Cohen | Four years of bylines
May 10, 2012, 7:36 pm·
The first Penn sports story I wrote was about a women’s soccer game. As soon as I woke up on the day it was published, I got a copy of the paper and looked for my article.
More specifically, I looked for my byline.
As soon as I found it, I brought the paper back to my room, cut out my story and posted it on my wall.
I did the same thing with the next story I wrote, and the one after that. It wasn’t long before the wall of McKean 108 in the ‘Nipple’ of Fisher-Hassenfeld was covered with stories full of what I thought were very snappy one-liners.
The fact that most of my work was hardly as sophisticated as I believed it to be didn’t matter; seeing my name on Daily Pennsylvanian newsprint was the culmination of a somewhat nerdy obsession with sports journalism that began in high school.
Over the last four years, I’ve accumulated enough bylines to satisfy my lust for permanence. As Paul Bettany’s portrayal of Geoffrey Chaucer explains in A Knight’s Tale, immortality lies within the bounds of ink and paper.
There is an area in the DP office that is colloquially known as “the morgue.” And from first looks, the name makes sense. The space consists of a prison cell-sized room stacked from floor to ceiling with dead newspapers because that’s what happens to news when it becomes old.
Hidden within the walls of the morgue lie generations of bylines, all of which are linked to generations of DP writers. In a weird way, it feels like I’m leaving a little bit of a legacy, even if it is only on paper.
Now, in what are soon to be my final keystrokes as a DP sportswriter, I am just happy that my words have a certain place in history. If you’re reading this, you are the reason I write. So thank you and good night.
ELI COHEN is a 2012 College graduate from Washington, D.C. He will be attending law school in the near future to pursue a career in criminal law. He can be contacted at email@example.com.