The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

I've missed being a sports writer.

It's strange --ÿI never left the DP, but I haven't been around much lately. I wrote just nine stories this fall, spending much more time looking for jobs, working on a documentary project and trying to break free of my post-Sept. 11 mental haze.

I have seen more athletes face-to-face this week between classrooms and Smoke's than I did in postgame press conferences all of last semester.

It was not fun, being away from the DP and from the press box. There is so much to miss, and in this, my last semester at Penn, I plan to miss none of it.

I will see men's basketball coach Fran Dunphy, and he will greet me, as usual, with two words.

"Hello, Spector."

I'll interview him, and he will work my last name into as many of his responses as he possibly can, noting for sure that Penn's upcoming opponent is "a very good basketball team." When I'm done, Dunphy will jokingly ask if I have any more questions, remembering when all of my interviews ended with the rookie's query, "Anything else?"

I trembled with fear the first time I talked to Dunphy. It was November in 1998, barely two months into my DP career. My previous story was a men's fencing season preview that amounted to little more than a list of fencers and scheduled meets. I was scared silly that my questions for Dunphy -- a man who I had seen on television at the NCAA Tournament long before I dreamed of coming to Penn -- would be among the dumbest that he had ever heard.

Now, though, I look forward to seeing Dunphy. I even look forward to the occasions this semester when I will ask him a stupid question, and he will respond with biting sarcasm.

I look forward to sitting in my dorm room for an entire afternoon, waiting for a coach from Cornell or Dartmouth to return my phone call.

I cannot wait for a Friday in February, when it will surely be raining, and I will be in a car full of DP reporters stuck in New York traffic, just an hour or so before Penn's basketball game at Yale that night. We will show up at halftime, and our stories the following Monday will focus a little too heavily on the Saturday night game at Brown.

I hope that those stories don't get finished until we spend the better part of Sunday afternoon tossing a football around the newsroom, and ultimately bouncing the ball off of a news reporter's head, just as that writer is in the middle of a phone call with Judith Rodin.

I also look forward to seeing the Penn women's basketball team play again, and I also wait eagerly for the spring, when I will cover my last beat for the DP before moving on to minor league baseball, another college or whatever I wind up covering next year, wherever I wind up covering it.

Sometime this spring, I will talk to baseball coach Bob Seddon. Actually, I will ask Seddon one question, and he will talk for long enough to provide me with quotes for the rest of the season.

I will go to Murphy Field to watch a doubleheader in the April sun, and I will watch my DP career come to an all-too-quick end.

But I will not miss out on these last few months. I will be here, watching sports and writing about them, just so long as the Connecticut Highway Patrol chooses not to lock us up for our speedy rush to get to those road games on time.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.