By RICKY LINDSAY, Editor-in-Chief
All good things must come to an end.
That idiom held true Saturday when Michigan hosted Ohio State for the 112th edition of The Game. It marked my final time covering Wolverines football games for The Michigan Journal.
Four years. Six stadiums. 28 games. One incredible ride.
What started out as a fun way to spend my Saturdays quickly became the thing I wanted to do the rest of my life. Not many people can say they experienced the same thing as a 19-year-old.
There are so many memories from my time covering Michigan. The venues, the games, the experiences. But the stories were most important to me.
Devin Gardner’s first Michigan Stadium start at quarterback. Fitzgerald Toussaint’s recovery from a broken leg. Jeremy Gallon’s video game-like performance. Jim Harbaugh’s return. Sione Houma’s second chance. Jabrill Peppers doubling as a rapper. Those are just a few that come to mind.
Often, people thought the coolest thing about having a press credential was free football. It was never about that; it should never be about that. For me, it was an opportunity to tell the stories of those playing football at the highest collegiate level. It was much more than a game.
As much as I enjoyed telling people’s stories, the press box dwellers also made the past four years great. Chris Zadorozny is obviously one of them; he made all this possible by getting me to explore journalism and then by giving me credentials for my first game in 2012. Erick Lehman made the car rides this year enjoyable; it was fun competing against him while continuing to show him the ropes. Colleagues Josh Henschke, Anthony Broome, Art Regner, Gregg Henson and Steve Lorenz made the press box more inviting, and staffers Tara Preston and Dave Ablauf were always helpful.
Saturday was a special day to hang up the ol’ credential with “Michigan Journal” under my name for good. It was my third time covering The Game and my first game with a pre-game field pass at Michigan Stadium.
Boy, was that awesome.
Lehman and I made it down to the field around 9:30 a.m. and walked up the tunnel. We waited for Michigan and Ohio State’s busses and then waited again for the players and coaches to burst out of the tunnel to take the field. Shooting last year’s Michigan-Ohio State game was easily my best experience with the Journal, but this came dang close.
After the game, I posted my story, closed my laptop and packed my belongings. But just like my first game at Michigan Stadium, I needed a photo. I couldn’t sign off for a final time with the Journal without one. It just wouldn’t feel right.
I’ll look back on these days with fondness. I lived the dream, or at least my version of the dream. I covered games at legendary venues such as Notre Dame Stadium, Beaver Stadium and Ohio Stadium. I watched the demise of Michigan football and its eventual rise under homecoming king Harbaugh. I told so many stories and always gave it my all. I may never have it this good again.
So while it’s bittersweet to leave Michigan Stadium’s press box now, I’m determined it won’t be an eternal end. I’ll be back again, someday.