Nadkarni: He’s out of my league

Rohan Nadkarni

Jeremy Ebert and I dated for a year.

For all of Fall Quarter I would cheer for him, re-enacting every one-handed catch in my dorm room and wondering what our future held.

Every Saturday, no matter how much homework I had, whether it was at noon or at night, I could count on Jeremy to be there for me.

After the football season ended, we tried long distance for a while. I couldn’t see him every Saturday now, but I did my best to keep up on his life.

Unfortunately, this past weekend, everything went down in flames. Ebert was drafted by the New England Patriots.

I grew up in South Florida, and the Miami Dolphins have been my favorite football team for my entire life. Only I know the love associated with the Dolphins’ fight song and defending the Jay Fiedler years.

I hold a consequent hate for the Patriots. I’m the guy who thinks Tom Brady is ugly. However irrational it is, sports hate is real, and I harbor a lot for the team that’s been clobbering the Dolphins for more than a decade.

It was hard enough for me accepting that I’d never see Jeremy Ebert put on a Northwestern jersey the next three years, knowing that we’d never be together again. But seeing him go down this path? Seeing Ebert get drafted by cheaters? That only makes the heartbreak worse. Unfortunately, like all breakups, there’s not much you can do when only one person still cares.

Ebert is happy now, living his dream, probably happier than he ever was when we were in the same place. The former stand-out wide receiver is joining a team with a hall-of-fame quarterback and coach that fell inches short of a Super Bowl win last year.

As for me, I can’t pretend like I don’t care at all. Sure, it will be awkward those two times a year Jeremy and I are reunited when Miami plays New England. Maybe I’ll even let out a little smile if Ebert makes a catch.

You can never let go completely. Even when I’m focusing on the Dolphins or the current Wildcat football team, I may go online every once in a while just to see if Ebert had a good game that weekend.

As much as it may pain me to see Ebert happy with the people I despise, it would be selfish not to appreciate all that he has made for himself now.

In all seriousness, this is a tough situation. Seeing one of my favorite players at Northwestern leave for a team that I hate is a dilemma I don’t know how to begin to handle. The college fan in me is so happy that a team recognized Ebert’s supreme abilities as a football player, but the pro fan in me hates everything and everyone associated with the Patriots.

Like all breakups, the only thing you can do is move on. The process takes time. I may rationalize and root for the Patriots a little bit, but that only makes things worse.

In the end, the best thing to do is find someone else who will make you happy. Another person who can dazzle you with their athletic ability. Another person who can make a 15-yard out route look like world-class ballet.

Luckily, I hear that Kyle Prater kid is pretty good.

Rohan Nadkarni is a Medill freshman. He can be reached at [email protected].