For the record, I'm really bad at goodbyes.
Like, really, really, REALLY bad.
And unfortunately for me, I've come to a point where I'm forced to say goodbye to some of my best friends in the whole world: the members of the Kliq.
When I say that these five boys have been such a big part of my life, I mean it with every fiber of my existence. My college experience would have been nothing had they not come into my life, and I have come to love each of them like my extended family.
I've had the honor of working along side and covering UL sports with them for the last few years, and it's been the highlight of my college career. But here I sit, at the end of a semester, the end of the seasons and most of all, at the end of my time in Louisiana. It wouldn't be right for me to go without letting all of them know how much I appreciate their presence in my lives.
So, to my dearly beloved Kliq...
You are the most recent addition to our little family, and I'm so glad I got to meet you and work with you over this semester.
I'll never forget the first night I met you, when you approached me at the press table in the Cajundome for a basketball game we were covering together. Having never met you before that night, I had no idea what to expect. And yet, you just showed up, took charge and proved to me how great you are.
Form the second you sat down at the press table and I watched you start taking notes throughout the game, I was impressed. When I watched you ask questions in post game on your own, I was surprised. And when I read your first finished article, I was completely blown away.
You are one of the wittiest, most dependable and humble people I have ever had the privilege to work with. Your love of sports (particularly basketball) inspires me to love them all the more as well. And your sense of humor is devastatingly hilarious.
From the first night I worked with you, I knew you were going to do such great things with the Vermilion, and you definitely have done so. It makes me all the more excited to see where you'll go from here, and know that I am forever looking forward to the next episode of the "Prejean Post."
I love you, Louis, and I'm going to miss you so much...also, keep making those videos because they make me day so great.
Whaddup, my glip glop? Honestly, where to begin, though? You've helped me more than any other person in SID ever has.
You were the first person, aside from Garrett, who I spoke to in the press box at Cajun Field. I remember I was so nervous about even just existing in there, because honestly, it was so new to me and I had literally no clue what to do or how to do it. I think you knew that because you really calmed me down and explained to me how things worked. Honestly, I wouldn't have gotten through a lot of games without you, let alone the very first one I ever covered. You had no idea who I was and you stopped to help me. It speaks volumes about the amazing person you are.
And since that day, you have been nothing short of the biggest help and such an incredible friend. I met you back when I had no idea what I was doing (and honestly, I still don't, but I'm better at pretending like I do now) and you have stuck with me through it all. You answer every question I have and you don't judge me when I awkwardly forget how to exist sometimes.
You are my best Rick and Morty friend, too. No one else knows, jokes about and obsesses with that show as much as me, other than you. It's nice to have someone understand my constant Rick Sanchez references, because you know there are many, but I mean hey, sometimes science is more art than science.
So Clint, thank you, for always being there, being a vital support system for me throughout my Vermilion career and just being a fantastic human being in general.
Don't think for one second that when season three finally comes out, we're not going to talk about every episode. We've got 11 seasons and 97 years to go, and some day, we WILL find the Schezwan sauce (from the 1998 Disney film, Mulan......).
I love you, Clint, and I'm going to miss you so much, like we all missed Rick when he went to space prison (scary place) for LIKE WAY LONGER THAN HE SHOULD HAVE.
Okay, I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but I'm probably gonna cry. Should we migrate to my car for the rest of this part? Hah, no, but seriously, Quigs...
What can I even say that could begin to express how important our friendship has been to me.
You amaze me every day. From the first time I met you to the times we've spent therapy Pokémon hunting, you have amazed me with how strong of a person you are. Your dedication, work ethic, kindness and commitment know no bounds, and I can honestly say you are one of the most genuinely good people I know in this world. Don't lose that about yourself.
We did it; we're graduating, and I know we've both talked so many times about how scary it is, but know that I have so much faith in you. You're going to do so well in SID, and you'll only move up from there. I know that by the time I could back to visit, you're basically going to be running all things Ragin' Cajuns "sportsball." And then I'll go away again, and come back again, and you'll own the Pelicans, and then you'll just own the entire NBA. It's definitely gonna happen. Every time I come to visit, you will have become more and more successful. I don't doubt that, and you shouldn't, either.
Seriously, Quigs, thank you for all you have done for me. You have been the biggest support system and best friend I could have asked for to help get me through so many tough times this semester. You are such a kind person and an understanding human being, and I'll never know what I did to deserve to have you in my life, but I'm glad I did it.
