From my position as sports editor this year, I got to see Gaucho sports in a way only a handful of people do. Unlike a school that attracts a handful of fans purely for athletics, UCSB fans tend to come here for the academics or the parties, only realizing later that, “Wait. We have Division-I sports here?”
[media-credit name=”Mark Bogard” align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]Instead, my job was to more or less act like the biggest Gaucho Loco of them all — traveling to all the big road games, tracking injury reports and looking at box scores all day every day, and then head into the office and get this paper out for everyone to read. Sometimes we sucked, and I’m sorry. But admit it; sometimes we were pretty good too. Here are some things I’ve learned:
1) Harder Stadium is the one place we as Gauchos are respected as fans (Does winning the “Best Soccer Fans in the Nation” award feel like a backhanded compliment to anyone else?). Even on the road in Berkeley for the NCAA second round, our fans were louder than the home team’s. That is fucking awesome. The match was not.
2) Speaking of the loss to Cal, I saw quite a sight afterwards: Chancellor Henry T. Yang and his lovely wife, Dilling, consoling a tearful Big Mike on the sidelines. I feel like there are a number of interactions between the two that I can picture, but that was never one of them.
3) Gaucho sports have an identity, and it isn’t a good one. Our teams always seem to have the drive, but not the talent. Or the momentum, but then they stumble. Or they finally make an NCAA Championship, and do not make it over the top. I’ve learned to lower my expectations for big games here, because it’s not worth the emotional investment. Until someone proves me wrong and brings home a trophy, I’m going to keep it that way.
4) Being the boss is the shit. Since the Nexus is completely run by students, the only person who can tell me what to do is the editor in chief. Telling writers and photographers what to do, where to go and by when is a nice preview for the distant future. Unfortunately, starting the day after graduation, it’s right back to the bottom of the totem pole. It’s been real.
I hope I’ve been a satisfactory sports editor for everyone. Based on the website comments, the only thing we do is make errors, so sometimes I’m not sure. I’m not going to say I gave it 100 percent every day. But you know what? I was hovering around 80 percent for almost most of the time.
Not too bad, if I do say so myself.