Something to look forward to next year

Sean Ammerman

One of the clichés about sports writers is that we go into the business because we’re failed athletes.

We were too small to make the football team in high school, so now we live vicariously through the teams we cover.

Some say the sports reporter is merely a mathematical nerd who likes to analyze stats. We can critique the coach’s play-calling or a linebacker’s missed tackle from the safety of our press box.

The power of our voice, interpreting games to legions of loyal readers, makes up for the time we were picked last in gym class.

Well, I can testify that most of those clichés are true. And I had the chance to practice all of them with several Kent State sports that are improving.

From what I’ve seen, sports fans on campus will have a chance to see some interesting and entertaining teams in the future, if not always the best.

When I signed on to sports this semester, one of the first things the editor and I discussed was the drudgery of covering an awful football team. I hyped up the Minnesota game in my column as much as I could, and then did the same for Army in week two.

The power of my voice was wearing pretty thin, so thankfully an overthrown pass by a Miami quarterback on the final play in week three officially ended the Flashes 11-game winning drought.

The win was no fluke; we actually had a good team. The confidence continued for five straight weeks and Kent State blew out one opponent after another.

The program made its first baby steps to its goal of changing the football culture at Kent State. Fans had a reason to show up. Some brave souls even had a reason to rush onto the Dix Stadium field turf.

Then one morning the team seemed to have woken up and remembered the Kent State culture of football misery. In a sport driven by streaks and momentum, our time was up and we went back to losing.

But no matter what anyone says, for those five weeks we were on top. On the day we beat Akron in the Battle of the Wagon Wheel, we could have beaten any team in the conference.

We met our NCAA Division I-A attendance quota, but it shouldn’t end there. With starters Julian Edelman at quarterback and Eugene Jarvis at running back both returning, fans will finally have something to look forward to next season.

Until then, everyone is happy see that basketball season is back in session.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams have been some of the most solid programs in recent years at Kent State.

Men’s basketball is the most popular sport on campus — fitting since it has also been the winningest. And with a solid class of new players and a nationally sought-after coach in Jim Christian, there’s no reason to believe that shouldn’t continue.

This year’s team has a slew of new faces, but their athleticism and fast-paced style of play will no doubt be something fun to watch.

I wish I could strap on my sneakers, throw on my eye goggles and head ban and go out there and ball with them.

But until I grow half a foot, I’ll be content to watch from press row and scribble notes.

Contact assistant sports editor Sean Ammerman at [email protected].