By Chris Hoffman
No football team, and that’s just the way I like it.
When I first stood on this campus, I had no idea that Gaucho athletics would become such a huge part of my life. Yeah, I was always a huge sports fan, but there are few things in my life that I have come to absolutely love as much as I do sports here at UCSB. Because of the sports on campus, I have been able to build a resume, meet what seems like thousands of people, make life-long friends and have a freaking blast doing it.
Let it be known: For the last four quarters, I’ve had the coolest job on campus. Nowhere else would I have to freedom to do whatever I want – and I mean whatever – in the way that I’ve been able to here at the Nexus. I get to write about sports for fun, have a free place to sleep, hire my friends, fire people I don’t like and it lets me sit courtside at basketball games and eat free pizza. But what has really made this journey unforgettable is all the people that made it possible. Even though by now I’m pretty tired of most of them, I know that in 20 years I’ll look back and miss the heck out of them.
Most Gauchos who were here last year will remember the soccer team’s title run for the rest of their lives. I’m the same, although I’ll remember it for different reasons. Be it Tim Vom Steeg cracking up at the postgame press conference when he got a picture message of Harder Stadium’s goal being thrown into the ocean thousands of miles away or laughing at Eric Frimpong playing in the snow; the trip to St. Louis was the best I’ve ever been on. The highlight of the trip – and my experience covering Gaucho athletics – was buying Brian Byrne, my favorite athlete of all time, and myself Irish car bombs after the championship. It was the first bar I’d ever been in, the first two drinks I’d ever bought, and I was 20. Freaking amazing.
One of the things I will remember most about my tenure here is all the amazing people at KCSB and how they have helped myself and the station’s sports department grow. Being a part of the transformation of a staff that had about six people when I got here to upwards of 20 talented sportscasters has been the most entertaining ride I’ve ever been on. Without KCSB, I would not have been able to call the action for some of the biggest games in UCSB athletic history, for which I am eternally grateful. I owe a huge thank you to Elizabeth Robinson, who has taught me more about journalism, media and being a quality person than anyone I have ever met, and I will miss her immensely. Brian Brown had his moments here and there, but I’ll miss the only guy I know who is more sarcastic than I am. No mention of KCSB can go without a shout-out to Rob Garcia. I thought I was a damn good sports director last year, but your performance this year really put me to shame and set the standard for what should come. Just please, eat a cheeseburger or something.
A reason this job has been so fun is that all the people I’ve had to work with have been nothing short of amazing. Bill Mahoney and Ryan Hall, you guys have made my life so much easier and have been great about everything despite the fact that I’m a complete mess half the time. Bill, lets hang out in Redlands sometime. This job can be simple or drive you crazy, and much of that depends on the cooperation of athletes and coaches. There’s nothing worse than leaving an urgent message that is never returned, and no coach has been more helpful than Vom Steeg.
There is no way I’d be where I am today without the help of my predecessors, so my lifelong gratitude goes out to Chris Trenchard, Sean Swaby, Anna Oleson-Wheeler, Kelly Hayes and, of course, Jeff “Show Boobs” Gibson. Gibby, I want to grow up to be just like you. Let’s go to Vegas. I’m down whenever. I wouldn’t have been able to make the paper as badass as it was this year without the help of my partner Pavlov, and I’m sure my friends will wonder exactly what I mean when I say “partner.” I’ve spent way too much time in hotels, airports and shitty press boxes with you, but whenever you’re down for some food poisoning, hit me up. We owned the sports world the last two years, and our successors have a long way to go if they want to be in our league.
The fact that so many of the people I’ve worked with have become some of my best friends actually made me excited to go to work. Matt and John, I know that you’ll screw this job up somehow next year, but at least keep the Dinobites going. Serena, you are ridiculous, but still one of the most entertaining people I’ve ever met. Derek, you have a legacy to protect, and I’m sure you’ll do it in flying drunken colors.
There have been plenty of nights where I’ve been in the same office I’m in right now, itching to get the hell out of here and go home. Yet today, the fact that this will never again be my office brings me to tears. I love this school, this paper and everyone I’ve met, and no matter how hammered I was, I’ll never forget any of it. Band Before Flies for life.
