First Team: Rabble Rousing

by Ray Lu | 8/11/16 6:00pm

RayColumn_ElizaMcDonough
Eliza McDonough/The Dartmouth Senior Staff

The author of “First Team” has not slept very much recently. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that he hasn’t slept at all. However, I have to pull through for my boys, namely sports editor Chris Shim ’18. Incoming: 800 words — but just that. Coherency need not apply.

Apparently the good ole U.S. of A just snagged a pretty sick Olympic victory in gymnastics. As I scan ESPN for headlines, I would like to extend a sincere note of congratulations to Simone Biles and Aly Raisman for taking gold and silver in the gymnastics all-around final.

After Googling “Rio Olympics medal count,” my face is reactionless as I see United States at the top of the table. Once again, the Olympics has proven itself to be an extremely entertaining and riveting sporting event that has captured the nation beyond the simple fact of the number of medals that we are winning.

Full disclosure: I haven’t watched a single second of Olympic coverage this summer, if it wasn’t apparent already.

As the term comes to an end, I realize that “First Team” has followed the career arc of many superstar players. A blazing hot entrance into the world of elite sports columns quickly flamed out midway through the term. I haven’t had the opportunity to really give “First Team” the time and love that it needed, if it needed any at all. I looked over to “Riding the Pine” weekly for inspiration on how not to write my article, but as the adage goes, “You are what you eat.” “First Team” has devolved into nothing more than a shriveled-up raisin of the full, juicy grape that it once was. I can blame no one but Hank and Fish, and I refuse to accept any responsibility for its decline.

“First Team” had all the talent in the world and none of the hard work. If I had to choose one professional athlete to compare this column to, it would be Josh Gordon. Minus the drug suspensions. I think.

For all the character building aspects of sports that everyone holds so dearly, I would say that nothing builds more character than grinding away in the newsroom. I have grown so much as a person this summer that I don’t think I can grow anymore. This might be my peak. Here’s a guns-blazing-wild-west-rowdy-howdy exit to this week’s “First Team.” Giddy up cowboy!

1. When does fantasy football start? Summer sports are boring.

2. Does ESPN still run those emotional tearjerkers? I might need one of those to get me through the day.

3. “Hard Knocks” is the best idea for a TV show since the “Desperate Housewives of Some-Big-City-But-Actually-of-the-Nearby-Gated-Community.”

4. The American basketball team is putting up buckets. Another year of following the Dream Team with the expectation that anything except gold is unacceptable. Who says that America is soft on sports? Just do your best, am I right? To be fair, these are the best basketball players on the planet, but the point still stands.

5. Unreal that ESPN3 is a constant stream of eSports. Good thing I was just itching to watch the “International Dota 2 Championships” live. There are probably higher quality streams for these games than for the Olympics anyways.

6. Little League baseball might be the most American thing of all time.

7. When are the 100-meter finals for the Olympics? That’s all I have the attention span to watch.

8. LeBron just re-signed with the Cavs as I wrote this article. #TheLand #ITakeMyBoysWhereIGo

9. Is this column 800 words yet?

10. Almost quit school to become a Pokémon Go master, but then my app crashed. I suppose video games can be a sport.

I’ll end this week’s “First Team” with some words of wisdom for future classes as they enter sophomore summer. Have fun, even at the expense of your sanity. Do your homework. Revel in how beautiful everyone looks, especially yourself. Go to class most of the time. Tan hard. Play pong. Watch sports. Play sports. Watch Masters. Win Masters. Don’t get derecognized. Call your parents. There are two weeks left of a truly insane summer term. To quote the great Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” See you boys on the other side.