Madeline Hinkley/Daily.

Position(s): 2021 Managing Sports Editor

Section(s): Sports

Semesters at The Daily: 7

Those of you who know me know I’m not one to show or share emotions, but this job, this place, makes that nearly impossible. I remember reading Laney’s emails my freshman year, always signing off with some sort of “Love you,” and thinking that it was so strange. Now, though, I completely understand it — this section is so fulfilling, so fantastic and so fucking good at its job, it’s impossible not to love you all. 

I’m thankful for each and every one of you.

I’m thankful for Mike and Laney, for creating such a welcoming community. I’m not sure I would’ve joined the section if it weren’t for how amazing you were. 

I’m thankful for Ethan and Max, for putting up with our baseball beat and dub hoops beat and pushing us to be better every day.

I’m thankful for Akul and Jorge finding the money to send Abby and I to Omaha. I spent my birthday waking up at 5 a.m., working six hours and then driving 13 hours to Omaha and I wouldn’t change that day for the world. Abby, those two weeks in the curry hotel room somehow convinced me to stay with the section and I’m so thankful you forced me to watch “Mamma Mia.” 

To the dub hoooooops beat, we really did take over the sports section. Brendan and Jack, that was the most fun I had covering a team, whether it be Brendan’s knack for writing stressful flash gamers or the fact that we absolutely crushed the coverage up until the end. The weekend in Indianapolis and that giant chair was a fantastic way to spend Sspring Bbreak, even as Brendan’s mom kept texting him about the end of the world. I still have dreams about all the chairs we could’ve seen if we went to the NCAA Tournament, but c’est la vie. 

Ethan and Theo, you guys worked your asses off in the middle of a shit storm to keep this section alive. The fact that you made a paper still astounds me and you managed to keep things together. 

Ben, you were the calming factor for the sports section. Your patience and insight were always something I tried to emulate and the work you did alway steered the section in the right direction. Tien, you were a wildcard and were the catalyst for some of the most fun nights I’ve had with the section. Molly, I still can’t believe we shadowed together. You were one of my first friends on the section and I will be eternally thankful for what you did after my car got towed. Bailey, you were one of my favorite editors and I always loved a good laugh with you.

Kopnick, Rohan, Ben, Tien, Molly, Bailey, Anna and Max, you were the first people I got to really know in the section and you were the best people to look up to, setting the tone for what this section should be. Spending time with you in the newsroom made me feel how special this place truly was. 

Connor, Ethan, Theo, Aria, Rian, Teddy, Akul and Jack S., you all spent your senior year with this section in the worst way possible. The fact that you kept it together and put out some of the best content I’ve seen is just fantastic. I’m thankful for everything you taught me and everything you did for the section. 

Lily, Lane, Daniel, Brendan, Jack K., Jacob, Abby, Drew, Aidan, Alex, Nick M. and Jack W., it’s been four long years. We’ve had long nights at production together, we’ve sat on Zooms for five hours together, we’ve gone to bars together. You were the best group of people to spend college with.

Jared and Nick, good luck next year. This job will push you in ways you don’t expect and be rewarding in the best ways, but I know you’ll handle it as well as a green apple Smirnoff handles Ethan.

The juniors — Jared, Nick, Abbie, Lily, Steel, Matthew, Josh, Spencer, Brandon, Sam, Max — the fact that you stayed with this section is a testament to all of you. You’ve become some of my best friends and will be this section’s leaders sooner than you think and nothing could make me happier. 

The underclassmen. Big Tex, Paul, Noa, Sami, Nick R., Abbas, Maddy, Josh, Zain, Noah, Charlie, Jake, Ian and so many more, you’re my favorite part of this job. Every Sunday, when you all show up, you make me smile. I’ve seen you all grow through COVID-19 and in person, every gamer or sidebar you write makes me proud of you all. I’ve seen you all experience the newsroom and the section, making friends and learning through it all. And I’m thankful to just be able to see that happen.

I’m also thankful for the photogs, Maddie, Allison and Julia, for making this year so fun. The random texts in the middle of the day for a photo, or panicking five minutes before a game ends because there’s no photo in the shell were always fun (for me, at least). You were the rocks for Lane and I, and some of our best friends.

But I’m most thankful for Lane. We did it, Lane. This fucking wild ride is almost over and I wouldn’t do it with anyone else. You made this section fun and lively, always bringing a positive to everything. It’s been a long 12 months, from the cancellation of The Game to Michigan actually winning The Game, but working with you made it feel like a breeze.

There’s so much to be thankful for with The Daily and the sports section that I couldn’t express it in one article. Each and every person I’ve met here has been excellent and made me a better person. 

After four years, I don’t wonder why Laney always said “I love you,” to our section. Instead, I wonder how anyone could not love you all.