Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A moment in time

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(Robert Rigo/ Daily Collegian)

(Robert Rigo/ Daily Collegian)

It’s April 26, 2016, a gray and rainy spring day on the campus of the University of Massachusetts.

The tenacious and resilient Boston Celtics, led by the swagger of Isaiah Thomas, the sheer willpower of Marcus Smart and the Bill Belichick-ian genius of Brad Stevens, are locked in a first-round battle against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks may have more talent, but this Boston group is tough as nails.

It’ll take more than some electric green-jersey trim to bounce these Celtics from the playoffs.

Tom Brady, the G.O.A.T in New England and a cheater to the rest of the country, was just dealt a crushing blow in the never-ending Deflategate legal battle that will take center stage – again – this summer.

Years from now, we’ll wonder why the commissioner was ever granted the powers of judge, jury and executioner in the cases of player discipline.

The Boston Red Sox are off to a .500 start in a highly anticipated season that comes after two straight years in the basement of the American League East.

Eventually, they’ll stop handing out $200 million contracts to anyone willing to sign on the dotted line.

The Boston Bruins have been wholly uninspiring for two years now – with the exception of all-everything center Patrice Bergeron, who’s about as close to perfect as a hockey player can be.

Die-hard fans can only hope it won’t be another 39 years until the next Stanley Cup championship.

Elsewhere in the sports world, a cruel twist of fate has knocked the generational Stephen Curry out of the playoffs for at least two weeks for the record-breaking Golden State Warriors, who still need a championship ring to cement their status as the greatest basketball team of all time.

I’m pulling for them, but I know from experience that the greatest team ever can’t claim that title until the clock in the last game of the year reads “0:00.”

The dynastic Chicago Blackhawks were just eliminated from the NHL playoffs by the St. Louis Blues, a team tired of being synonymous with coming up short in the postseason.

It’s nice of the Blackhawks to give someone else a chance. Perhaps this is finally the year Alexander Ovechkin gets to showcase his talent in a Stanley Cup final.

In national news, a loudmouth businessman wholly unfit to hold public office has hijacked the presidential election in his deluded quest to “Make America Great Again.”

We can only hope some common sense prevails at the polls in November.

At UMass, construction is everywhere as the school prepares itself for the rest of the 21st century. It’s hard to picture now, but all that work sure will look nice someday.

That’s also the plan for the athletic department, spearheaded by the energetic Athletic Director Ryan Bamford. He’s certainly ambitious and gutsy – how many football teams of any status are grabbing as many SEC games as they can? In any case, for the first time in a while, UMass seems to be on the right track across its athletic program.

At the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, a fantastic group of graduates is set to leave the newsroom with a memorable and lasting legacy.

I wouldn’t be half the journalist I am today without the people in that room. I’ve made lifelong friends and really couldn’t be happier at the way things turned out after I walked through those doors as a sophomore who had a vague idea that he wanted to try writing about sports.

So in my last piece of writing for the paper that’s been a mainstay in my life for three years, I just wanted to capture some context. Someday, hopefully, I’ll read this and all the memories will come flooding back.

I can only hope the next three years are as good as the last.

Ross Gienieczko can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RossGien.

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