Happy 21st Birthday Justin!

Celebrating the greatest comeback of all time! (Photo/Cameron Merritt)

Motor Up Staff

Ok, so we’re taking a break from our usual sports-related content to honor the main founding father of Motor Up Sports himself, Justin Vadenais, on the greatest of all birthdays. While the idea may’ve been a group effort, it was Justin who lead the way to create the site, from coining the name to buying the domain to publishing our first (and the majority) of our posts. If it wasn’t for him, we’d all be sitting around for the next couple months going “hey, should we do that blog thing?”

So for all he’s done for us, we felt it would only be right for all of us to do something for him, both the staff here at Motor Up Sports as well as other friends from UMass. Yeah, it might get sappy, but in the most full throttle way possible. So here are our thoughts on the townhouse legend, Justin “On The Beat So It’s” Vadenais.

Josh Silva

T’was Sophomore year, had to be end of second semester. By this time we were all ready to leave Brett because we were all over it. Central sucked, lesson learned. We had one of those lame dorm parties the night before and I was too lazy to clean everything up before I crashed, but it gave us an outlet to play pong. You came down in the morning and we ran game after game, singles until we got bored which took forever. In retrospect, it was little moments like these that kept adding up and we became best buds. From the first night I met you where AJ wanted me out of Pham’s dorm, to taking a leap of faith moving into the townhouse, to the second half adjustments meeting in the kitchen during the Super Bowl, all the way to playing Mario Kart at 2 a.m. before finals, I wouldn’t draw it up any different. It blows your 21st fell on a Monday, but we will make it up this weekend and have a great fucking time. Enjoy your first legal drink my dude, and If you ever want to smack anyone in pong, we got next.

Derek Dunlea

Every football season, the talking heads on ESPN and the like bring up the question of “elite” players. In any given position, there is always a discussion around if a player is just a good player, or if they fall into this higher category. And for some reason Joe Falco’s name is constantly brought up, but that’s a rant for another time. Regardless, I know one person who is a lock to be called elite. His name? Justin Vadenais (don’t ask me to pronounce it).

My first time meeting Justin was in the basement of Crampton Hall, where really an entire friend group/cult seemed to form at UMass. It was week two of the NFL season, and I needed a place to get with like minded minds and stare at a T.V. for 10 plus hours. Boy did I find the right place. Every week this motley crew of football fans, pink hats, and unabashed, non-football watchers would gather around, eat obscene amounts of chicken, and stick around for a game or three. Justin, in I’d say everybody’s mind, was our spiritual captain. Watching the Patriots beat the naysayers and those same useless sports pundits meant a growing bond of friendship. I’ll never forget that fateful interception that capped an unbelievable game, Justin was right next to me and jumped into my arms when we all figured out Butler came up with that ball. It is a moment I will never forget, and one I hope to tell my kids, and Justin’s kids about one day. Justin is the type of guy you would want to give the toast at your wedding. Not because it would be the most eloquent or planned out, but because it would come from the heart, would be mindful and honest, and would probably be flat-out hilarious.

The scariest thing about leaving UMass in a year will be leaving the friends I have made here. But with a friend like Justin, I know there will always be an excuse to get a beer, sit down, and watch whatever game happens to be on that night. Happy 21st my man, keep being you, and f**k the Yankees.

Cameron Merritt

So I first met Justin before I transferred into UMass at one of those Central dorm parties sophomore year, but I didn’t *really* meet Justin until my first night at UMass. I showed up at the Townhouse wearing a giant foam Minuteman hat with three suitemates I’d met only hours before (one of whom proceeded to challenge the hosts, and we never brought him back). That night I think really solidified an image of myself on everyone there, Justin included, and marked the beginning of a great and always interesting friendship. From going to Taco Bell to Job Simulator to the Super Bowl to Blarney to Wolfey Wolfeshakes, and so much, much more, it was a hell of a year and can’t wait to see what the next one brings. So Happy Birthday man, hope it’s a great one, and thanks again for everything you’ve done to turn this blog into a reality. You’re the real MVP!

Special K

I barely know the guy but from what I’ve seen and heard, he’s quite the man. Happy Birthday Justin Vadenais. I’m glad your dad planted the seed 21 years and 9 months ago.


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