It almost seems fitting that in less then two weeks I’ll join thousands of seniors taking a walk down the makeshift walkway, past thousands of my peers, my family, friends and the welcoming eyes of strangers, at Farrell Stadium of all places.My stroll will lead me along the sidelines, past the 50-yard line and towards the goalposts and finally to a diploma four years and a few summer classes in the making at about the ten-yard line.
Fitting because it was at Farrell Stadium where my Saturday mornings, afternoons and at times long nights were spent wearing a full suit because those days were spent working, covering the Golden Ram football team for this publication as well as WCUR. Special, because it was with great reluctance that I came to West Chester University in the first place, a decision that I now mark amongst one of my best.
In the past four years I have covered PSAC football championship games, Division II playoff games in two states, a conference final four in basketball and countless regular season games in between. Memories stored away in the banks, to be deposited for discussions of the glory days a little further on up the road.
Beyond the memories though, the past four years have been about the people met along the way. They were about weekend trips to Rhode Island, Delaware and God forsaken civilian barren regions of the fine state of Pennsylvania.
Experiences and stories like questioning football coach Bill Zwaan about concerns over his offense after a 31-29 playoff win (sorry coach). Riding the back of the bus on cold winter afternoons to call basketball games, and later heatedly debating someone who I believe shared the same respect for me that I did for him, former men’s basketball coach Dick DeLaney. And of course, Thursday evenings at Rams Football Club meetings where they welcomed me, a member of the media, into the fold.
Etched in between were the words of wisdom and advice passed on from mentors like Ed Lordan, Chuck Bauerlein and Phillip Thompsen. Colleagues like Dave Zeitlin and Greg Greenday. And, of course, individuals too numerous to list here, from this fine University that have helped shape and direct me on this crazy quest of mine to become one of the most influential sports journalists around.
It all seems quite fitting. So, if you’re attending graduation in two weeks look for me. I’ll be the one wearing a suit, taking that long stroll down the sidelines towards, of all things, the goalposts, where all of my and my fellow graduates’ hopes and dreams for the future reside not too far away.
Matt Lombardo hosts a weekly sports talk show on 91.7 FM WCUR and can be heard worldwide online at www.wcur.fm, Saturdays from noon-2pm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.