Trio ready to assume DPOSTM thrones
New eds change look because of 'Queer Eye;' steal sorority's food; rock Burberry socks, underwear
January 16, 2004, 5:00 am·
After a year of leading DPOSTM -- the Daily Pennsylvanian's Only Staff That Matters -- to perfection, the three editors of the 119th have to step aside and let a pair of well dressed individuals and a man obsessed with a German take over the reins.
Stepping into the role of Senior Sports Editor, College sophomore David Burrick will be responsible for overseeing the department and final editing all stories. He will be ably assisted in all things by Wharton sophomore Jeff Shafer and College senior Ryan Howard who are in charge of first editing and training new writers.
Like most sportswriters, Burrick has a love of fashion and lacks the ability to actually play sports.
Burrick's mother Karen noted that Burrick was varsity in quiz bowl in high school and a terrific swimmer at camp.
However, there was an uncomfortable incident when Burrick had to run the two miles from campus to the Art Museum for a fraternity event. Rocky he was not.
"He can't get up early or run, and they combined them," Karen said.
Burrick served two years as the mascot of his beloved Millburn Millers -- even submitting a photo to Penn on his application of himself in the bear costume.
"He probably could have been a cheerleader," Karen said. "If he was a little better athlete."
As Karen points out nicely, Burrick is very comfortable with his masculinity despite his lack of athletic prowess.
As his girlfriend Danielle Rabin, a sophomore at the University of Delaware, noted in a slightly more blunt fashion, Burrick likes "gay topics."
These activities include, but by no means have been limited to, his love of musicals, Justin Timberlake, breaking out into song in public, wearing a pink tutu and angel wings in front of an audience and the television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Burrick's respect for the fashion sense of the "Fab Five" led him to purchase an entirely new wardrobe this past fall, according to Rabin.
"He goes crazy for" their advice, Rabin said.
His love of fashion and music can only be topped by Burrick's love for fellow Penn sophomore and Daily Pennsylvanian sportswriter Jonathan Tannenwald.
"He basically worships him," said Burrick's roommate Matt Rosenbaum, a College sophomore. "I hear about him pretty much everyday."
"He's pretty much obsessed with him," Rabin added.
But did she know the depths of his obsession?
"If I could take invisible juice, I think I would just follow him around all the time," Burrick said.
"I'm not surprised," a somewhat jealous Rabin said.
Burrick -- nicknamed "Smiley" from a young age due to his sickeningly ceaseless smiling -- needed no invisible juice, though, to break into the Palestra.
According to Rosenbaum, Burrick and a friend from his hall went to Hutchinson gymnasium to shoot some hoops. Finding it closed, they decided to check the doors of College Basketball's Most Historic Gym and discovered they were left unlocked. While the court was dark, they played on it anyway.
Wanting to play sports was not always the case with Burrick, as he picked a summer camp that specifically de-emphasized athletics.
Should you at any point speak to him for more than five minutes, you will get several stories about the famed Tyler Hill -- the sight of Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky's camp days as well.
"I think he likes it because he's so cool there and kind of a loser everywhere else," Rabin theorized.
Upon hearing these words, there was little doubt Burrick was the right man for the DP.
There are very few rules that relate to the building of 4015 Walnut Street, the headquarters of the Daily Pennsylvanian.
There are even fewer about the sports office.
But one of these regulations is that pictures that go up on the walls must remain there -- until they fall off.
Over the past month, Ryan Howard has had a fair amount of time to add his input to the historic wall above his desk.
He has only added one picture to the wall so far. Not a girlfriend, not a picture of him with other editors -- Howard decided to add a feature of Penn center Jan Fikiel to the wall.
Whatever does it for you, I suppose.
A founding member of Jan's Fans (pronounced Yon's Fons), a student group at Penn basketball games, Howard has strict allegiances to the seven-foot German that presumably do not affect his objectivity.
Howard's roommate Patrick Kinnaird calls the new editor who sits under Fikiel's picture a "die-hard sports fan."
An avid Mets follower, sometimes the New York native gets a little carried away. One night last year, a not-so-sober Howard was walking along the street late one night and was hungry.
Where does one go to get some food? Why a sorority, of course.
Howard and rang the doorbell and according to Kinnaird, made up "some story" to get in the door.
Once inside, Howard wasted no time and bolted toward the Krispie Kreme donuts on the table.
But aghast, somebody was wearing a Yankees hat in the room. Even if this sorority was feeding him, nobody had a right to be a Yankees fan. Not in a foreign house. Not anywhere. Howard let the individual know about the cardinal sin.
Negotiating his way into the sorority apparently isn't unique -- Howard takes charge.
"He's always been the boss of the group," said Bob Mone, who has known Howard since kindergarden.
Known as a practical joker, the College senior never calls people by their first names -- "usually by their father's first name, actually" Mone said.
The sports fanatic has traveled all over the country to see games, and with the luxury of getting free flights because his dad works for American Airlines, nothing stops him.
His first professional "athletic" event was Wrestlemania in Toronto. Since then, he's moved on to real sports, however.
He'll travel anywhere in the country to see sports.
As a DP sports editor, he'll have plenty more opportunities.
Jeff Shafer is a man of many accomplishments. Aside from being a Design Editor on the 119th Board, he also once bought a soda entirely with nickels. This prompted him to exclaim "I've bought a soda entirely with nickels."
While most would rest on their laurels having accomplished that in their first term on the paper, Shafer decided to come back for another go this year as a Sports Editor.
While most Penn students come from non-freak states, Shafer hails from Montana. This leaves him passionate about Division I-AA football and driving too fast. He speeds around the barren expanse in a small plastic car.
"I come from Montana," Shafer said. "Where the men are men, and the sheep are scared."
Shafer was unable to bring that small plastic vehicle or a sheep to London. However, he was able to go on a rather extravagant shopping spree that even his famously meterosexual boss Burrick would be proud of. The romp included a trip to the Burberry store that resulted in a purchase of three of every item of clothing there is. Had you been wondering if Burberry makes socks, one glance at Shafer's delicate ankles would answer that age-old question.
Ironically, the Burberry socks did not stand out from Shafer's personality.
"They're par for the course," former Managing Editor Marla Dunn said.
Over the past year Shafer has learned a lot about running a newspaper. While learning about newspapers, he taught everyone a lot more about the female and male form. His Thursday night edition of sex tips -- a juicy tidbit on how to please your partner announced over the DP's loud speaker -- got even the most asocial and asexual member of the board -- former Editorial Page Editor Steve Brauntuch -- going.
Shafer's extreme use of annunciation -- for your listening pleasure -- could first be heard announcing football games for his high school radio station. Perhaps it was this experience that set him apart from everyone else in the history of his high school. Shafer became the first person of Columbia Falls to attend Penn when he began attending Wharton last fall.
Needless to say, Shafer is uniquely qualified to handle the myriad of work coming his way as a sports editor. Well, at least he dresses the part.