I served as a writer for The Every Three Weekly for (almost) all four years of my time here at Michigan, and I can finally say with total honesty that without another “Brendan” around to challenge my ability or authority, there was never really a fire under me pushing me to prove myself.
Sure, I may be proud of some of my writing, with articles like “Math Professor Can’t Add Up Why His Adult Son Was Found Dead At 23” or “Beekeepers On Borrowed Time After Bees Figured Out How Zippers Work.” But they could have been better. I’m sure if I had really been pressured by the presence of another Brendan, I could have spent a little more time polishing them up.
I remember reading the Wikipedia page for The Every Three Weekly before coming to campus freshman year, dreaming of making it into this esteemed newspaper’s staff and charming everyone with my writing. But for (most of) eight semesters, I simply went through the motions with fellow writers with names ranging from Tara to Rachel to Joseph, and not a single “Brendan” ever rose through the ranks to challenge me on my throne here at the Sacred Mug and Rag. There wasn’t even a “Brandon” or “Brenden” to fake a struggle with.
I won’t lie. Without a nemesis, I got cocky. I was loose with the rules. I once got blackout wine-drunk at a social and told all of the Fall 2018 editors that I loved them. I hit on everyone constantly. I sold the Social Security Number of current editor Sam Waller on the dark web. But without a similarly titled character to check and inspire me to discover my creative and comedic limits, I remain in many ways unfazed by my long reign here.
As my final year comes to a close, I am left only with hypothetical questions. What would things have looked like had another Brendan around? How much farther could I have made it as a writer had a worthy adversary? In the end, I must settle with the fact that the closest anyone will come to being a serious rival is Kane Sweet.
Nice try, Every Three Weekly. We had a goon run, you and I, and although I leave hardly tested, I’ll cherish my time with you forever.