Saturday, December 28, 2013

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: In Tatsuya Kaname's Words

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EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: In Tatsuya Kaname's Words

By Tatsuya Kaname
Special To The Daily Magi
July 1, 2060


The first thing that comes to mind, as I write this column, are three words: Damn, I'm Old. Here's my morning routine: I always look out my window when morning comes and then I stretch, shower up and make breakfast, and then make the long bicycle ride to Mitakihara University. I don't use the car as I used to. I'd rather go out and get myself in shape in the cold. Only if there's a blizzard and going out in a bicycle is dangerous is the time I ever go around in the van.

My five wonderful wives are either still working on campus or they have retired. Madoka is already retired, and Mami just stepped down from her athletic director position. So it's just me, Homura, Sayaka and Kyouko working on campus. It won't be too long before we all retire from the university and finally turn it over to younger faces with bigger ambitions than us when it comes to the future of this campus.

Madoka's probably the slowest of the people getting up early to do something. Now that she's retired, she's working on her archery stroke at the university's archery range or working on her golf swing at the Country Club. As for Mami, she's electing to go into trap shooting. You never know, she might win a medal for her efforts one day.

Because of her increased role, Kyouko and I often talk about the budget for the football team with Nagisa. Sometimes a little compromise is in order, but generally the budget for football is generous because of our history. This university has a lot of history: 50 years of it. Mitakihara University will be turning 50 years old this year. October 3 will be an important day in the history of the institution. Who ever thought that my sister's wish for a university created in her image would be so successful and so effective in its mission?

I started coaching this team at the age of 14. When my sister made her wish, I changed ages. I grew by 11 years almost immediately, and once I got settled into my new form, Madoka asked me if I could coach her football team. I didn't have any experience coaching, but she told me that everything would be all right. I had to trust her because she knew more about the big picture that I did. Once I trusted her, I assembled my coaching staff.

Some of the players were wondering if this was joke, that a 14-year old would actually be doing something more fit for 40-year olds. Fast forward five years. I've won my first five national championships, I got all my wives pregnant, I am now a father, and I am just of college age. People were still wondering how I did it then, and they still do now.

The spread-flex Puella Magi Option is an offense that is designed to run like the service academies but score like those high-energy spread offenses you see everywhere. Only the finest athletes are capable of running this system, which is one-of-a-kind. The only other school I know that runs this is Texas, and that's because my son Akiyuki is the coach there. But once again, only the finest of athletes earn the right to play in such a dynamic, demanding offense as the Puella Magi Option. It requires a lot of strength, skill, fortitude and execution. Many players have gone on to great things at the next level as a result of knowing the concepts of this system.

But at the same time, football is just a small part of the big picture at Mitakihara University. The thing about the college experience is that you are there to learn, to grow and develop as leaders for tomorrow. Football is a significant part of the campus fabric, but it is not the alpha and omega. That honor belongs to the faculty, the administration, the numerous clubs and student organizations and special interest groups peppering the campus.

There's so many things to do as a student of this university. You can study the histories of religions, you can join a forensics team and match wits the best of debating minds, you can join a musical ensemble and tour the world, you can be part of the rich Greek life at this university since every fraternity and sorority is represented, and you can join a sports team or an intramurals team other than football. That's just a few options; there so much more. It's the product of 50 years of growth and progress that define this enchanting place on Vancouver Island.

I don't know how much longer I am going to be a part of this university. I know I have a lot more years left in me, but as I see my peers also retire from coaching, I always wonder to myself if I'm going to be next, if I'm going to call it quits after winning X amount of titles. The clock is ticking, and my eyes are on my personal watch.

But I'm not going to worry about that. My mission now is to help this team win another national championship. I want to teach the new corps of players the winning tradition that is a part of the Mitakihara mystique. I want future generations to know that this place was here before them and will be here after them.

I am glad that I never accepted any offer to ply my trades elsewhere. This university doesn't want me to leave, and I don't want myself to leave Mitakihara, either. So I'm going to keep this show going, and I hope all of you come out to the games and support this corps of young men that is weeks away from the 50th season of the team's existence.

Without my sister and her wish, the Best College Football Team In All of College Football would never have been born. This team and this university are her legacy and when we head out on the field, the Magi of Mitakihara are honoring my sister, a legend in her own right, the great Dr. Madoka Kaname.

Madoka, we dedicate this season to you. You are not alone.

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