27 July 2009
Wow! This post marks the one year anniversary of the College Cup Project online! At first, one post per week seemed to give me plenty of time to stay ahead of the curve. But around #40 I realized I had better pick up the pace or I'll run out before I've barely gotten started. Fortunately two huge road trips in the summer of 2009 replenished the supply.
21 May 2008. Entry #53 brings us Pepperdine, a school well-known for its architectural and natural beauty, overlooking the shores of Malibu. The hills will give any visitor a workout, even the God of the Sea.
Neptune sat in his recliner, eating Pringles.
Either his appetite was growing or the chips were shrinking because he polished them off. He tossed the can towards the kitchen. It bounced on the linoleum and rolled under the microwave stand. He sighed. Immortality has its drawbacks.
It was 70 years ago that Neptune was the first great two-sport athlete in Pepperdine University history. He exploded off starting blocks in the fall and lit up the basepaths in the spring.
After centuries of controlling the waves and ruling Atlantis, thinking he had it all, he happened upon Malibu. He discovered competitive swimming and baseball, and fell in love. Neptune was not as omnipotent at swimming as one would think. He actually was quite sedentary, often riding in his dolphin-drawn chariot. At first he had a god complex, but quickly was put in his place by several seniors on the squad. His swimming prowess started to grow, along with his baseball abilities. For his junior and senior years he was assigned to the A team in the pool and team captain in the dugout. His contributions helped put both programs on the map nationally. The school honored him by using his likeness as the team logo.
He graduated a legend.
Over time though, his many records were broken and his name moved further down the list. Men's swimming funding shrank and the program finally was axed. The final blow came when the Neptune logo was retired in favor of a gaudy orange and blue typeface.
Neptune was watching a commemorative retrospective on Pepperdine athletics. He looked at his trident in the corner and noticed a few cobwebs. He reminisced about his time in Atlantis and at Pepperdine. And he wondered: would he ever have another moment in the sun, or in his case, the sea?
He tried to fathom it.
But he couldn't.