It’s fair to say I was a bit of a nerd in middle school. The hardcore sports fanatic and basketball player side of my identity was rivaled heavily by the video game-playing, superhero-obsessed sci-fi lover in me. Growing up with posters of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Phil Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant juxtaposed on my wall next to others of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo from “Star Wars,” I feared as the only student coming from my elementary school that I was too much of a “tweener” to fit into a certain social sect. After 25 Chronicles, eight Big Red sports magazines and nine Spectrum news magazines, I think my affection for sports has become well established. So allow me to show my nerdy self some love in this homage to my six years at Harvard-Westlake.
If there’s one thing my 22 days played on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in eighth grade taught me, it’s that — to quote the game’s antagonist General Shepherd — the more things change, the more they stay the same. Night after night I spent chatting with, chuckling with and competing alongside a small group of my classmates on Playstation Network. Wielding a plastic Playstation 3 controller, we bonded on eliminating virtual hostiles in a military shooter we technically weren’t even allowed to play yet. Many a game of “team deathmatch” and “domination” were played, not infrequently at the expense of our homework assignments. Much a time was spent watching Call of Duty videos on the Youtube channel “Machinima” and studying what configurations would allow us to play the best. Beginning my second year as a Wolverine, I started out as mere acquaintances with them – little did I know they’d become some of the most cherished people in my life.
If there’s one thing my 22 days played on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in eighth grade taught me, it’s that the more things change, the more they stay the same. While our zeal for Call of Duty slowly faded, our brotherhood only grew, encompassing card games, Super Smash Brothers and even FIFA Soccer (though that one was mainly me). With a few new members who soon became closer to me than I ever imagined, I was a proud member of our “Valley Gaming Crew.”
If there’s one thing my 22 days played on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in eighth grade taught me, it’s that the more things change, the more they stay the same. My love for sports has not only lived on since my middle school gaming days, it’s flourished, and it’s bolstered who I am. It’s fair to say I’ve been a bit of a nerd in high school. The hardcore sports editor and basketball writer side of my identity has been rivaled heavily by the video game-playing, superhero-obsessed sci-fi lover in me. You’ll often find me repping Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Batman, Spider-Man, the Chronicle Sports Section and the Valley Gaming Crew. While my looks, my setting and my situation may change, I’ll always be grateful for the friends I’ve made as both a nerd and a sports fanatic, and I’ll always be a Harvard-Westlake Wolverine.