Ten. Nine. Eight.
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Athletes are creatures of habit. Whether it’s Dwight Howard singing “Single Ladies” on the free throw line, or Bryce Harper showering seven times a day, or senior sprint football linebacker Quinn Karam wearing the same upper body garment (I don’t think it qualifies as a shirt anymore) under his pads for every game for seven years, most athletes tightly clutch these insane superstitions or routines and swear they are essential for peak performance.
An eighteen-year-old Zack DiGregorio sat in a spacious office on an old couch surrounded by whiteboards mounted on the walls. The room was long — or so it felt. It seemed that I was very far away from the desk that sat at the back of the room and looked like any other football coach’s desk, littered with papers and binders strewn about. My dad sat at the other end of the couch as we waited for Jonathan Michaeles, head football coach of Colby College, to come meet us on one of the final legs of my college tour. It was a mid-August evening and we’d just sat through an info session on the quaint college of just 1,800 students, set on a small lake in Waterville, Maine, went on a tour, and I had an admissions interview at our second college of the day.
The Ides of March are upon us. Actually, not exactly. The Ides of March are technically March 15th and originally referred to a day in the Roman Republic that was associated with various religious observances and became infamous for the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The phrase is also the title of a 2011 film directed by George Clooney starring Ryan Gosling about a political scandal. I’ve never seen the movie, but I bet it’s more about the Caesar thing and less about March 15th.
You can’t go very far as a sports fan without seeing something about advanced statistics. In football, it’s DVOA [Defense-Adjusted Value over Average]; in basketball, it's ELO ratings and usage rate; in baseball, it’s every other acronym.
While I was home for winter break, I was at a holiday party catching up with old family friends and came to an interesting, yet unsurprising conclusion: the main demographic for these columns is not actually Penn students, but middle-aged men with whom my dad is friends with on Facebook.
As my football life has progressed and my knowledge of football has grown, Brett Favre’s story has been one I’ve come to identify with. He had more fun playing the game than anyone, which I’ve always had great admiration for. His relationship with his dad was deeply tied to football; his dad was his coach in high school, just like my dad was my high school football coach.
This has been a tough week for everyone. Laden with disappointment, grief and shock, I am in just as much disbelief as all of the other folks out there today. The “experts” hyped it up; reassured us it was going to be special. Then, when the moment finally came: heartbreak.
I have never won anything in my entire life.
When you see the word “leader,” what comes to mind? Perhaps it is a historical figure, maybe it is an innovator in the tech industry. It could be a family member that you look up to. Or it might be Tom Brady dressed as a gladiator riding a lion.
Ever since I started playing sports, almost every coach I’ve had has talked about resilience as if it was their big secret.
“Safety School! Safety School! Safety School!”