After devoting a great chunk of my life over the past four years to covering Michigan sports, my journalism career has come to a close. I can no longer afford to mooch off my parents while receiving a salary that an Indonesian sweatshop worker would balk at. While some people in my position may attempt to continue writing professionally, I have decided not to. As much as I have loved working at the Daily, I just don’t have the passion for writing to make a career out of it.
The funny thing is that I came to Michigan because I didn’t want to do journalism. I had applied to a bunch of journalism schools my senior year of high school, but I later decided to come to Ann Arbor because I was unclear about what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to come to a place that had a vast array of opportunities I could take advantage of.
But then came my first Sunday in Ann Arbor. I had been invited to the Daily’s first sports staff meeting of the year by Detroit Free Press baseball writer John Lowe — who helps the Daily during his free time and who I had met about six months prior under sheer happenstance — and I figured I had nothing to lose. While I didn’t want to make a career out of writing, I still liked it and wanted to get involved on campus.
Eight weeks and three weekend road trips later, I had covered Michigan’s first ever national championship in a women’s sport. Four years later, I had covered events in 10 different states and in every Big Ten city except one. Oh yeah, and I also became a level-C campus celebrity by running pictures of myself performing obscene stunts.
Throughout my time here, I consistently asked myself whether the 30-plus-hour work weeks were worth it. After all, I was a college student. But there was one thing that rang in my mind: I just couldn’t see myself working anywhere else.
Now that it’s over, I have no regrets — even as I sit here with three weeks until I graduate and absolutely no concrete post-graduation plans. The experience of working with great people (and providing five minutes of entertainment to students trying to stay awake during their statistics lecture) has been second to none. So while the most vivid memories of some students’ careers may be headlined with random hook-ups at Rick’s, mine consist of some of the following:
• Standing on the field in Pasadena this year to see one of the greatest Rose Bowls ever finish in dramatic conclusion.
• Writing a joke column about Texas playing in the Rose Bowl that led to 180 hate e-mails and an appearance on ESPN Radio in Austin in the process.
• Paying my own way to travel 15 hours in a car to Oklahoma City to cover the Women’s College World Series.
• Sitting in the press box at Yost Ice Arena as the Michigan ice hockey team used its home crowd advantage to will itself to the Frozen Four.
• Capturing the excitement of a hoard of Brazilian soccer fans on the Diag after their home country had just taken home the World Cup.
• Having a couple people recognize me from “On the Road with Bob Hunt” at nearly every party I’ve been to over the last four months, receiving responses such as “Are you the guy who rode a bull?” “I thought you were taller” and “Are you the guy from the Daily? You’re a douche!”
• Riding my bike every day to hockey practice my sophomore year so I could chat with Red Berenson, even though he would never actually learn my name.
• Heading down to the field at Notre Dame Stadium only to have Muhammad Ali pop into the elevator, start shadow boxing me and perform magic tricks.
• Missing almost an entire week of school so that I could hang out in New York and watch the Michigan men’s basketball team take home the NIT title at Madison Square Garden.
• Walking out of a burrito place in West Lafayette at 3:30 a.m. to find a girl waiting outside to lick my face so that she could appear in the Daily that next Monday.
• Pacing down High Street in Columbus in a Steve Breaston jersey by myself while bystanders mooned me and called out to throw me in the street.
• Determining that asking Mary Sue Coleman to pick games based on point spreads was a ludicrous idea and yet choosing to go through with it anyway (not surprisingly, she said no).
• Running out of an East Lansing apartment so I could partake in a riot only to find myself running from tear gas and falling into the Red Cedar River.
• Seeing young freshmen enter the building for the first time, watching them develop the same love for a decrepit old building that I had done a couple years earlier and knowing that where they will be in just a short period of time will only make me smile.
Wherever my life takes me five, 10, 20 years from now, I will always have these moments. So, to those who made these experiences possible (I’d love to mention you all, but I don’t want to leave anyone out), and to those who found my work entertaining, I know that I’ll never be able to repay you.
Bob Hunt would like to apologize to Gennaro Filice, who let him take this column after hearing that he would not write a sappy piece. Bob was planning on doing so, but that was until he actually started writing. He can be reached at email@example.com