Croup’s Corner – Good night, and good luck

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

I really can’t believe this is the end. There have been several “lasts” this month and there will be even more this week for me and the rest of the graduating class of 2018, but the end of Croup’s Corner is extra bittersweet.

I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out how to write my 100th and final column that I’ve had since I was a second-semester freshman. In that brainstorming process, I did more reflecting than preparing for this moment that came around far too quickly.

I read a lot of my old columns, including my first. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I said no initially to the offer, considering that I was hesitant to get too deeply involved during my first year.

No, it wasn’t my idea to start a sports column in The Globe, for those who have asked. The Globe’s sports column has been a staple in the publication for more than a decade, with titles ranging from “Column as I See ‘Em” to “Word from the Weiss.”

Croup’s Corner over the past seven semesters has told the stories of Point Park’s finest people and analyzed team’s trending statistics.

It’s also told the story of my progression as a writer and a storyteller. I cringed reading some of my early work and wondered why the editors at the time took a chance on me. I smiled looking back at some of the stories I told in the corner about athletes at the university who do more than compete on the scoreboard.

I remembered debating whether or not I would click the send button on my transfer application during my second semester on campus, doubting my ability to succeed at Point Park. I recalled thinking, “Because, why not?” constantly when battling with myself over the decision to accept or decline the offer to have this column.

I laughed at the decision to name the column “Croup’s Corner” – which wasn’t my idea, but that of my freshman dorm neighbor – instead of my ideas that reflected first-level creativity including “The Pioneer Playbook.” (By the way, I still don’t understand why everything on this campus has the words “Point,” “Park,” Pioneer,” or “Bison” in the title, but that’s for another column.)

I had flashbacks to the internal struggle I had when I became editor-in-chief for the 2016 calendar year, wondering how I would continue writing my column every week while also juggling a million other duties.

I found a couple of thank you messages sent by athletes regarding the way I covered them and teared up. I dug up the awards “Croup’s Corner” has won from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Pennsylvania News Media Association and grinned.

I’ve had every emotion possible over the last several weeks, as I’m sure most of the graduating seniors can relate.

I had no idea how to end what has been the greatest pleasure, struggle, honor and joy of my college career.

I’m terrible at goodbyes and am more a fan of “see you later.” I didn’t want to say goodbye and I wanted to thank too many people.

A simple thank you list of names would take up the entire sports section. I’ve been overly blessed during my Point Park career for the athletes, coaches, administrators, editors and everyone in between who has contributed to or supported my work in some way.

So, I end with the biggest cliché lesson I’ve learned during my time writing this weekly column exactly 100 times now since 2015.

Everything happens for a reason. No, it’s not unique, but I believe it with everything in me.

Everyone is placed in your life for a reason. You never know why you meet someone, why someone treats you a certain way, or why someone rejected or accepted you into their organization. With the benefit of hindsight, we realize why certain people come in and out of our lives.

Opportunities are presented to you for a reason. Some of them are handed to you on a silver platter, but most require active outreach and perseverance. Again, with hindsight, we can connect the dots to life’s events and our experiences to see how they eventually played out and led us to where we are now. In the moment, we don’t know how things will progress.

CBS Sunday Morning host Jane Pauley said at a talk I attended earlier this year, “Say yes before the reasons for saying no creep into your head.” That’s not how I approached my early college career, but I wish that was my mindset. Most of the time, I am a yes man, but I think of ways to decline offers far more than I should.

Everything really happens for a reason. I didn’t know why I was handed down the column when I was, but I’m forever grateful for the opportunity it has presented me.

I’ve learned more in my week to week expedition writing this column than I realize. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to occupy this section of this paper that holds an even closer place in my heart. I owe more to The Globe than I can give.

With all of the lasts that are still to come, this one hurts the most. With the lasts will come even more firsts. I’ll owe many of those moments to the reader and this publication.

I leave this week with a resounding thank you and the hope that you’ll chase every opportunity that is within reach.

Until we meet again, good night, and good luck.