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Davis, California

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Column: Now you see me

This was never the plan – sports writing, that is.

In fact, I had no plan. I didn’t know what I wanted to spend the majority of my college life doing.

That was until a friend showed me an advertisement in The California Aggie. It said “Want to get paid to write about sports?”

Paid? Yes. Sports? Yes. Write? Well… Do I get paid? Okay, yes.

Less than two years later, I fell into the position of sports editor and the slot on “The Backstop” where I greet you every Monday with one of my UC Davis athletics-related rants.

Now, I am still paid – not much considering the state of the UC budget and worse yet, The California Aggie’s budget.

But, hey. It wasn’t a bad gig.

During this year, I was able to see our football team play at Fresno State (forget the result), a former Aggie soccer player lace up for the San Jose Earthquakes, the men’s basketball squad snap a 70-year streak, our women’s basketball team cut down the nets and the women’s volleyball team take down No. 23 UC Irvine in a packed Hickey Gym, just to name a few.

What began as a brilliant year in UC Davis sports for me became tumultuous, though, when the announcement was made that UC Davis was going to have to eliminate anywhere from five to nine sports from the athletic program.

To my pleasant surprise (but not to some) only four were cut. It wasn’t all pleasant, though. For me, it was an honor to say that I was the editor of a sports desk that covered 27 intercollegiate teams, not to mention club sports.

Now that number is 23 – a sour note on which to end what was a phenomenal year in UC Davis athletics.

I know I’ve shoved it down your throats a thousand times, but we won seven conference titles this year! Add individual wrestling and cross country league titles to that, too.

Yep, this was a solid year on the Aggies’ end. That’s not it, though. What about those who have left UC Davis to pursue their sport professionally?

Tommy Hernandez and Bakari Grant each signed National Football League deals. Daniel Descalso is one phone call away from his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. Quincy Amarikwa finished his first full season in Major League Soccer. Urijah Faber is emerging as one of the top pure athletes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The point is that UC Davis’ sports teams accomplished a lot of great things this year. These achievements shouldn’t be mitigated, minimized or sullied because of the fact that four sports were cut.

Hell, I would be the first one to tell you I wish we could get those sports back. However, having spoken to those close to the situation and worked for a newspaper that has undergone tough financial times, I’ve come to realize it was an unfortunate but necessary fate.

Had enough from me yet?

That’s fine. This is the last time you’ll have to hear from me, at least about anything related to Aggie sports. Like Adam Loberstein, last year’s sports editor, I have decided to forgo staying on the sports desk for another year and instead take my talent to the next level.

Okay, not quite. Yeah, I’ll be moving up to a higher calling. Talent, though? I’ll let you be the judge.

In all seriousness, however, I’ll be the Managing Editor of The Aggie for the next academic year. So, if you need a job that provides good hands on and academic experience, work for The Aggie. There are a wide variety of positions (writers, copy readers, layout artists, ad reps, distributors, cartoonists, columnists, etc.). See where to email me below.

So don’t fret. You know where to find me. I won’t be far and hey, you may even see me lurking around football and basketball games with my media credentials attached to my belt loop because I hate wearing it around my neck.

And maybe you’ll come up to me and talk about UC Davis sports and it will bring me back to the good ole’ days. You might also ask how many conference titles the Aggies will win in the upcoming year.

I say, let’s go for eight.

MAX ROSENBLUM happily passes the sports editor torch off to Jason Alpert. You’re going to do great things. MAX can be reached at managing@theaggie.org.

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