At the first Penn basketball game I attended as a college student, I wore a “Wildcats Basketball” t-shirt. I rooted for Villanova, my bandwagon Big 5 team since eighth grade, and was rewarded with a blowout win.
I think I made up one-tenth of the student section that day. There didn’t seem to be much reason to come back, except that I’d wanted to be a sportswriter since I was 12 years old.
Seven semesters (and, somehow, two summers with The Summer Pennsylvanian) later, I have many leather-bound books, my apartment smells of rich mahogany and searching my name on theDP.com yields 168 results. A few of them — hint: they’re labeled “This Week on 33rd Street” — I wish would disappear, but on the whole, this place gave me everything I ever wanted.
I ended up shedding many beads of sweat on press row at the Palestra. Before every basketball game I covered, I looked out to the floor and up to the rafters and could hardly believe where I was. I leave this campus as a Quakers fan for life.
I also leave having swallowed my share of reality doses when it comes to my dream job. I like to label them with #LifeOfASportswriter:
6:15 PM — Nov. 24, 2010: Covering my first bball game. Can’t decide between the black wrinkled polo and the grey wrinkled polo. #LOAS
6:03 PM — Jan. 12, 2011: Me & @kesteves215 are the only ppl on the subway. Haven’t eaten in 8 hours, hoping they have pizza at the game. #LOAS
1:34 AM — Jan. 29, 2011: Doing voiceover on the highlights, just dropped the line “Get that weak stuff outta here!” Might regret this in the morning. #LOAS
10:09 AM — Jan. 29, 2011: How do you delete videos from the DP archives?
1:17 PM — Feb. 6, 2011: Got to shoot around at the Palestra today during team film study. Shot like 7% from the floor. #LOAS
5:24 PM — Sept. 25, 2011: BATTLE FOR I-95 TONIGHT GONNA BE LIKE FIVE FEET AWAY FROM LEBRON MELO AND CP3 WHAT SHOULD I ASK THEM AFTER THE GAME!!!!! #LOAS
10:45 PM — Sept. 25, 2011: Team Melo doesn’t want media in the locker room. #LOAS
Some thank yous:
To Dad, for (somehow) letting me choose sportswriting over medical school.
To Mom, for reading every article I ever wrote. With your eye for typos, you’d make a great copy editor.
To Steph, for being my No. 1 cheerleader and for thinking that any combination of letters I put together was James Joyce-ian.
To Kevin, “If you were a chick, who’s the one guy you would sleep with?” “LEANDRO BARBOSA!”
To Cal, for caring an extreme, almost concerning amount about The Buzz (and the DP as a whole). #instagramwich.
To Megan, for being the baddest betch I’ll ever meet. Sorry for Flegging out on you this semester.
To The DP, for being the highlight of my Penn experience.
BRIAN KOTLOFF is a 2012 College graduate and former Sports Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian from Elkins Park, Pa. After graduation, he will work for CSNPhilly.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.