Pat Knapp was a great coach to cover.
He treated reporters with respect and, at any moment, might say something like “I don’t know how to spell discombobulated, but it was a wreck” or “We’re just going to shiver in our boots and fall over and just die.”
But I’ll most remember his words on a January evening in 2007, when I was a wide-eyed freshman covering my first road game. Knapp’s women’s basketball team didn’t fare so well.
Before I could even ask a question, his raspy voice — surely the result of perpetual overuse — was already at work.
“You wasted your time,” he said to me.
Well, sir, I have to disagree.
Over the past four years, I’ve been fortunate enough to write 130 stories for this amazing news organization. (Happy Birthday, DLei.). I saw Jonathan “Super” Squibb chow down 238 chicken wings (and “Obi Wing” throw up nearly 100). I learned of Doug Glanville’s video-game wars with Curt Schilling, and Andrea Kremer’s “fuckability.” I watched in fear and amazement as Philadelphia celebrated the Phillies’ World Series title like only this city can, although I am still not sure why a luggage store is worth looting.
I covered only the most demanding Olympic sports: first table tennis, then racewalking. I’ve been to three-point land and back. I helped save swimming from itself. I was there for football’s Ivy League championship, wrestlers’ court hearings, Kevin Egee’s buzzer beater, Todd Roth’s near perfect game and Leslie King’s announcement that “You are awful, you are awful, and everybody knows that you are awful.” And yes, I sat through more than my share of women’s hoops losses where, as Knapp once said, the opponent “came in driving an Indy racecar. We showed up with a bicycle.”
But through it all — even 50-hour weeks at 4015 Walnut Street — I am certain I did not waste my time.
I’m also sure that this goodbye column is my toughest assignment yet, which probably explains my Wheelingesque pace. How running for Sports Editor was the best decision I made at Penn; how I learned more about life in that year than in all my classes combined; how The Daily Pennsylvanian means so much to me — all that has already been expressed quite well by talented writers before me. There’s nothing original that I can add.
So all I can do is thank everyone who made this day necessary. I may not have accomplished all my goals at the DP (lucky you, John Cole), but we produced a lot of great content and had a lot of fun along the way.
To everyone who ever wrote for DPOSTM:
To every athlete, coach, and member of the administration who was willing to talk to me:
To Athletic Communications, for setting up those interviews (I don’t care what Jen Scuteri’s survey says; Dolan, you’re the best):
To Pat Knapp, for everything above, and for explaining the NCAA rule on horse wagering:
To “Penn Students Who Don’t Read the DP,” for still reading the DP:
To each member of the 124, for making that year everything it was:
To Juliette, for being an incredible Managing Editor — knowing when to have fun and when to hit us (well, perhaps you were a tad over-aggressive), when to referee and when to take sides, when to be a friend and when to be a boss:
To Moyse, for making a 50-hour-a-week job enjoyable:
To Wheeling, Illario, Sebastien, Krista and Scurria, for showing me how DPOSTM works:
To Noah and Klitzman, for stepping up and for coining BBB, an utterly brilliant addition to DPOSTM lore:
To Michael, Lauren and Cal, for not deleting all of the inside jokes in this column:
To Mr. Shields, for indispensable fourth-grade grammar lessons:
To Todd Roth’s girlfriend, for sterling baseball commentary:
To Mark DeRosa, for giving us the Sports bat:
To my parents, of course:
To Yu, for providing hours upon hours of laughs. You might not get the joke — but why would she? She wasn’t there:
And to you, for reading. Without you, there is no DP:
And always remember: If there is a mistake here, or elsewhere on these pages, blame Copy.
DAVID GURIAN-PECK is a 2010 College and Wharton graduate from New York and a former Sports Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. He can be contacted at email@example.com. After graduating, he will be moving back to New York to work for the Boston Consulting Group.Comments powered by Disqus
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