The Schnable Scoop

Column: Top 5 Fall Sports Things I’ll Miss This Semester

Neil Beran | The PhoenixFormer Loyola forward Aidan Megally shoots a penalty kick against Drake at Loyola Soccer Park Oct. 27.

The Missouri Valley Conference decided to postpone all fall sports for the 2020 season. This is a decision that came after lots of debate on whether or not it was safe to conduct fall sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Due to Loyola closing on-campus housing, I lost my place to live this upcoming semester. I pulled a day trip to Chicago Aug. 10 to empty my storage locker and returned to my home for the semester — my childhood house in St. Louis. On the drive, my mom and I discussed aspects of my job at The Phoenix that I would miss the most without fall sports. 

Despite all the things I’m missing out on, I’m determined to make my senior year a good one. Note that the rest of the sports staff and I are already planning a sleepover in either Gentile Arena or Loyola Soccer Park to make up for lost time. 

But here are the top five things I’ll miss out on Fall Semester:  

Sitting in Women’s Soccer Head Coach Barry Bimbi’s Office for an Interview 

Since my days as a baby first-year covering sports, I’ve had the privilege to work with women’s soccer head coach Barry Bimbi. He’s become my closest source within the athletics department, simply because we’ve known each other for the past three years and have created a solid working relationship. For my senior year, I’ll be unable to sit in his office and catch up with him before an interview starts. I didn’t realize probably my last time sitting in his office was in January when I interviewed him for my Creating Coaches series.

Freezing at Loyola Soccer Park

I know winter has begun when I’ve started wearing my heavy coat to Loyola Soccer Park for a men’s or women’s soccer game. The tell-tale sign is when my fingers are so cold it’s hard to live-tweet the game. With the MVC pushing spring sports to the spring semester — maybe — I won’t get to feel that Chicago wind while struggling to update my co-editors on the game. I won’t huddle under a blanket with Assistant Sports Editor Lu Calzada or UberEats hot chocolate with Sports Editor Kyle Brown. 

The Chicagoland Tip-Off

It’s apparent that basketball season is among us when I make my way downtown to Maggiano’s Little Italy for the Chicagoland Basketball Tip-Off. Coaches representing teams from all over the Chicago area gather for media day. It’s where the sports section starts writing season previews and has the opportunity to interview coaches and players. Also, as a broke college kid, the meal is top-notch. While the event might not happen due to COVID-19 anyway, even if it does, I’ll miss my last one.

My Spot in Gentile Arena for Volleyball Games 

I always sit in the back row of the lower bowl — section 114 to be exact. There’s no press row for volleyball games and this spot allows for optimal viewing while being far enough away to avoid getting hit by a stray volleyball. It’s where I’ve watched numerous men’s and women’s volleyball games, live-tweeted and trained at least two of our current staff members on game stories. Without women’s volleyball, I won’t see my spot until Spring 2021 at the absolute earliest and who knows if I’ll be able to even do that. 

Adding to My Press Pass Collection

At this point in time, I have 13 press passes I’ve collected over my three years working in sports journalism. From Arch Madness media passes to St. Louis Blues all-access passes, I’ve managed to assemble quite the variety. Since I won’t be in Chicago, I won’t have the need for a press pass to allow me access to games. With fall sports canceled, I might not get to add to my collection for a while. I have all three of my Loyola season passes and I’m hoping I’m able to get my last one too.

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