Tuesday, February 26, 2013


For those of you who have been attending Vandy games over the past year or watching them on TV, you may have noticed someone mopping the floor each game with unrivaled passion. That person is me. When someone takes a spill, I am there to clean up the mess. And I'm there fast. My reaction time has surely garnered the attention of fans and NBA scouts alike. One time, when we were playing Kentucky, Ryan Harrow fell under our basket in the second half. My primal instincts told me to gun it to the spot, and that's what I did. The problem was that I was so fast with the mop Coach Stallings yelled at me for being there before giving Harrow a chance to get up. I wasn't too upset about it because I knew I was doing the right thing. Nothing will get in the way of me and a wet spot.

Now, many people have asked me over the last year (mainly my mom) why I mop. People say it is the lowest job on the totem pole, ask if I'm training to be a janitor, and ask why we got rid of the 10 year old kids who used to mop during timeouts. Well last year, after a couple of players had slipped and the ballboys were doing an unsatisfactory job so one of our assistants told our head manager Will Hulings that we needed to take over mopping duties. Then Coach Fred released a bombshell, he said, "the person mopping can wear a polo, he doesn't need to wear a suit". I was instantly sold, and that's really the only reason I volunteered. I despise suits. There are so many parts to a suit: you have the undershirt, the dress shirt, the jacket, tie, belt, and pants. Not only is it overwhelmingly to put all that together in a manner that looks remotely organized, but I sweat heavily in a suit. I value personal comfort over most things, so the switch to the polo was a natural move for me. Also, it is a pain in the ass to use the bathroom in a suit, it takes me like five minutes to readjust everything satisfactorily. A real nuisance.

While the ability to wear a polo was the primary reason I took the job, the second reason I took the job was because of the opportunity I would have to wipe up the sweat of future pros. I wasn't just mopping up anybody's sweat, I was mopping up Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal's sweat. That is multi-million dollar sweat, and I mopped it up. Not many people could handle sweat that valuable, but I'm one of the few that can. This year, many players have even guided me as to where the wetspots are. For example, Nerlens Noel pointed me to a wetspot then thanked me this year. The networking opportunities are limitless.

The third reason I took the job is for the glory. When I mop a wetspot in the middle of play, I tend to get on camera. I sometimes get obscured by the big guys around me, but the mop always shines. The ESPN facetime has been a big bonus. Managers never get recognized, but I'm bucking that trend.

There is also deep fan appreciation for the job I do. In the aforementioned Kentucky game, the gym was really humid and the floor was soaking wet all the time. I got a great workout in, I was all over, probably burned at least 300 cals during the game (all the sorority girls in the stands were jealous of the workout). Then, early in the second half Willie Cauley-Stein went all slip and slide in the game. He slid from the three point line to near halfcourt and he was drenched. It was like a 10 foot long sweat mat, and it took a good 2 minutes to fully mop. I was there busting my tail, all alone at first then with some assistance from another manager, Nick Souder. I was mopping at full force, throwing everything I had onto the wet spot but it was a really tough one, and it took a while. The sweat just wouldn't absorb, but then slowly they started clapping. It was a few students at first, then the whole student section. A full blown standing O and the sweat just started to disappear. They willed it away, and then after I was done I had to wave to them and tip my cap in appreciation. It was arguably the loudest cheer of the night to that point. It later got overshadowed when the team went on a huge run, but that moment was immortalized in history.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is why I mop. I have taken a job meant for pre-teen boys and girls and made it into my niche with the program. There have even been rumblings they might hoist my mop into the rafter on senior night next week. Stay posted for that.

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