Around the Bases – The Last Dance

Tariq Engineer

This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
-The DoorsThis column first appeared in The Lawrentian on Friday, January 18, 2002. I would like to pretend that it was all my idea, but that is sadly untrue. Ryan Marx, my first editor-in-chief, was the one to suggest it, though I was quick to acquiesce. The title is courtesy of Ryan as well.
The column debuted without a graphic of any kind. Two weeks later it was accompanied by a small picture of a baseball diamond (again Ryan’s idea). My mug shot was never part of the original conception. It just so happened that the managing editor of the Post-Crescent agreed to become our consultant that same year, and he hated the baseball graphic. So during one of our meetings he proposed we replace the graphic with a picture of yours truly, as long as I had no objections.
I had no objections.
So for the last three years, give or take a month, this column (and my mug shot) could be found on the back page of The Lawrentian. Its subjects have ranged from the morality of playing international cricket in Zimbabwe to lamenting the demise of boxing’s heavyweight division to describing how I became addicted to Raisinettes. More often than not the subject involved professional sports, but every once in a while, as with my Raisinettes column, the subject involved Lawrence University.
While the column hasn’t always been consistent in its style and purpose, for what it is worth, I always attempted to provide commentary on some issue in or as it pertained to sports. That issue may have been the creation of team spirit or the obligations of sportsman above and beyond their obligations to their sport. Either way I tried to provide what I considered to be a thoughtful and well-articulated viewpoint. How I often I succeeded is for you to decide.
I’d like to thank Ryan Marx for giving me this opportunity, and the editors who followed him for not taking it away (as well as for putting up with the fact that I rarely made a deadline). I’d like to thank Professor Ryckman for letting me know when he thought there had been too much cricket and not enough baseball. And, perhaps most importantly, I’d like to thank everyone who ever read one of my columns. Nothing has meant more to me as a writer than to have one of you come up to me and comment on something I wrote. It is what has made this entire experience worthwhile.