Lions, Tigers, and Bears…Oh my.
Apparently it was once a goal of mine to make this the lede of one of my columns—it just shows you how far and how long its been since I wrote my first one. But at least I can say I accomplished my goals, with a special thanks to Columbia baseball.
In fact, we have arrived at my 50th and final column. (Technically it’s number 49, but I’m pretty sure one of my other 75 articles could pass as a column.) Any way, I suppose the number needs to be accurate when it’s entered into the Book of Pathetic Records for most sports columns written on Columbia and/or on Ivy League athletics.
I do not feel a need to defend myself for all the time devoted to Columbia athletics. Sports encompass everything about culture and beyond—it’s not just about the scores, although sometimes it might feel like it. Having spent time covering and working in the industry, nothing can be as heartwarming as sports. Especially when teams, organizations and athletes use their popularity to make a difference—even small gestures can be endlessly awesome.
There is nothing in journalism or broadcasting that compares to covering a live sporting event. And frankly, the Ivy League showcases most of what is good about sports. (Of course, some of its priorities and regulations are certainly questionable, and there is that long-standing habit of overvaluing tradition.) But as I recently wrote, Columbia athletics is probably in the best place that it has been in during my lifetime.
This university has several problems, but I do not think athletics is an urgent one anymore.
As for this publication, I appreciate its great history and am honored to be apart of it. That being said, it needs to learn to take itself less seriously. A large mission of a student newspaper—Ivy League or not—should be to give students every opportunity to get experience in journalism (and business).
Hence, I have no warm feelings to express from recent years (for those, you can head here). I enjoyed my time as an associate in 2011 (along such luminaries as Molly, Rebeka, Trevor and Jeremiah), and will likely be the final person to give MB 135 a well-deserved shout-out, especially our sports editors, Jim and Mrinal. I also suppose I will always be the true reigning Pixbox champion. I wrote the final victory column in this publication, which must have been awful enough to kill off the whole competition. That’s a true legacy.
I also enjoyed my time when I was allowed to write about our baseball team as much as I wished. The breaks didn’t go the Lions’ way back in 2011 and 2012, but I’m glad I got to place a spotlight on such a great program before it became the first Ivy baseball dynasty of the 21st century. And thanks to its architect and head coach, Brett Boretti, for being awesome along the way. I also must thank the leading hitter in minor league baseball—fresh off a 25-game hitting streak—Dario Pizzano for allowing me to cover his journey. Things have worked out fortuitously, but my favorite subject in my time in the student media has been being able to cover him from his achievements in college all the way through where he is now.
Thanks to Darlene, Mike, Pete and Alex for their help and support. Also, a tip of the hat to Muneeb, Kyle and Dan for putting up with the nonsense—known as this column—in recent years.
Biggest thanks go to everyone who has been involved—those who have critiqued, supported, hated on, listened or read anything I have written or said in this publication or at WKCR. The passion of alumni (and a small group of students) is one of the reasons why Columbia athletics is now likely to be something we can take great pride in for years to come. It’s time to bring home a basketball championship next year.
Maybe that would be deserving of column number 50. But otherwise, Roar Ryan Roar is finally no more. Thanks for reading.
Ryan Young is a Columbia College senior majoring in economics-statistics. He is the sports director for WKCR. Roar Ryan Roar runs biweekly.