On Eagles, American and Otherwise

by Ryan

So this is new.

There isn’t much to write about these days, so I suppose we can talk about me. I guess you can say I’m going through one of those “life shifts” or whatever they call it when a bunch of things change at once. For a society where constant change is the status quo, we sure do feel the need to categorize this kind of thing often.

Thing is, this is the first time I can honestly say things are shifting in my life, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with it.

Now I could sit here and mope about how things are going for me, but that would be misrepresenting myself, and that’s something I’d like to avoid. The truth is that I’m pretty happy with where things are heading with me, and I’m fairly content with my life. Still, when change happens you get to take a unique perspective on yourself, and that hindsight can be pretty revealing.

Example, with a brief aside:

I’m pretty sure by now the secret is out, we are all college students here. For a long time I worried about disclosing my age, fearing our opinions wouldn’t be taken as seriously due to our “inexperience” or some strange bias perhaps only in my head. However, I’d like to think that our work speaks for itself, and by now if you are reading this you know a bit about us. If you care, here is a bit more information.

Until recently, I have worked just one job. Sure, I delivered papers like every other kid, but my first minimum wage job has been my last, and for three years I spent my days serving the neurotic, overbearing public. Good times.

However, recently I did some freelance work for a local paper I interned at during high school, and that gig turned into something more. As of today, I work exclusively in the dying industry that is the paper press, and that is a startling turn of events to say the least.

In the span of three months, I went from a pretty mediocre college student to someone you can apply the tags “having direction”, “doing well”, and “got a job in the industry”. Suddenly there’s this tangible proof that I’m doing something well, and I’m not sure how to deal with this. I mean, nothing really has changed, but suddenly people are, I don’t know, excited about me.

However, I’m looking so sure they are right. To explain this, let’s talk about my wardrobe.

I’ve never had a job where I can pick my own clothes. Heck, until 7th grade I couldn’t even pick my own school clothes. My last job gave me a hat and a polo, and I supplied the pants. Suddenly that gentle nudge in fashion sense has been taken away, and looking over my wardrobe, it was a bit alarming to realize I had nothing to wear.

Nothing. Well, nothing appropriate, at least. This is the hindsight part of the story where you realize something about yourself that got you writing about it in the first place. I know it took me some time to get here, but if you’re still reading I guess I got you there anyway, right? I… I’m just wasting time now, aren’t I? Sorry.

What I realized about myself is that I have a lot of shirts. T-shirts, that is. Nothing I can throw on and go work in a newsroom, though. In fact, I don’t have many nice shirts at all, and that’s not good when you think about it. In fact, when I think about it now, I don’t think I have many shirts that aren’t sports related.

Oh crap, I’m “that guy”.

The first time you meet me, more than likely I will be wearing a Bills or Sabres shirt of some sort. Over the summer, my typical wardrobe was a pair of mesh shorts, a t-shirt, and a Red Sox hat. That’s me, every day.

When I went looking for clothes to wear to work, I came to the shocking realization that aside from my NHL Awards/Wedding apparel, everything I own I could wear to the gym. What’s worse is that I never go to the gym, so this fashion sense isn’t exactly practical.

Needless to say, last week I went out and bought a pair of khakis and seven polo shirts. So far so good, but man, I don’t want to be that guy. Why do I have to be that guy?

You know what, I think it’s about time I accept the fact that I am that guy. I’m the guy who is excited to have the AP Sports wire directly involved with my occupation. I’m the guy who was worried less about getting holidays off and more concerned with getting Sundays off. I am that prototypical sports fan, but multiplied by 40 and given too much exposure to winter.

I’m a guy with an above average set of hands but very little speed, which makes me destined to sit in the stands and attempt to connect with a group of people I can never truly be. Sports will be the first thing you hear about me no matter how hard I try to keep it down.

It’s not something I’m exactly proud of, but that’s just how it is. For years I’ve been trying to justify why it matters so much, and I think it’s about time that justification is unnecessary. It does matter because without it, there’s just not much to talk about with me.

Now dammit, where’s that polo with the little lion on it? It’s the only one that matches my Sox hat…

5 Comments

  1. TheTick

    Dude, I was totally that guy. Thankfully a polo shirt and khakis are fine for my job, but for the longest time all my polos were the free ones we got as swag at the vendor fairs we held. “Wow, do you work for Microsoft? No, but I grabbed three shirts the last time they were in town!”

  2. Kevin

    MESH shorts?

    Hopefully, your version of mesh shorts and the one I have in my head are completely different.

  3. Jennifer

    “Needless to say, last week I went out and bought a pair of khakis and seven polo shirts.”

    I’m sorry, but all I can visualize is a grown man shopping for khakis and polos in the Garanimals section of the kids’ department of Sears. 🙂

  4. Ryan

    Kevin,

    Um… those nike gym shorts. You know the ones… perhaps I should have said “tightly woven mesh” shorts?

    Jennifer,

    That’s about what it amounted to…

  5. Jennifer

    I must admit, “tightly woven mesh” leaves a much more “manly” image.