Littman: Farewell Littmaniacs, Neil Diamond

By Adam Littman


There are lots of ways to say it, numerous phrases spread across a ton of… Goodbye.

There are lots of ways to say it, numerous phrases spread across a ton of languages all meaning the same thing.

Someone is departing.

Today, that is me. I am graduating, thus ending my time with The Pitt News after four years, the last two and a half writing this column.

Looking back, I feel I missed an opportunity to do more with the weekly space. I would love to tell you to go back and read all my columns and circle the ninth word in them to decode a message. Unfortunately, my sight is only good in hind, not fore.

Still, it’s been sort of fun to see how the column has grown over time. When it started, it all boiled down to “Hey, isn’t this thing stupid?” Now, they’re more complex, boiling down to “Hey, aren’t these things stupid?” And trust me, as someone who’s read a solid 80 percent of my work, that’s pretty much the synopsis of them all.

The question now is how do you close out two and a half years of writing about why other people are stupid in a meaningful way? How do you write something sincere when the only actual information you gave about yourself is that one time you mentioned you used to have an invisible friend named Joe? Well, the best way I could think of to close out the column was to introduce myself.

Hi, I’m Adam. It’s nice to finally meet you. Sure, some of us know each other, but not many. There’s a chance we’ve met at some point and you don’t remember me, although that seems unlikely given my vivacious persona. Note: That’s only humorous if we have met, as I’m actually quite unremarkable.

When I was first given a column, it seemed like a mistake. I surely wouldn’t have enough to say in order to write something every week, and if I did, why would anyone care? I decided to use my columns to try and make really subtle references to hip-hop songs, references so subtle they don’t count as references as much as using a phrase that appeared in a song. And so working a song title or lyric by The Roots or A Tribe Called Quest into my column became the only thing on my checklist before submitting it.

But then I decided to go for something else. I wanted to write about things nobody else was writing about, or write about things everybody else was in a way nobody else was. I don’t know how well that worked, but I wanted to infinitely go against the grain, never do what they do. See what I did there?

Despite my hesitation to write anything about myself in my column, that’s not to say we haven’t tried to get to know each other.

For instance, on multiple occasions I’ve gotten lovely comments online under my stories with inquisitive readers wondering who the man behind the byline was. Comments saying that particular story was the worst thing that person ever read, questioning whether I had a mental illness or even watched sports. Well, you have no idea how much I agreed; I’ve never been tested for one, and on occasion.

But you don’t care about any of that, though. That wasn’t too interesting, just self-serving and me trying to convince myself there might be actual meaning where there wasn’t. Instead, here’s some Panther athletic stuff.

Throughout the last four years, I’ve had the pleasure of covering a lot of great events, and I got to see even more. Two of my favorite athletic accomplishments during my time here were the women’s basketball team making three straight NCAA Tournaments and the wrestling team winning the Eastern Wrestling League this season for the first time in school history.

But I was also here for the bad, mainly “Sweet Caroline.” There’s nothing wrong with getting the crowd into games with a sing-along, but why “Sweet Caroline?” It’s already claimed by the Red Sox. At least pick something original. Plus, when a song’s most redeeming quality is it’s a loving song written about a girl who was 11 at the time, it might be best to pick something else. Might I suggest using Black Sheep’s “The Choice is Yours (Revisited)” or Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West” instead?

With all due respect to Neil Diamond, it’s time to move on. There are plenty of people who need to be mentioned in my final column. Yes, we’re onto the mushy part, unfortunately.

First off, I’ve got to mention religious leaders. Props to them for being so religious.

Next, who knows where I’d be without Castro, my family’s dog. His late-night phone calls were filled with more meaningful advice than I can put into words. I should probably also mention the rest of my family too, for their unwavering support and reluctance to acknowledge my mediocrity — that was a nice change of pace from the verbal thrashing I give myself on a daily basis.

Of course, there are also my numerous editors over the year — Alan, Pat, Jeff, Mike, Zack and countless copy editors — who did their best to make me appear literate. Most people don’t know, but all of these are submitted handwritten in crayon.

I definitely need to mention Bill Murray and David Letterman for being such swell dudes.

But there’s of course one more group of people more important than all of them, and that’s the readers. Without them, these are just words on a page. Instead, these are words on a page that get skimmed through during class, and for that I’m grateful for the ones upon ones of fans I’ve garnered. If there was such a group, I’d call them the Littmaniacs. So to them, I say you’re welcome.

I guess that’s it. It’s been real, well not really until now, but it’s been fun. I could close this with a speech about communist body-snatching aliens or telling Hannah to look up. Instead, it seems much more true to character to go out like this, so I leave you with words of advice from someone much greater than me, Black Thought.

“You wanna be a man, then stand your own.”