It was a script straight from ESPN's "Sportscentury."
I was going to beat arch-nemesis Soren Sorensen in our title bout tiebreaker and then fade off into Daily Beacon retirement.
It was going to be like John Elway fading off into the sunset with a Super Bowl trophy in hand. Tom Osborne winning a split of the national championship before retiring. Micheal Jordan hitting the title-clinching shot at Utah before sort of retiring.
Oh, but then Nebraska beat Colorado. Then Miami beat Pitt.
My upset picks failed me and all the sudden I was Dan Marino. Remember Danny Boy's farewell? He lost 62-7 to the Jaguars in a playoff game.
Well, I just competed in a playoff and lost to a computer. Gee, what a storybook ending.
No "Sportscentury" for me. Probably not even a "Beyond the Glory." At this point, I guess I could just follow Mike Tyson's lead and "fade into Bolivia."
So I will - sort of.
Starting in January, you'll find my articles buried somewhere in the middle of the sports section of the Knoxville News Sentinel. Just look between the latest fishing report and last night's MLS scores, and you'll probably find me ... or at least my name.
In this business, you don't write a column at a major newspaper until you are either 30 years old or really, really good - I am neither. So you won't be seeing my creepy cut-out face in a column anytime soon. And for that, I think I deserve a university-wide thank-you note.
But for my loyal readers, I do hope there will be a day when both of you will understand this is the right career move for me at this point. Come on, Mom and Dad, at least I'll be making more money.
I'm not going to lie, though. Slight pay raise aside, it's not easy leaving this newspaper. And for once, I'm actually in serious mode now.
Since I joined the Beacon staff in the winter of my freshman year, the wonderfully charming, one-window newsroom at the bottom of the Communications Building has been my second home. Actually, ever since I took over as sports editor in the summer, it's pretty much been my first home.
To me, home is all about being surrounded by people you're comfortable with and enjoy being around. And it's always felt that way here.
I can't sit here and say I'll miss the long hours, but I'll definitely miss spending those long hours with some of my dearest friends. So yes, there's been a lot of laughs over the years. And infinitely more good times than bad.
But I told myself I wouldn't bore everyone with inside jokes, road trip stories and teary-eyed good-byes, and I'm going to hold to that. Besides, I don't think the 16 pages in today's mega-Beacon would be enough to recap all the unforgettable memories, anyway.
Nevertheless, I've been blessed to be around so many good people during my time here and feel compelled to acknowledge them in print one last time. They always love getting their name in the paper.
So to Gramma Christy and Mama Laura, you've been more than fair with the evil sports guys this fall and believe me, it's been much appreciated.
To all my pals in production, we've been through quite a few battles, but I've always understood that we mere writers would be nothing without you guys.
To all the players, coaches and sports information workers, we mere writers also know we'd be nothing without you. Special thanks goes out to the Burnetts, Ofenheusles, Slays, Webbs and Kelley Washingtons of the world. Instant quote machines were always a welcome sight.
To my horde of young writers on the sports beat, just be patient and keep improving. You guys have some real talent.
And to my two road trip companions, Laura and Glenn, I'll never forget our journeys throughout the state of Florida and everywhere else. Folks, Laura is one of the best photographers we've ever had here and Glenn, my more-than-capable replacement, is one of the wittiest writers we've ever had. Enjoy their work while you can.
And for all you underclassmen, enjoy college while you can. Soak up everything about it. When you're a senior and you're about to enter the dreaded "real world," you'll want to carry with you as many memories as you can.
So join a club or an organization. Play in the band. Write for the Beacon. Even run for an SGA office for all I care.
Just do something. Get involved.
Sure, go to most of your classes and get most of your work done, but don't take yourself too seriously. You've got plenty of time to do that later.
OK, so I've gotten sappy with this thing after all. The cynical, wise-cracking sports editor has turned his Beacon finale into a rambling advice column/last will and testament.
It needed to be said, though. And if I save the social life of one boring little freshman, then it'll have all been worth it.
So in conclusion, have a little fun. Road trip it. Play intramurals. Cherish the time you have with your friends.
With an important exam in just a few hours, forget about it and go to IHOP in the middle of the night with those friends.
Who cares? It's college. You'll only do this once or twice in your lifetime.
So don't even think about letting it pass you by.
- Brett Edgerton is sports editor of The Daily Beacon for at least a few more hours and a senior in journalism for at least a few more months. Any remaining hate mail can be sent to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retiring editor hands out advice
Published: Tue Dec 02, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:40 p.m.