By: Alexander Wildes  | 

Like Father, Like Son: A YU Commentator Legacy

For as long as I can remember, my father has reminisced about his time at Yeshiva University. Whenever we are on campus together, he explains to me what the dorms, restaurants and gym were like when he was a student, and whenever we are discussing my involvement on campus, he will bring up how he was a member of wrestling intramurals (yes, this was really a thing), hosted his own radio show on WYUR and, most notably, was the sports editor for The Commentator (which he insists on calling “The Commie”). My father wrote about YU’s basketball and other sports teams, intramurals and sports happenings around the world. Sadly, there are no videos of my father hosting his radio show, and I never had the opportunity to read any of his articles.

I started my YU writing journey last year, when I joined the MacsLive team working as a content creator and assisting in covering the Macs basketball team. Since then, I have gone on to write for a number of other sports websites. My father has been my biggest supporter, always giving me words of encouragement and helping me edit whenever I need assistance. Truthfully, though, my father constantly reminded me of his time covering sports for YU and gently nudged me to write for The Commentator as well. Finally, after much nudging from my father and my good friend (and business editor for The Commentator), Eitan Lavian, I decided to accept the offer and wrote my first article; just like my father, my article was about sports.

On Sunday, Sept. 6, I saw on Facebook that The Commentator put out an extremely intriguing piece: Older editions of The Commentator have been put online for all to view. Ecstatically, I began to search through the old issues, eventually finding some of my father’s articles, including his own column called “On The Sidelines,” which he had mentioned many times while I was growing up. I spent over an hour combing through old editions of The Commentator, energetically sharing my dad’s articles with the rest of the family while I admired the similarities in our writing styles and subject choices. There was one specific article my dad wrote in The Commentator’s 50th-anniversary edition about the Yeshiva University basketball team’s 50-year anniversary that I particularly enjoyed, which echoed my writing for MacsLive and my own interests in the history of Jews in basketball. Interestingly, this would not be the first connection that day between my dad, me and our writing.

Later that day, I got a text from Lavian with a link to my first article for The Commentator, with the message, “Congrats my friend!” I was overjoyed to see my article had officially been published. Soon after, though, I realized something even more special: after hearing about my dad’s work for The Commentator my whole life, the day I was finally able to see his articles for the first time, mine was published for the same newspaper. 

My dad and I have always shared a special bond, as I always get told that we are nearly identical in many aspects. People I do not know have asked me if I am his son, as we have the same facial features, sense of humor, interests and more (except for me being 6’3 and skinny and my father being 5’9 and built). When I was finally able to read his articles, I noticed how similar our writing styles are; having my article published on the same day that I first saw his was like completing the circle.

I plan on continuing to write for The Commentator and making my dad proud. While I cannot predict the future, if my younger brothers choose to attend YU as well, I would love to see them continue the legacy of Wildes sports writers for The Commentator.

Photo Caption: The Commentator Governing Board of 1985
Photo Credit: The Commentator