Nadkarni: The 2011-12 Rohan Awards

Rohan Nadkarni

With spring sports wrapping up and The Daily ending print publication this week, it’s a good time to start handing out some awards. Though the sports desk has a special awards section planned for Friday, I thought I would use this column to hand out some of the honors we couldn’t fit in.

Best Rivalry: BoxCo. vs. Campus Solutions Forget Northwestern vs. Illinois, North vs. South campus or anything like that. Nothing I’ve seen this year has created more animosity than the creation of a new storage company for students. From what I’ve gathered so far, the rivalry already ruined friendships, created the need for guerilla poster-ripping tactics and made walking by the Arch really awkward. It’s only a matter of time before we get some ASG forum to bring students together after tragic storage violence.

Best Interview: Drew Pariano This one was tough. From my days beat reporting or doing podcasts I’ve had some great interviews, but the wrestling coach made every post-practice memorable. From insulting my taste in music or explaining how he would destroy me on the mat, I never had a dull moment. However, nothing will beat the time Pariano messaged me on Facebook to apologize for not telling me about “Beard Week.” That’s how you know he cares.

Biggest Villain: The Sheridan Goose This award may be lost on Northerners or off-campus kids, but for weeks during spring quarter, a rogue goose occupied the sidewalk on Sheridan Road outside the Alice Millar Chapel. Repeated attempts to walk by the Sheridan Goose pretty much assured you would have to run for your life at some point. My trick was to always avoid direct eye contact, and if I was walking with a friend, you can bet I’d offer them as a sacrifice to that crazy bird. I wasn’t trying to die on the way to class. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Most Random Fun Fact: Venric Mark and horses Does anyone remember the interviews on CatVision during football games? When asked about his favorite pet, wide receiver Venrick Mark chose not dogs, cats or even an iguana. The man chose horses. He claimed to be a “horse” guy. Was he serious? Does he ride to practice on his pet horse Bill? Does he race his thoroughbred for training purposes? Sometimes when someone gives an answer saying horses are his jam, it only leads to more questions.

Most Animated Fan: Dr. Jim Phillips It’s not an insult to the students here at NU, but seriously, our athletic director is a passionate man. Watching Dr. Phillips at the end of an excruciating basketball loss is like watching someone who is witnessing their house burn down. You can see Dr. Phillips going through all the stages of grief. He may pace around in denial, throw his jacket on the rail in anger, or ultimately sit down and slip into depression. Although it pains all of us to see any of our teams lose, I love how personally our A.D. takes every single loss, no matter the sport. That’s what makes the sports at NU actually mean something, the people at the top care.

And ultimately, that’s what makes covering sports here so much fun.

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