Today I graduated from the University of Massachusetts, joining the thousands of alumni who have survived the four years in the Pioneer Valley. It’s a bittersweet moment in my life; on one hand, life moves on, I will have a degree from a fine national institution of higher learning and might possibly be done forever with the toils of homework, essays, and graded projects. On the other hand, the real world is a scary place in this climate, and the comfort of the wonderful place I called home for four years will never fully be regained. It’s a celebratory day, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little choked up leaving Amherst for the last time as a student (barring an unlikely but possible grad school stint).
Just as the Boston pro sports teams have been a constant in my life, so too did UMass athletics in both good times and bad during my time at the school. It’s through UMass sports that I’ve met and/or bonded with some of the greatest people I had the privilege of spending time with. It was through football that Derek and myself met Matt, and it was through basketball and hockey that we became the good friends we are today. Sports led me to some really great friendships. Goggles, Hamel, Tyler, Andres, Beth, Ben…you guys will be sorely missed and I really hope we remain in touch and our paths cross again as we alumni come back to root on our alma mater in the bright times ahead. Melissa, Matt, Derek…you guys have the reigns (in my opinion) of the student section and I hope to see it continue to grow and flourish.
As for the blog? Matt and Derek are in charge now. As I head off to Florida for the next eight months, I’ll be tracking these teams from afar as closely as I can, although I can’t guarantee much until January when I make my triumphant, tanned return to the Bay State. At that point hopefully I can make it out to Amherst for some games (if all goes to plan, I’ll be down in Bristol, just a 90-minute drive away!). Either way, I’ll provide as much insight as I can, but it’s in Matt and Walsh’s (and anyone they choose to add along the way’s) hands. And lemme tell you, you’re in good hands. I mean no disrespect to anyone, but these two are the best, most devoted fans the class of ’11 has to offer.
So that’s the skinny on that. Thanks again to everyone who’s made UMass the best four years of my life (so far) and I’ll see you all again reaaaall soon.