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Credit: Sydney Curran

I have been a die-hard sports fan for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was glued to my TV as I watched the Cavs and Warriors battle back-and-forth for four years straight in the NBA Finals, the Buckeyes destroyed that team up north every November for eight years straight (that will resume this fall), and my Bengals sadly following-up promising regular seasons with devastating playoff losses (thankfully that has changed). I would spend countless hours sharpening my sports knowledge and opinions through watching "First Take" and "Undisputed," or reading practically every article on ESPN.

Despite my strong following of sports and sports media, though, I never once saw myself in journalism, even as a hobby. My high school had a well-established newspaper with a sports section. Yet, I never once had the interest to write an article during my four years. I never really enjoyed writing in general, so I thought to myself, “Why would I spend my free time doing that?”

In my first semester at Penn, I attended the virtual club fair and came across The Daily Pennsylvanian’s Only Section That Matters (DPOSTM). I had learned about and admired the DP’s importance at Penn before I even started college. While journalism still was not my interest, I thought I would keep an open mind and joined DPOSTM thinking it would at least be a good way to make some new friends with similar interests and limit my boredom from COVID-19 lockdowns. I still remember spending a whole day going through the online archives for individual game recaps for my first-ever story on Penn’s 2012 football Ivy Title and the excitement I got after seeing it published online. Still, my first year at DPOSTM was relatively uneventful. I struggled to consistently write stories while balancing a loaded schedule of pre-med requirements. I never thought that the DP would soon after turn out to become an integral part of my Penn experience.

After not being involved during the summer, I got an email right before the school year about becoming an associate editor. I filled out the form not expecting to get picked, as many of the clubs I had applied to at Penn ended in rejection before. However, when I got the email saying I was accepted, I was pleasantly surprised and eager to start. During my first associate shift, I felt uneasy not having met anyone from DPOSTM in person yet. Once I entered the office, though, I felt relaxed and in awe seeing all the old newspapers and posters tacked on the wall, thinking I could leave something of my own there one day. Though I had just met Brandon, Lochlahn, Joey, and Nicky, I quickly felt I was a part of their and the larger DPOSTM community. We would spend shifts talking about our NFL teams or watching random basketball games on the monitors. Their love for sports writing quickly spread to me, and I went from having written about six stories up until then to matching that total in just one week. Moreover, I began to get involved with DPOSTM outside of Wednesday shifts by attending the weekly meetings and going on road trips to cover Penn football games at Columbia and Harvard University.


That semester motivated me to eventually run for and become an editor in 2022. Initially, the responsibilities felt daunting. The long shifts on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday and Wednesday nights sounded annoying, but those concerns quickly washed away. Working with Matt to help lead the department was a great experience. He seemed like he was somehow always in control of the operation, and I did my best to help out in any way I could. Being in the office consistently allowed me to get to know and have fun conversations with people around the DP: like Caleb, Sophie, Allyson, Anna, Jonah, Asaad, Derek, and many more. Soon, they all began showing up for our weekly sports meetings and BYOs, and we ended our term with DPOSTM more integrated into the DP than ever before. The sports office also became the hub which I based my schedule around, and the editing shifts and weekly meetings became some of the highlights of my week. I even put in a few extra hours to perfect some PIG shots before we played every Sunday shift.


What I will undoubtedly remember most about DPOSTM though are covering games and the road trips we took. A few of my favorites include Matt and I convincing AComm (Penn Athletic Communications) to give us press passes to cover the March Madness games that Penn was hosting at the 76ers stadium; Brandon driving us eight hours up to Dartmouth (with a convenient excursion to explore the Connecticut State Capitol on the way) to cover Penn football’s massive upset victory over the Big Green (which I predicted in the car ride there), and staying at a scary-looking farm in northern New Hampshire, only for it to be one of the most beautiful nature scenes in the morning; subbing in as an on-field photographer for Penn football’s last-second comeback victory over Princeton; and driving through New York City for the first time in a thunderstorm on the way to Yale. Traveling all around the Northeast and the fun experiences I had with the people that I did not have space to mention are some of my best experiences at Penn, and I will always remember them.

Had you told me before I started college that joining a student newspaper would be my biggest extracurricular activity, I would never have believed it. But after these last four years, I am thankful and proud that that is the case. As I move forward with life, I will always make sure that I keep an open mind when trying new things, with the hopes it will end up a similarly great experience like DPOSTM.   

EASHWAR KANTEMNENI is a College senior studying neuroscience from Cincinnati. He served as a deputy sports editor on the 138th Board of The Daily Pennsylvanian. His email is