First Team: Erasable Memories with Ray Lu '18

by Ray Lu | 6/30/16 5:30pm

Sophomore summer is too easy. As the summer staff at The D rotates through editor positions under the careful and trained eye of editor-in-chief Rebecca “A-Side” Asoulin ’17, I’ve enjoyed the week off to lounge on the Green and hand in “First Team” five hours late to this week’s sports editor Vikram Bodas ’18 — who turned his own articles in on-time a grand total of zero times in the spring. Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to “getting money,” or so the saying goes.

Since the debut of “First Team” last Friday, students and faculty alike have reached out to congratulate me on my success. Here are few excerpts from the emails, text messages and letters:

“I regret wasting my brain cells on those two boys from Riding the Pine,” Richard McNulty.

“We feel connected to your column on a deep, personal level,” the sisters of Kappa Delta Epsilon.

“This guy is the truth,” Riding the Pine collaborators Henry Arndt ’16 and Joe Clyne ’16.

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) is a fantastic movie. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet play an estranged couple that erases their memories of each other post break-up. Between pauses to grab tissues for my “allergies,” the idea for this week’s column was born: What memories would people erase if given the chance? Ex-girlfriends and mom-catching-you-in-compromising-situations aside — this is a sports column.

Erasable memories from the past week:

Lionel Messi’s penalty kick: Argentina came into the Copa America Centenario final with much more pressure than opposing Chile. Argentine football legend and diva Diego Maradona told the press that the team “shouldn’t come back” if they don’t win the title. The Argentines fell in penalty kicks, 4-2, with Messi uncharacteristically missing the net entirely on his shot. The 29-year-old, reeling from the mounting pressure, then retired from international play, shocking the footballing nation and probably devastating loyal fans.

England’s loss to Iceland: The Cinderella story in the European Championship lives to see another round. Iceland came from behind to take down England, 2-1, on Monday, humiliating a nation that is already reeling from the effects of Brexit. It was an overall erasable week for the United Kingdom.

The Boston Celtics’ NBA Draft: After months of speculation that the Celtics would trade down in last Thursday’s NBA Draft, the team decided to — or had no other choice but to — make their selection, taking forward Jaylen Brown out of the University of California, Berkeley. The pick was widely panned by fans and media alike, who believe the versatile forward lacks the offensive firepower that the C’s need.

Thon Maker’s age: The newly-minted Milwaukee Buck who earned the 10th overall pick shouldn’t Google himself right now. He’s anywhere from 19 to 79 years old.

Edinson Volquez’s start against the Houston Astros: Last Friday, the Kansas City Royals’ starter was charged with 11 earned runs in just one inning pitched as my beloved ‘Stros ran away with a 13-4 win. With the start, Volquez’s earned run average went up by more than one run, and the performance was considered one of the worst starts in baseball’s modern era. Volquez bounced back nicely on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, blanking the team in 6.2 innings before the Royals pulled out the win in 12 innings with a score of 3-2.

This column is ending early. I have dinner plans. Then I’m erasing my memory. Thursday is the new on night.

Welcome to the “First Team.” We don’t ride the pine.