E D I T O R' S N O T E
When Fun's the Focus
Over the years, we've heard now and again from a vocal group of readers who say, "We want more sports!" Arguably, they've had a point. Though we've run our share of sports-related feature stories — on the men's fencing program, for instance, and women's basketball — and news stories when teams have particularly stellar seasons, we haven't chronicled the university's varied athletics program with any comprehensiveness.
It's a story that deserves to be told. At a university well
known — deservedly or not — for its "cutthroat"
premeds, a university that this spring had seven
students awarded Fulbright scholarships (count 'em,
seven!), it's heartening to know that hundreds of students
are letting loose and having fun on the field and in the
stands, thanks to Johns Hopkins athletics.
|A mid-1970s matchup between the arch rival Johns Hopkins Blue Jays and the Maryland Terrapins||
We found out just how much fun when we set out to report
this special issue. While senior writer Dale Keiger was
hunkered down with the men's lacrosse team in the week
leading up to its historic 100th game against arch rival
University of Maryland, and senior writer Maria Blackburn
was shadowing women's lacrosse coach Janine Tucker and her
lady laxters, associate editor Catherine Pierre and I went
behind the scenes with art director Shaul Tsemach on the
daylong photo shoots for "Join the Club!" What a treat it
was to chat with student athletes who are as passionate
about playing badminton and ultimate frisbee as they are
about studying gene splicing and Immanuel Kant. Thanks to
our mini-tutorial with rugby players like Tony "Balls"
Dambro, we now know the difference between a "scrum" and a
"ruck." And we've gained a whole new appreciation for the
intricate strategies involved with avoiding a "hit" in
The genesis for this issue actually came more than a year ago, when Jeff Labrecque, A&S '95, approached us about doing a profile of Hopkins baseball coach Bob Babb, A&S '74. Jeff, now a reporter for Entertainment Weekly, had pitched for four years under Babb and was eager to tell the story of the winningest coach in Hopkins history — who also happens to be one of the nicest guys around. We were hooked. With that assignment in place, and with predictions of standout seasons for a variety of Hopkins teams in 2003-2004 (including football, field hockey, swimming, baseball, and men's and women's lacrosse) floating in the air, we decided the time had finally come for a special issue celebrating the sportier side of Johns Hopkins. We hope you enjoy this departure from our more usual editorial fare of research breakthroughs and Nobel laureates. At the very least, you'll finish this issue knowing what it means to "run down a huck" in ultimate frisbee.
In the realm of college and university magazines, it would appear that our writing is hitting the mark. This spring, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awarded Johns Hopkins Magazine a 2003 gold medal in staff writing. The CASE judging panel praised the magazine for its "willingness to tackle difficult issues" and singled out last June's cover story on the undergraduate experience ("Not-So-Great Expectations," by Dale Keiger) as a piece "forthcoming and unwavering in [its] self-analysis."
-Sue De Pasquale
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