The Rosster: Goodbye

BY BEN ROSS | MAY 16, 2014 5:00 AM

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Well. This is it. For the past four years I’ve brought you the what’s what on Hawkeye sports for The Daily Iowan and that time has come to a close. All good things must come to an end, and really, you deserve someone better.

I’ve brought you ghost stories and tales of courage. From tennis matches to football games, from semitrucks to treadmills, I’ve written about it all. The words and the stories I have brought to you, the reader, over the past eight semesters have given me nothing but pleasure, and that’s something I hope you can appreciate and respect.

The past four years have been a life lesson, with sports just being the backdrop for the teaching. I’ve learned to deal with and cater to certain personalities. Kirk Ferentz once facetiously asked me if I was eligible to play football for Iowa. Bob Rydze, a former diving coach, once crumpled a copy of the newspaper up into a ball and threw it at me because he had a problem with what I was writing.

The former baseball coach threatened to cut off our coverage because I spoke to some players in a manner he deemed inappropriate. I’ve had a former swimming coach cry to me and worry about her wrongful termination. Devyn Marble once complimented me on my tie. I’ve seen grown men cry and moan for direction in the wake of defeat.

These interactions aren’t something you can teach, and how one handles himself in front of a stranger is the ultimate test of becoming a functioning member of society. While Iowa City offers a wide range of these unique experiences on its own, it’s up to you, dear reader, to leave the comforts of the bars on the Ped Mall, and find these experiences on your own time.

I was fortunate enough to fail my math for business class as a freshman, and get welcomed into the newspaper with 100 pairs of open arms. Not many are that lucky to find a niche carved out just for them so early in life.

I decided to make the most of opportunities offered to me as a sportswriter. I implore you to make the most of your opportunities offered to you, whether you’re an RA, bartender, or engineering major, it doesn’t matter. As long as it makes you happy, do it. You have four years here to make an impression, so why not fit your own mold? This town doesn’t hold grudges or judge. It appears Vodka Samm has landed on two feet, so you can too.

I remember in 2012, I was in Evanston covering the Iowa-Northwestern football game. Ferentz was particularly salty in the postgame of that loss to the Wildcats and had an unbecoming aura to his demeanor. He apparently got in a nasty exchange with a well-known Iowa football reporter behind the scenes later on. That same reporter came up to a colleague and me in the press box afterwards and rhetorically asked; “You guys are going to law school, right?” (I’m not trying to make Ferentz look like a bad person here, that’s just how it went down).

While it would be cool, and make my parents incredibly happy if I went to law school, the two of us knew that we weren’t cut out for it. We have spent countless hours for little to no pay honing our craft, traveling to faraway places, and spending time with people who didn’t seem to appreciate our work. To change one’s career just because a man of great recognition in a position of power treats you poorly is no reason to give up what it is that makes you happy.

I can only hope you all have loved or will enjoy your time on campus as much as I did. If you’re not loving every second of college and learning from the experiences you’re harboring here, then it’s likely you’re doing something wrong.

The Daily Iowan, you’ve given me a platform to be heard, and even though most don’t care to listen to what I have to say, that’s OK. Thank you.

Iowa City, you’ve made a man out of me. I wish there was more I could do to thank you other than sing your praises from these hallowed pages.

This isn’t goodbye, Iowa City, and those who made my time here special. It’s see you later.

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