I'm pretty sad I won't be seeing you much after I leave, but I know I can always text you and we can waste a bunch of time with daily positivity messages and discussions about WHY GEN THREE IS SO IMPORTANT AND WHY DREW IS THE BEST CHARACTER ON THE SHOW AND MAY IS SO IMPORTANT. And, you know, all of our other stupid inside jokes.
So keep on keeping on, Quigs. Know that you will always win my favorite friend contest every time. And I am always one text away whenever you need me.
I love you, JASON "Quigs," and I'm going to miss watching you find all the good Pokémon on campus and going to get Cane's so much.
Okay, now I'm really gonna lose it. So much can be said about our adventures, Gyarados...but I'll try to keep it short.
We started this crazy journey into sports coverage together. You've been there since my literal first day on the job, and you supported me and helped me along the way as we figured out the sports coverage thing together. We definitely fooled a lot of people into thinking we totally got this during our time together...well, at least you figured it out. But I was always honored to work by your side.
From texting me player numbers and not judging me when I wrote them on my arms to bringing me water on the field during the games I almost died and me freaking out about bloody lacrosse players, we've pretty much covered everything.
I think my favorite memory of our coverage was when you told me not to ask any questions in the first post game we did together, and I just laughed and told you, "you assume I know what I'm doing, but I promise you I have no idea." Still haven't asked any questions, just so you know. Still have no idea what I'm doing half the time, either.
We've come a long way and gone through a lot since that day, bro.
When I say you are one of the best friends I have ever had, I mean that so much more than you can understand, and you are a huge part of the reason I have loved covering sports so much.
And now you're off in the real world (scarily enough, I'm right behind you), reporting on so many things and sports and etc., and I still get so excited every time I see you post an article to Facebook. (Seriously, I scream, "GO FRIEND" every time.)
Know that you are so important to me, and that I will never forget you and our adventures together (or forgive you because, you know, we were supposed to be Wyoming buddies...but you can still come visit me).
I love you, Garebear, and I'm going to miss you so much, but I'm sure you'll come see how wonderful Wyoming is eventually.
Yep, saved you last for a reason. K. It's gonna be lit.
This is it, Mr. Sports Editor; this is when I leave you to take over the sports section on your own, but I'm not worried at all, and you shouldn't be, either.
I remember when I first met you and we worked our first football game together, and I watched you walk into the press box, a little unsure of everything, just like I was on my first day. When I had to leave you to get on the field, I told you that you would be fine. Then I remember walking back up to see how you were doing at halftime, and you were totally on top of all of it. Live tweeting like a pro, writing up your story and ready for post game.
From the moment I met you, I instantly knew sports was the beat destined for you. And you have proved yourself a capable and talented writer and sports editor since the day you took on this job. I could go on and on about how great your work is, but I do that every day, and you get it by now (still gonna do it, though, TBH).
You've done so well without me, and you're going to continue to do better and better after I leave. Have faith in yourself, because you really are so good at this, and know I will always be here for you when you can't pick a picture.
Outside of work, we've gotten really close, and I'm so happy to have you in my life as my best friend. From texting me lyrics to rap songs in ALL CAPS to making me laugh 24/7, you are one of my favorite people to ever exist. You've been there for me for so many things and I can't thank you enough for always sticking by me.
You are a wonderful person inside and out. You make me smile on my bad days and are so honest and open with me all the time, that I just love and appreciate your spot in my life so much more than you understand. I know you are going to be so successful in whatever you choose to do in life. I'll be watching along, as your biggest fan, and Reaux will be cheering for you as well.
I love you, Derek, and I'm going to miss you so much, until the day I see you deliver my mail because BET you are 10/10 going to be the world's best mailman.
Guys, I really don't think I could ever tell you enough how much I have loved and appreciated our time together. Each one of you has shaped me as a sports photographer, and you have all been the best friends and coworkers I could have ever hoped for in this crazy ride.
I know that UL sports coverage is the best its ever been because of you guys, and I am more appreciative of all the times we have spent together than any of you could ever hope to understand.
You guys showed me how to love sports in ways I hadn't before. You made my time with the Vermilion the best it could have been and you have taught me so many things about myself.
So Kliq, it's been real. It's been so real and so damn fun.
I love you all so much, and I can't wait to see what incredible things you guys will accomplish in the future. I hope you know that wherever I am, I'll be following along (and wishing I could be there, too).
I expect us all to cover an NFL, MBA and NBA game together some day!
The Sports Photographer / Bullet Babe / Loud One / Short Chick / Karley