Footballs on practice field
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Drake’s Takes: A Final Column

June 24, 2022

Over the last 10 months, my internship with Hail Varsity provided me with an opportunity that I previously didn’t think I’d have or want.

That is, writing a weekly column.

The name for this column started as a joke. Depending on who you ask, it still is. It seems that the line between reality and jokes becomes increasingly blurred each day, so this is fitting.

I don’t really think Drake’s Takes is a great name for a column, but it works for me because of those jokes from friends associated with it. You’re never going to get me to admit it’s a great name without that context.

That being said, with my internship ending next week, this is the last Drake’s Takes you’ll be seeing here.

Before I get too far into that, I must give a short nod to Bryce McGowens, who would have been a focus of this column in a normal week. He was drafted with the 40th pick in the NBA Draft last night to the Charlotte Hornets.

I’m not sure how much McGowens will see the floor in his first season, but he’ll have his opportunities. It’s a plus that the Hornets are already a fun team to watch, with a budding star in LaMelo Ball.

I’ll also give a shout out to McGowens’s outfit. It was all great, but I thought it was especially cool that the inside of his suit had his and Trey McGowens’s Husker jersey numbers. 

That’s all for the sports takes this week, though. Looking back on the columns I’ve written, I’m happy I took on something that I considered to be far outside my comfort zone.

I’ve always been one with quite a bit of thoughts and strong opinions when it comes to sports and other things, but I’ve been less adept at actually making the effort to share them. Writing this column every week and forcing myself to give my thoughts on anywhere between one and three subjects has helped me improve a lot in that area. 

It also helps that this was a very entertaining year for Nebraska sports, and sports in general. The football team probably had the most entertaining 3-9 season possible, finalized with the loss to Iowa which bewilders me to this day. Volleyball, women’s basketball and softball all turned in impressive seasons full of great moments. The men’s basketball team didn’t have success or have the same entertainment value as the football team did, but between McGowens’s success and other fun moments, there was enough reason to keep watching.

Going over some of my past columns, it’s crazy how much I’ve already forgotten. Jon Gruden’s resignation as Raiders head coach seems like ages ago, and pretty much every pro sports commissioner had poor moments. Nebraska athletics had multiple national anthem controversies, between governor Pete Ricketts condemning the playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at basketball games and Maryland volleyball players being verbally harassed by fans due to kneeling for the anthem in Lincoln. A more positive moment that I’ve had to jog my memory of was Teddy Allen’s 37-point NCAA Tournament performance. 

For most of those moments, there are times where I’d like to keep forgetting it happened. As I mentioned earlier, absolutely insane things happening has become pretty commonplace, so it can be difficult to keep track. It’s interesting to look back on my thoughts during those moments, or even have them recorded somewhere to look back on.

Of course, another big thing I learned from writing this column every week was that it is not always easy. There’s been weeks where I’ve struggled to find topics, or looked back and wished I expressed my thoughts more clearly or in a different way. I don’t think there are many takes I’d be able to go back and regret or find as being outrageously wrong, so that’s a good thing at least.

But, that’s not really important for me anyway. Much like the name of the column, I won’t remember it based on how good or bad my takes were. 

Instead, I’ll remember it based on the support I’ve gotten through the last year which made it possible, how I’ve grown while writing it and the people reading who truly care about my voice. Even if I’m not ever writing consistent columns again, I’ll make sure I’m using that voice. 

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