Four years of athletics bring memories, nostalgia, killer ’80s tunes

I woke up at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday to my alarm clock blaring Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” when I realized the world was going to end in less than three weeks.

“Shut up, Rod Stewart,” I said to my alarm clock, hoping the next song wouldn’t be another cheesy, apocalyptic anthem such as “Closing Time” by Semisonic or some crap like that.

By the way, there is something empowering about telling Rod Stewart to shut up. (Note: Is it a coincidence that “Forever Young” was the song playing during that 90s-ish PowerPoint presentation inside Daniel-Meyer Coliseum at freshman orientation back in 2004?)

Still lying in bed but knowing the moment called for it, I gave my best “dramatic gopher” face to no one in particular as the five-second clip played on a Dell laptop that had somehow made it through four years.

After vowing never to do that face in public, I remembered that my job in Manhattan was on the horizon, still trying to figure out how I got here – trying to figure out how we all got here. I continued to ask myself if it was all a dream.

“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right …”

Great, now sappy, reflective songs are latching onto me like I am a top-40 station.

Yes, long gone are the days of smuggling a 30-pack of Keystones into Milton-Daniel out of sight from your RA or having to pull the kind of all-night study sessions that by comparison would even make Susan Sarandon look a little refreshed.

But think about how grateful we are. Not only does the faculty legitimately care about and connect with its students, but the campus is led by a chancellor who is as likable as anybody on campus. Plus, you’ve got the University Pub within walking distance.

Of course, the sports haven’t been bad either, not when you’ve had the chance to follow the careers of Adrianne Ross, Virgil Hodge, Jonathon Berrettini, Calli Corley and Chase Ortiz among others.

Even during the dark and enigmatic times with the track team being placed on probation in 2005, the alleged sexual assault scandal involving three TCU athletes in 2006 and the season-long mystery surrounding the condition of All-American Tommy Blake in 2007, Rome did not weaken. It spoke volumes about what Danny Morrison, athletics director, has helped build, showing it takes a lot more to bring down TCU athletics.

And as the Franklin Corpenings, the Cosmin Cotets and the Bryan Kervins were raising TCU’s profile to that next level in Division-I athletics, the people who don’t get that same kind of recognition – the Jack Hesselbrocks and the Shawn Worthens and the Leo Munsons and the Donna Shepherds and everyone in the athletics’ education department – are the unsung heroes of TCU athletics, deserving of cheers comparable to “The Great White Hit.”

Ahh, remember that? Or how about the trip up to Norman, Okla., that made “17-10” into a T-shirt?

Yeah, all that was good, but what about the Neil Dougherty era in men’s basketball?

(Crickets chirping.)

So as we say our goodbyes at the University Pub, Whataburger, Fuzzy’s, Pete’s Piano Bar or wherever we may find each other, remember to make it count.

It’s not a dream; it’s just last call.

“Here’s to the nights we felt ali…”

OK, we are definitely not ending it like that.

“But the movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on.”

Hey, at least it’s not Rod Stewart.

Thank you.