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Credit: Sydney Curran

If you’re reading this self-serving trip down memory lane, you might be one of my friends and family. Or, more likely, you’re trying to read about the encampment and got lost on The Daily Pennsylvanian’s website.

If you’re in the latter camp, just hit the menu button on the top left and go to news. And if you’re reading this in the physical paper … Who am I kidding, nobody actually picks up one of those. But if you’re one of my friends and family, I’m going to tell a story you might have already heard. Bear with me.

While I was sports editor, a group of us made the seven-hour commute to Hanover, N.H., to cover a football game at Dartmouth College. At the time, we did a “Picks are In” column, where we’d predict each week’s game. All but one of our writers picked Dartmouth, who were 11.5-point favorites. 

Cut to: Penn somehow wins in double overtime, I’m in the process of writing what will become an extremely mediocre recap, and we’re sitting in a nearly empty press conference waiting to speak to Penn’s coach.

One of us eventually asked him, “What message do you think this win sends to the rest of the Ivy League?” While staring directly at us, he said, “I don’t think anyone gave us a chance today... People were writing stories without giving us Quakers a chance. So message: We are 3-0, ready to play another game next week.” 

I checked. We were the only ones that had written a word about this game.

We, a group of 20-year-olds, had published something that pissed off a Division I football coach, and when we were proven wrong, he rightly told us to our faces.

It was completely fair for him — who, I should mention, is a very nice guy — to call us out. And it gets at a key aspect of college sports journalism: It can be very bizarre. 

One time, I was covering a road football game from my room. I watched the game on TV, and a buddy of mine came in and watched with me. With 10 minutes to go, we were talking about a Penn running back that was tearing through Cornell’s defense.

“Oh yeah,” I said. “I'll probably talk to him.”

I was on the phone with the running back a little over 10 minutes later. As my friend sat bemused on my couch, the guy who just charged through linemen on my TV was on the phone with me so I could mumble disjointed questions at him.

Again, bizarre.

Former Sports Editor Brandon Pride and I once traveled to New York for a baseball series at Columbia University. In the second game of the series, Penn blew a six-run lead in the last couple innings and lost on a walk-off homer.

Rough way to lose. And rough for Brandon and me, who now had to talk to the coach about their collapse. 

We waited as the team emerged from the dugout, terrified of having to confront a coach whose team just lost in the worst way imaginable. As he came out, we told him who we were, and he quickly exclaimed, “Oh wow, thanks for coming out, guys!” and couldn’t have been any nicer.

You never know what to expect from the people you’re interviewing. Like how you don’t expect Rick Pitino to tell you and the rest of a cramped postgame press conference about how the NCAA got its comeuppance in his infamous “ladies of the night” investigation.

But that’s part of what makes this very specific brand of journalism so great, and the memories I have from it are some of the best from my time in college.

After that Dartmouth game, we drove 45 minutes in the middle of the night to a place called “D Acres Permaculture Farm & Educational Homestead.”

If that sounds like it’s not a luxury hotel, you would be correct. I’d waited till the last couple days before our trip to book a hotel. Much to my surprise, it was Family Weekend at Dartmouth, which meant that all the hotels in Hanover were full. The only one available was D Acres, located more or less in the middle of nowhere. 

It was cheap, so D Acres had that going for it.

We drove up around midnight to what looked like a haunted house, unsure if we’d end up sleeping in the car. To our surprise, it was actually quite nice. The room next to the kitchen was for butchering pigs, and you needed to pay with quarters to shower. But the beds were comfy, and we weren’t in a tent like the website suggested we might be.

For less than $60 a person, it was a good value. Plus, like many trips, it was a night with friends that I’ll never forget.

Photos courtesy of Matthew Frank

I’ve written over 120 articles for the DP (yikes), and although a couple of those were actually pretty good, it’s the memories and the friends that I’ll be most proud of and thankful for about my time in DPOSTM (The DP’s Only Section That Matters, for the uninformed).

I’m thankful for the guys on Sunday Shift™, for being the only reason I’d ever wake up before noon on a Sunday. And Jonah and the other non-DPOSTMites who made late nights in the office not so miserable. 

I’m appreciative of my non-DP friends, for constantly putting up with my “Sorry, I can’t. I have a stupid DP thing” excuse, and my family, for reading everything I ever wrote.

And of course, I gotta thank Bill Simmons — that’s right, I’m ending on this — the reason I ever wanted to try this stuff in the first place.

MATTHEW FRANK is a College senior studying English from Miami. He served as a sports editor on the 138th Board of The Daily Pennsylvanian. His email is