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Parting is such sweet sorrow


October 19, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

It all started about four years ago, this column of mine. And from the beginning the graphic you see above these words has been the international symbol for the Tomb. Alas my friends, it is my sorry duty to inform you all that the graphic will soon be gone.

I first got the idea to write a column when I learned of a great wrong being perpetrated on an Imperial High School baseball coach. I had only had my job at the Press for a couple of months, but I figured that as a part of the media it was my duty to stand up for this coach who, we at the paper felt, was being unjustly fired.

As some of you might know, this led me to many problems that I no longer want to get in to. Maybe I was right to stand up for the guy and quite possibly I was wrong. It no longer seems important. While the whole incident led me to reconsider whether I wanted to be the champion of the voiceless masses, it was not wholly unproductive. For with a little help from then Sports Editor Bryan Lee and Joan Duncan-Bush in graphics, we were all given the gift that has been that fine Grant's Tomb graphic that we have been treated to each and every week (almost) for the past four years.


Unfortunately, it is now time for us all to say goodbye.

Our paper is going to look drastically different soon and one part of our new look will be a change in how this column looks. No longer will my disembodied head appear glaring at you from atop what appears to be a pike.

No, now if you're looking for this column you'll have to search the sports page for my ugly mug and with it you should be able to find my words. I know, I know, it will just never be the same.

As I said, the graphic has been here from the beginning. It has been here for Mark McGwire's 62nd home run, for Michael Jordan's retirement, for Barry Bonds' 71st home run and for Michael Jordan's unretirement. It has been there for all of us when the Red Sox have let us all down and it has been there when the cable company has let even more of us down.

The graphic has stood tall through losses by the Texas A&M football team, superstar tantrums and each fall it has ushered in our annual NFL preview column. When you get right down to it, I have begun to get the feeling that there could be a graphic without a column, but I doubt this column can exist without the graphic.

So old friend, it is finally time for us all to say goodbye. I would raise a glass of whiskey (that was always the graphic's favorite libation) to you if only we were allowed to drink in the office. Instead this old 2-liter of Pepsi will have to suffice as I bid you a fond adieu.

At this point I'd like everyone to remember the song "Evergreen" as sung by Barbara Streisand. You know the one, it says something about "misty water-colored memories of the way we were." Yeah, that's the one. Now think of that song and then think of that graphic and if you can get past the tears, remember that old gray graphic fondly. And remember, no one can take those memories from you.

Finally, please, in the coming weeks when you see my funny looking face, do not spit or hurl insults at it, for it is only doing the job it has been asked to do. I realize that much like the new Mustang, my face will never compare to the original. Just know that it is trying.

Goodbye, Grant's Tomb graphic. You have been a fine friend. You will be sorely missed.

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