After three years at The Daily Campus and a year-and-a-half as sports editor, Matt Zampini’s run as head honcho will come to an end along with his college career when he graduates next Sunday.
With graduation fast approaching, incoming sports editor Dan Madigan and new associate sports editor Tyler Keating take on the great debate: What will Zamp miss most about UConn – sports or everything else?
Tyler Keating: I want to start by saying that Zamp is (or was), in fact, the sports editor here. An easy point to make, but an important one nonetheless. It’s not like this dude was covering lectures around campus for the Life section, although if I can do it, anyone can.
But anyway, I’m pretty sure Zamp actually bled blue, like, for real and not in a metaphorical way. If I was covering a game, he’d be in the stands. Oh, it’s 37 degrees and raining like Kamino during a women’s soccer game at Morrone? There’s Zamp, sitting in the third row, in an Orioles jersey. If I didn’t take a music course with him last semester, I would be totally convinced that he didn’t actually take classes and have homework to do.
Honestly, that might be the case because I wouldn’t count that music course as a real class anyway.
Dan Madigan: Can’t argue with the fact that Zamp loves sports. As his roommate last year and living right down the hall this year, I can’t recall a time where something sports-related wasn’t on TV. That being said, one thing I know for a fact that he will miss is visiting UConn’s local watering holes.
Whether it’s Thirsties, Huskies or Ted’s, Zamp is always up for a good time at the bar once he’s pregamed with an interesting mix of double-IPAs and Four Lokos. Once he’s at the bar though, he’s a whole different animal. We’re talking perfectly executed lip-syncs to anything produced after 2013 and some killer hand motions that are almost on beat.
In order to fuel those moves, Zamp used to rely on whiskey sours, but after a poor experience now favors the macho rum and cokes instead. True story; Zamp once asked me what goes into those magical rum and cokes. I’ll never let him live that down.
Tyler: Oh I know that Zamp loves bars, he’s a big Drake fan after all. No one loves mainstream music like Matt Zampini. He loves sports more though, you should have seen him block out the professor’s lectures in that music course we took together.
We’re moving through slides about The Beatles and Led Zeppelin and this dude cannot take his eyes off his DraftKings lineup that may win him $5 if he’s lucky. If DraftKings let you put together lineups for minor American Athletic Conference sports, you better believe Zamp would be the only guy playing. Then he would go watch his team in person.
Anthony Kay may be an ace now, but wait until Zamp’s behind home plate giving Kay the evil eye behind those white sunglasses because there’s real money on the line.
Dan Madigan: I wouldn’t put it past him. If there are sports involved, Zamp’s in the mix. Another thing Zamp might miss about UConn next year is the campus’ wide array of fine dining. Zamp is a huge fan of the Student Union’s ground beef burrito, a food he considers one of the best in the land. Not to mention, he loves Freshens smoothies and has eaten a concerning amount of Pop Tarts and Cup of Noodles during his three years in Storrs.
Even though he’s a huge fan of DJ Khaled’s snapchat (that ship sailed months ago), Zamp avoids looking as round as DJ Khaled due to a rigorous gym schedule and a steady diet of egg sandwiches and pasta. And of course, any of his bar runs would be incomplete without a trip to Wally’s for a Wally combo with some molten-hot puds.
Believe it or not, if there’s anything Zamp loves more than sports, it might be food and quoting DJ Khaled way too much. Big news alert Zamp, it’s time to put that to rest.
Tyler Keating: Making trips to Wally’s is a major key for any UConn student as long as you hit the gym, and it’s certainly not hard to find workout inspiration when you love sports like Zamp. All jokes aside, his passion for his work showed quite clearly during his time at The Daily Campus, as he captured the highs and lows of the past few years of UConn athletics through his coverage.
He also helped me greatly, pushing me to become more involved with the paper when I was unsure about my own personal drive to write. Zamp, you did awesome work for the Sports section, and I wish you good luck as you pursue a career in journalism.
Dan: Zamp, I don’t even know where to start. You’ve been my best friend literally since the first day we stepped onto campus and lived in North three years ago. You were the one that made it possible for me to join the sports section in the spring of my freshman year and opened the door for me to meet so many amazing people and experience so many great things.
I’ve had a blast being your roommate, best friend and colleague over these last four years and doing everything from covering football with you to heading out to the bar or hitting the gym. You put up with me constantly nagging you about article and AP style questions and always wanted to see me improve as a writer.
You’ve helped improve the sports section so much and developed so many new talented writers while serving as one of the best at the paper yourself, always willing to go the extra mile, and I’m positive this talent and drive of yours will help you go far in the real world.
Thank you for a great three years and many more in the future, but for now, I’ll do everything I can to keep the sports section up to your usual standards.
Tyler Keating is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.