. He just let it rip in this article.
I mean, it was all over the place. He was talking about his Bentley as if it was a 2000 Honda Civic and after, he just let it be known that he loves to draw and he watches movies in a manner that a movie critique would. He drafted an all time starting-five and debated on the controversy around LeBron and it just kept on going on a vicious loop of nonsense.
But, it was a cool read because it felt like I was really getting to know him — Allen Iverson that is.
I heard his voice, he didn’t try too hard to sound professional or something that he wasn’t and I’d like to think I closed that tab after reading it, better.
So, I created “For The Record” because I thoroughly thought that student-athletes here at Springfield — although no AI — were about to feel this on any level that they want to be related at.
“For the Record” started small, but with a large cause. We heard from only seniors after they hung up their jerseys here at Springfield for good. For the most part, they reflected on their careers, the moments they wanted to quit… the moments they actually did and just untiring relentlessness.
It was awesome.
So, I did it again.
And the results were better than I could have ever expected opening up a whole new world to the side of athletes and the genuine relatable struggle that is paired with athletics.
So, it made me think to myself how many stories are out there and how the cause may still be large, but the search needs to be larger.
That’s why I’m deciding to open up the search for the next candidates of “For the Record.”
The sidelines, as we have recently learned, hold so much insight to the game and to life. And I know this to be true because I have walked up-and-down every sideline that Springfield has to offer. I have been in the locker rooms, I have been in the weight room with your teams. I know how hard you work, I know how you communicate with each other and I know what you talk about in pregame meetings.
I know how you look at one another when in the trenches.
I’ve been there.
I’ve also been to every Vagina Monologues performance since I first arrived on campus and I’ve been to a majority of the Acapella concerts, both winter and spring.
I’ve heard you too.
But, not close enough.
I’m calling on those who contribute to Vagina Monologues, Acapella, Take Back the Night, Denim Day, Black History Month, Strength and Conditioning, Rugby etc., I want to hear from you.
As of today, “For the Record” will be accepting nominations/anonymous nominations for anyone with a purpose who wants to share their story
So, I ask –
Photo Courtesy Springfield College