So what do you want to be other than a professional athlete?

For all the incoming freshman (and families) who have arrived for Colonial Inauguration, welcome to this four-block by four-block wonder of a campus that we have. Now that we’ve been informally introduced, let’s talk sports.

Remember when you were younger and you wanted to be a professional athlete (humor me here and just pretend to remember)? Well, we’re all college students now – yep, you’re a college kid now – and with the professionals becoming younger and younger, it’s pretty safe to say that all of us are past our professional prime.

Here’s what I mean:

I think it’s finally sunk in that I’ll never be a professional basketball player. I’m not big enough and my outside jump-shot needs a lot of work. My claim to fame entering GW in the fall of 1997 was that I used to play recreational basketball games in the Lower Merion High School gymnasium. To clear it up for you, it’s the same basketball floor that premiered some current NBA star named Kobe.

Did you know that Kobe Bryant beat current Washington Wizard Richard Hamilton and Coatesville High School for the Pennsylvania State High School Championship in 1996? From a Lower Merion Ace to a Los Angeles Laker bypassing college, Kobe certainly proved that such a transition could be made and made well. The most amazing thing about it is that he was born August 23, 1978, and is just three months older than yours truly. So, every time I watch the Lakers – the very soon to be World Champion Lakers – I marvel at how successful (and engaged?) some one my own age could be.

I guess I have to realize at this point that I’ll also never be a professional hockey player. The fact of the matter is that I can’t skate very well. I mean Dallas Stars forward Brenden Morrow is a month younger than me and he just finished competing for the Stanley Cup. What’s even better for the kid – I mean pro athlete – is that he is dating a rather attractive18-year-old daughter of one of his teammates, 40 year-old Guy Carbonneau. I think I should have gotten a shot with Anne-Marie. I mean I used to select the Dallas Stars as my team when playing NHL `99 on Playstation. I’m sure I scored a goal as Carbonneau or Morrow one time.

Though baseball was my favorite sport and certainly my best, becoming a major leaguer just wasn’t going to happen. To the three GW baseball players recently selected by major league baseball, I wish you the best of luck. My final realization came just last night, when I found out that pro baseball players can now be arrested and charged with underage drinking. I can’t even be arrested for that anymore. Early Sunday morning, 19 year-old Atlanta Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal was arrested for DUI and underage drinking after he allegedly was involved in a one-car accident outside Atlanta. Pretty wild.

And finally, I will never be a professional soccer player. I knew this many years ago when I realized the sport of soccer involved a lot of running. Sprinting from first to second base was much more up my alley, so I stuck with baseball. While watching a D.C. United game on television the other day, I was impressed by one particular offensive player (this was before the lights went out at RFK and the game was suspended.) Mind you I’m not real familiar with Major League Soccer, so I wasn’t phased when the player was indicated as midfielder Bobby Convey. I was shocked, however, shortly thereafter when he was announced as 16 year-old Bobby Convey. I wonder if he has a driver’s license.

So maybe we can’t wake up and be major league stars anymore. But, we can still root for our favorite teams and players, no matter how old they aren’t and at the same time enjoy life as college students.

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