Time is a funny thing. 24 hours per day for 4 years seems like a long time. When I first got here, May 2023 seemed so far away, I couldn’t even fathom graduating. Now, as I sit here typing this out, I actually can’t believe it’s already time to walk. You perceive time to be long and endless at times, but in reality, it’s far too short.
When I first got to campus in August 2019, the Yankees were in LA playing the Dodgers. I remember this because it was Player’s Weekend, and the Yankees, as traditional a franchise as you’ll ever see, were decked out in this all-black outfit with nicknames on the back that were NOT flattering.
I didn’t really know anyone around here yet, but I watched that game in the common room in Toussaint and thought, “Yeah, I could get used to this.”
It was that same common room that I watched the Yankees get eliminated in the 2019 ALCS, as Jose Altuve hit a walk-off home run in front of Aroldis Chapman to send the 103-win Yankees home. I thought that was the most heartbroken I would be after a loss in my time here. I was wrong.
My first semester was so much fun, and I was finally getting used to college life, right in time for the Bills to blow a 16-0 lead to the Texans in the playoffs. I still won’t watch the highlights of that game. I was in a groove, balancing school work and social life well, and then Covid came. I came back from spring break just to get sent back home again. The last sporting event I watched before the sports world shut down was a Knicks overtime win over the Hawks in Atlanta on March 11, 2020. The Knicks were just 21-45, and that night Rudy Gobert touched some microphones and shut down the NBA.
It was a long “corona-cation” (but not longer than my hair had gotten), and MLB was the first sports league back, playing in front of no fans and playing just a 60 game schedule. It was an up-and-down year for the Yankees, who proceeded to lose in game 5 in San Diego against the Rays as I watched from my bed in CWC, eating the food I had ordered from JP’s on Boost.
It was a weird time to be a college student, one week you’re going into a half-full class with a mask on, and the next you’re doing all your classes from your bed, trying to follow along on Zoom. It was also a weird time for the NBA, which, like MLB, also had a shortened schedule (just 72 games) and which also was quite regularly postponing games due to Covid outbreaks.
The Knicks, long considered one of the dregs of the NBA, took this opportunity to actually be relevant for once, making the playoffs for the first time in 8 years. Like college during the pandemic, though, they left a lot to be desired, quickly bowing out to Atlanta.
Junior year was the start of better times, with restrictions beginning to loosen on campus and I enjoyed the freedom of moving into an off-campus house. The Yankees didn’t seem to get that message, though, as an extremely frustrating year saw them feebly lose to the Red Sox in the Wild Card Game.
I had said that I thought the Yankees loss in 2019 was the closest I would get to a championship, but the Bills had me rethinking that by winter of 2022. I was so sure that they were destined for greatness. You can only imagine my heartbreak when they blew a lead with 13 seconds left to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round. I will forever think that they would’ve won the Super Bowl if not for that loss.
This academic year was the first year that felt just like my first semester. Everything was back to the way it used to be, and leagues were back to playing in front of full capacity crowds and playing out their full schedules. Maybe it’s fitting, then, that the Yankees went out this year the same way they went out that year, in the ALCS to the Astros. Except this time, I had to go through the embarrassment of getting swept.
Hey, at least the Bills couldn’t break me by losing to the Chiefs in the playoffs for the third straight year. No, they just decided to lose at home to Cincinnati before they even got the chance to play the Chiefs, instead.
As I prepare to graduate and move out into the real world, I like to think that my future is bright and that the best is yet to come. Perhaps it is only fitting, then, that I describe the Knicks in the same way. Their future is bright and their best is yet to come. They find themselves in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with a more than decent chance to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Let’s hope that their future grows as bright as I hope mine will.