I never really expected to be the DP’s senior sports editor.
I can’t claim, as many of my fellow seniors can, that I entered college with delusions of becoming Bill Simmons or Howard Cosell. I don’t doubt there’s a sizable portion of the Class of 2011 who dreamed of sitting courtside at the fabled Palestra and watching the Quakers snatch up another championship, and while Noah Rosenstein and Matt Flegenheimer might have been among them, it’s safe to say that I was not.
To put it in a relatable way, the series of bizarre turns that led me to share a cluttered office as part of arguably the most sundry crew to control the back page in years might feature as many unexpected setbacks as Jack Eggleston’s collegiate career.
The thing is, I don’t know if I would have had it any other way.
Without a freshman-year foray to the Hoosier State, it’s unlikely I would have fallen in love with collegiate athletics. And had it not been for the misery of music school, I wouldn’t have ended up at Penn.
A hectic sophomore-year tragedy that kicked off my Penn experience led me to the DP, and eventually, my job as a design editor. An elections controversy more damning than Bush v. Gore stuck me at the helm of what was, at the time, the DP’s Only Staff That Maladjusted. A year of defying authority and narrowly avoiding conflict won me Editor of the Year.
My point being — aside from the opportunity to self-indulgently see my biography in print — that things have a funny way of always working out. That which does not kill us may make us antagonistic and bitter for a short while, but it certainly does make us stronger.
In my case, though, being knocked around at the DP brought me more than two amazing co-editors (of whom I’m incredibly proud), lifelong friends (here’s to you, 126) and a shockingly thorough understanding of the sex industry.
On Feb. 3, 1992, the Daily Pennsylvanian published an article entitled “Hillel begins bone marrow drive.” Buried on page 12, the story was about my father, who passed away when I was four.
Finding the article on an errant day flipping through bound archives of the DP was surreal. But that’s not the takeaway of this column, nor should it be.
One of the oft-repeated stories of my father involves him frequently sneaking out of his seat at Knicks games to sit courtside with the players’ wives.
It’s a story that has resonated with me every time I don a badge and sit on press row at the Palestra.
And as I prepare to leave Penn and this paper for the next chapter, it’s that connection that I’ll miss the most.
MICHAEL GOLD is a former 34th Street Film Editor, Senior Sports Editor, Summer Pennsylvanian Editor-in-Chief and Sports Design Editor, as well as a 2011 College graduate from Reston, Va. (That extensive list of accolades exists to reassure you that despite his current lack of employment options, he’ll be just fine. Really.)