By Alex Pavlovic
Does anyone else think that Kobe saying he “instilled his DNA into his teammates” was an odd choice of words considering his off court “history”? I mean, come on. How can you not make the connection between that and… wait, this is my last ever page as sports editor, and it’d be a shame to waste it on sports. This is a time to reflect. A time to realize that joining the Nexus staff was the smartest decision I’ve ever made, and a time to thank all the people who have helped me along the way. I can’t help but feel that we’ve all found a hidden gem in UCSB. It’s almost like we’re living on the island from “Lost,” and for those of you lucky enough to have two or three more years of soccer games, Bill’s Bus, the beach, beer pong and late night nachos, I’m truly jealous.
I’ve ripped some coaches and administrators over time, but the majority of the people I’ve worked with have been truly remarkable. Bill Mahoney, you always treated us like professionals, and after all those “one more question” moments, I feel like the real King P. You’d never admit it, Ryan, but I know you’re going to miss me and Hoff. Yeah, you are. We wouldn’t have accomplished nearly as much without you, so thanks for making us “global.” I’m counting on one of you to get us courtside for North Carolina.
Tim Vom Steeg, Greg Wilson and Neil Jones: Thanks for letting us tag along, because I doubt any game I cover will ever be as meaningful as the National Championship. Getting food poisoning was absolutely worth it. Bob Williams, thanks for always having time and a good quote. Coach Ferrer, I learned more in your two classes than the rest of my college courses combined, but more than anything, I really appreciate the honesty and encouragement. If you said an article was good, I knew it really was. Finally, I can’t imagine any athletes who would treat the media better than guys like Chris Pontius, Alfonso Motagalvan, Memo Jalomo, Nick Perera, Justin Joyner, Nedim Pajevic (sorry for all the ‘stache jokes), Big Shot James Powell and Alex Harris did. Big Al, I want an exclusive when you make it big.
My fellow Nexites: Nobody on campus except us realizes just how hard we work for such little pay, but it all pays off because I’m amazed on a daily basis by what we produce. Nick, Dianne et al: I can’t wait to see what you do for an encore. Simon, thanks for having our backs. J.E., you’re one of a kind. Copy girls: Thanks for inflating my self esteem to previously unprecedented levels. Kelly: Enjoy the power, and please continue to pay me a salary. Kera and Erin: Thanks for keeping me in line. Val: Hoff and I spend half our time talking about how amazing you are. Melissa: I owe you a bagel. “Showboobs” Gibson, you’re my hero.
Matt and John, try not to screw up everything that Hoff and I accomplished. We’ve left the empire to you, but even though I’d never say this to your faces, I know we’ve left it in good hands. One might even say we’ve left it in “the hand of God.” To the Dinobites, congratulations on another undefeated season, but sadly, every dynasty has to end eventually, so today, I officially announce my retirement from draining three’s and wearing high socks that show off my sexy calves.
Serena, I don’t know who you’ll take pictures of once I’m gone, but thanks for resurrecting a ton of memories that had previously been left unexposed by C-Mo and Sunkist. Life just won’t be the same without exclamation or waking up to emails telling me that I’ve been tagged in 48 pictures. Make sure to keep the vault’s secrets, Cyclone! Rob G’s Keys “a.k.a. This Guy,” I used to think I was a really nice person until I met you. Someone once told me that knowing you made the rest of us “look like miniature Hitlers,” and I have to agree. Sorry for talking so much during meetings, but to be fair, most of my comments were hilarious and completely derogatory to Greely or Hoff. My dad once told me that in life there are girls that you take to dinner and girls you take to breakfast. Amanda, in you, somehow I’ve found both. I can’t imagine this year without you, but luckily, I never had to. Bet you’re glad you didn’t run me over! Hey Hoff, remember when we were enemies? Remember the worst day of our lives? Remember Big West? Actually, you probably remember nothing about Big West, but through it all, I have no regrets. I honestly don’t think any set of sports editors has accomplished what we did, not only in the paper and the radio booth, but outside of the office, as well. How we managed to avoid getting arrested, I’ll never know. Let’s find a way to do it all again.