Senior columns: Finally I get my chance on this page

Brock Harrington

Before I start my senior column, let me check if the right headshot is with my column, the right stats are in the column and all my biases are in check.

After the Kansas story debacle that I wrote Monday, I think it’s only right.

(Wait a second …. wait a second … and I’m good)

Well, this week has been a whirlwind of emotions. My last week as a college student, and typically I spent part of it away from Kent State and on the road. I was on the road because of this newspaper.

I love the Daily Kent Stater. My first “free gift” in college was a copy of the Summer Stater’s Orientation Issue. I flipped to this page, the Forum page, and I was hooked.

John Kerry was the hot name, no one knew who this guy from Chicago named Obama was and people still hated George Bush. Every day my freshman year, I would read the Stater front to back and usually spent most of my time reading people who I thought were pretty talented.

At that point, the Stater still had Point/Counter Point, and it was great sitting in astronomy class every Wednesday reading two people bitch and complain about all sorts of topics.

Even for someone like myself who wanted to be a sports writer when I left this university, I had an itch to be on the Forum page.

I could see it now, me sitting with a half smoked cigar in some smoky newsroom yelling at the other Point/Counter Point writer about how a black man could one day be president or about how Terri Schiavo deserved to be alive. It would be awesome.

I would get death threats from frat brothers or love letters from not-so-conservative cheerleaders; yeah, I would be the Rick Reilly of social commentary, the print version of Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. Trust me, I wouldn’t care what my stance was as long as I was writing on the page in the middle of the paper.

And now I’m here. On the Forum page – let’s be honest and call it an opinion page – and I’m writing the last column I’ll ever write for the Daily Kent Stater, and it comes right after I wrote a story that made one person call me “stupid.”

Which takes me to my big point: I’m so lucky I never wrote on this page.

I love sports. Always have.

Those who are tall and athletic play sports. Those who are short, overweight and sarcastic 95 percent of the time, write sports – OK, those people write in all sections of newspapers – but you catch my drift.

If I had been on a soap box on the Forum page for three or five semesters, I would have been missing out on a lot things.

I saw Al Fisher, the best Kent State basketball player in my years here, make the game-winning shot against the entire city of Akron. I saw the Flashes waltz into St. Mary’s last season and shut the entire country up about how Mid-American Conference teams can’t win against ranked teams.

I saw the entire first two rounds of last season’s NCAA tournament games in Omaha, and I was court side.

I have nothing but love for Kent State, The Daily Kent Stater and all the people who pick this paper up every day.

But most importantly I love …

This page.

My only hope is that this page continues to get better, and without me, my cheesy metaphors, grammar mistakes and terrible headshot(s), I’m sure it will.

I’ll stop blathering on and end with these thoughts ranging from sports to Lester Lefton.

n Root for the Kent State football team. Yeah, they’ll always be that team you say will be good next year, but hey, THEY WILL BE GOOD NEXT YEAR. And if you were smart enough to see Julian Edelman play over the last few years, remember that he was a gamer.

n Kent State basketball will always be good, even if people try and tell you the Flashes will struggle and not win 20 games. Remember, no matter how bad they play against the Kansases and North Carolinas, the Flashes will always be a step ahead of the MAC, and Geno Ford will keep it that way.

n There will never be beer sold at Eastway, but you can always try and sneak it in.

n Lester Lefton only goes to the big Kent State sporting events. Sadly, he thinks those games are in Europe, over the summer and he has to stay in a very expensive hotel.

n TV-2 will be watched every night, but will still be retelling the news from the day’s Stater.

n Barb Hipsman, Carl Schierhorn, Karl Idsvoog, Fred Endres, Jacquie Marino, Jan Leach and numerous other journalism professors will someday be rewarded for their terrific work with students such as Jonas Fortune (Akron Beacon Journal), Tim Magaw (AARP The Magazine’s future managing editor), Danny Doherty (future photo editor for Play Boy), Drew Biada (TV-2 lifer), Doug Gulasy (future writer for People Magazine), Jeff Russ (unemployed like me), Randy Ziemnik (future host of “Antiques Roadshow”) and Kristina Deckert, Kristine Gill and Leslie Cusano (future “employees” of Maxim Magazine).

n Kent State cops will always be tough guys.

n Lastly, Jack Lambert, Lou Holtz, Bob Stoops, Drew Carey, Arsenio Hall and that guy from Star Trek all got their starts here in Kent, just like me.

The only difference is that I got my start right here, on the Daily Kent Stater’s sports page, not the Forum page.

Contact the Forum page’s … THE SPORTS PAGE’S Brock Harrington at [email protected] … and please tell him he’s awful … just one last time.