Believe it or not, all of you non-Washingtonians, Teddy (Roosevelt) winning the President’s Race (an event at every Nats game) is almost–yes, almost–as exciting as heading to the playoffs. Since the Nationals (the former Montreal Expos franchise) came to D.C., fans have has a rough go of it but gradually the ownership built a winning team. In the meantime, and through the losing seasons, the team’s marketing department has entertained us with the Presidents’ Race. Let me tell you, it is much more exciting than any presidential debate. And Teddy never won–until the Nationals won its last home game of this season against the Phillies, 5-1. It almost–yes, almost–became a news story as big as the fact that WINNING baseball is back in D.C. and D.C. is heading to the post-season for the first time since 1933!!
Although the conference allegedly was not caught off guard this past week, I was not expecting the latest announcement regarding University of Notre Dame’s departure from the conference. I had believed that the dust had settled from the announcements, departures, additions, and settlements of earlier this year. At first the Notre Dame announcement caught me off guard but then again, after watching the ESPN “show” surrounding this major “breaking news” event, clearly this is further evidence that universities and conferences act less in the best interests of the student athlete, and more in the interest of the coffers of the institutions. