It’s not Thanksgiving for another six months, but I have a lot to be grateful for as I get ready to graduate from Penn. So instead of using this space to try to impart some random lesson on younger students at this school that no one will listen to anyway, here’s a sappy, non-exhaustive list of The Daily Pennsylvanian Sports things that I’m thankful for as my four years here come to a close.
- Staff meetings: These Tuesday night get-togethers have been a staple of DPOSTM — that’s the “DP’s Only Section That Matters” for the uninformed — for as long as I’ve been in the department. We were understandably concerned about what would happen to the meetings after we could no longer hold them in person, but the Zoom versions held up remarkably well, all because of our great reporters. I couldn’t have chosen a better group of people to do icebreakers and Kahoots with.
- Basketball games at the Palestra: There weren’t any of these this year, and it took away one of the best parts of being a sports fan and reporter at Penn. Watching a game at the Cathedral is maybe the most underrated and underappreciated experience students here can have, and I’m really happy I took advantage of those opportunities. Whether it was with other DPOSTMites in the student section or on press row, the Palestra never disappointed.
- DPOSTM road trips: Another relic of the pre-COVID-19 world that should (hopefully) return soon, these trips allowed me to feel most like a professional sports reporter. I also was able to explore many of the inferior Ivy League basketball gyms and freeze my toes off at Harvard during a November football game.
- Print nights in the office: Print nights probably represented the DP at its most collaborative, with editors, associates, and reporters from every department working together to put together a product that we could all be proud of. They also allowed for some great bonding within DPOSTM through intense PIG games and debates about sports.
- The Kamin Cup: I took part in this historic annual event three times, and all were great experiences (all were also wins for DPOSTM). However, the most enjoyable one for me came after we had to improvise this year, moving the event to May and switching it from football to kickball. The sunburns that came after weren’t fun, but the afternoon itself definitely was.
- The future of DPOSTM: I was a bit worried about what our fall recruiting would look like in a virtual environment, but it ended up far exceeding anyone’s expectations. We ended up with a great group of enthusiastic rookies who rose to the occasion in an extremely difficult year and will help make up the foundation of the department for the next few years. Along with DPOSTM’s terrific group of current editors and other returning veterans, the section is in a very good place moving forward.
- The friends I’ve made and people I’ve met: DPOSTM introduced me to a phenomenal community of people who were passionate about sports, but more importantly, were kind and great to be around. I’ve made some of my closest friends through this department, and no story I ever wrote or edited matters as much as that.
MICHAEL LANDAU is a graduating Wharton senior from Scarsdale, N.Y. studying Finance. He served as a senior sports editor on The Daily Pennsylvanian’s 136th Board of Editors and Managers. Previously he was a sports editor, associate, and reporter.
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