by Ryne Nelson

I’ve done some thinking recently. Different thinking, that is.

Normally, my thoughts are on blogs, basketball, and buttered noodles (my Triple B’s, as I call it). Yet recently, I’ve thought about other things – serious things and fun things and crazy things – and I think about them all the time. If memory was a train, I took 50 cross-country trips in the past week. Normally, this is cause for panic (or at least a freezing cold shower and call to momma), yet somehow, I know everything will be BBB again soon…

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Do me a favor and imagine a happy time in your life. What people are in this memory? What was the weather? What smells do you recall?

Remember all of that, ball it together, wrap it in a package, put it in a Zip-Lock, let it simmer in the corner, let it get real dusty, maybe forget about it for a moment…and open again.

That’s what I’m feeling now.

I chose to name this column ‘The Notorious D.N.P.’ after a happy time in my life – one I’ve often recalled in the past week.

My high school nickname is something most athletes would not be proud of: DNP-CD. I was talented soccer player, but never good enough to log big minutes in games. As I never moved up in the rotation, DNP-CD became my calling card. However, I came to work every day, and I practiced with intensity to better prepare our team for games. I always was cheesin’ and messing with the team, and often roasted myself for being ‘the best kept secret at Naperville Central.’

Instead of being that guy at the end of the bench, I became known for my positive attitude and strong work ethic. I embraced my skill set and played with heart. From the Freshman B team up to Varsity, I was notoriously known as the DNP-CD.

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So, from time to time, when sitting in my Brooklyn apartment, listening to the horns and the concerts and the conversations, my mind shifts to those great times. I stare into nothingness for a while…and suddenly focus again. My Gilbert Arenas poster is now replaced with a New York subway map. My bed is now an air mattress. My ENGL 319 Shakespeare anthology transformed into the latest SLAM ish.

My family is over 900 miles away…now just a picture on my dresser.

Even SLAMonline is undergoing drastic changes!

I have great memories on this site as well. I remember conversations about Gasol and Kidd and Shaq; arguing the Top 5 collegiate programs; debating who’s better: Orlando or New Orleans? Or, why it’s impossible to name an attractive redheaded actress…

Yeah, I miss the happy times of the past. But now, I look forward to the great times that are to come. Let the great memories continue!