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Sports Authority

Adams: Thank you for your time

| Monday, March 22, 2021

This will be my 210th byline with The Observer. That’s 210 more than I had ever anticipated writing for my collegiate student newspaper. Forget about me even imagining I would be the sports editor of said paper. To be quite honest, this all sort of fell into my lap.

Three years ago, as I think many freshmen experience, I felt a little lost as to what I wanted to pursue and do with my life. So, I went to Majors Night at South Dining Hall and signed up for information on a few items, most on a whim. (I wonder what may have come of that Russian major I never revisited.)

But thank the sweet Lord above that one of the items I put my name down on was the JED (journalism, ethics and democracy) minor. It may have taken nearly 10 months, but someone (former managing editor Tobias Hoonhout) finally reached out and asked if I’d be interested in writing for The Observer. The rest is history.

It’s been a lot of fun. It’s also often been stressful and exhausting. But, if I’m being honest, I take pride in the fact that my fellow department editors and I have led The Observer through what is probably the most unprecedented year of its existence since it was founded 55 years ago.

Thank you to my outstanding bosses in our Top 5 — Maria, Mariah, Maeve, Sara and Claire — for trusting me to be the one leading the sports department. I didn’t take that trust lightly. And thank you to Maria specifically for putting up with my annoyances and reining me in when I got a little too out of control on Twitter.

In terms of the people I’m in charge of, I’m incredibly proud of my own staff for their work. I can’t thank them enough for continuing to contribute despite uncertainty, not just with the paper, but in their own everyday lives.

We went online last spring and still attempted to provide content despite no more Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s or Holy Cross sports. We lost the ability to cover a likely men’s basketball appearance in the NIT, a perpetually competitive softball team, a revamped baseball squad, national championship-caliber men’s and women’s lacrosse teams and a fencing team that continues to prove, above all else, Notre Dame is a fencing school.

In a desperate attempt to substitute for what we were deprived of, my staff’s work on our way-too-early Notre Dame football game previews and position breakdowns and our simulated March Madness bracket was a godsend.

I also can’t thank my writers enough for never ceasing to come up with ideas for sports authorities, especially our sports authority specialists David Kramer, Tom Zwiller and John Kalemkerian. The same goes for our Observer Roundtable and Observer Fantasy Corner contributors for their never-ending takes on college and NFL football. We couldn’t have done it without you.

To this year’s Observer football beat — Jimmy, Charlotte, Ellen and Aidan — no words suffice. In a year where little was guaranteed, you all did your usual terrific work and made my life so much easier for it. Despite you all ganging up on me in our Basement Breakdown podcast sessions for my terrible fantasy team and Kentucky’s dreadful football and basketball performances (with Aidan often serving as the driving force of that mockery), I count myself fortunate to have been able to have that experience.

To my associate sports editors — Stephen, Jimmy, Mannion and Colin — and all our production workers, thank you for your flexibility and commitment to the paper. Your work did not go unnoticed.

To Mannion, the new sports editor, and her new crew of associate sports editors, I have no doubt you’ll take the department to new heights. I can only hope I’ve set you up to succeed. Enjoy this experience, because it’s more than just a responsibility — it’s a privilege.

To Notre Dame’s sports information directors, especially football’s Katy Lonergan, thank you for putting up with our department’s oft-unorganized emails. Little we do would be possible without your efforts, especially our profiles of every senior and graduate student member of the football team.

And thank you to our readers. Time is a precious thing and this process takes a lot of it. It takes time to write, to proofread, to edit, to put in print and finally, to consume the finished product. There’s a lot of other things readers and writers alike could be doing with their time, so it means the world to me that this time was and is still devoted to what we are trying to do at The Observer, and in the sports department especially.

So, as I move on to my next great adventure — a likely-to-fail crusade to save my beloved Zahm House from eradication (and, after that, law school at a to-be-determined institution) — I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Even to those of you who called me moronic for my exceedingly thorough columns on Notre Dame football, I thank you for allowing me to experience what it’s like to immerse myself in Twitter beef. And good news: you’re not rid of me just yet! I’m gonna keep it coming as a senior sports writer until I’m forced to hang it up in May — and even then I might just spam the Viewpoint department’s inbox with Letters to the Editor as an alum.

But in all sincerity (not that everything I just said lacks complete seriousness), this gig as sports editor has been incredible, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of so many people. It’s because of them I’ve been able to keep sports an integral part of my life. What more could a washed-up high school athlete ask for?

So, whether it was through reading or writing, thank you all for your time. It could have been just a few minutes here and there for you, but it was everything to me.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Hayden Adams

Hayden is the former sports editor of The Observer. When he's not working toward his four majors (physics and film, television & theatre) and three minors (journalism, ethics & democracy), you can probably find him hopelessly trying to save his beloved Zahm House from being wiped out. He plans to attend law school at a TBD location after graduation.

Contact Hayden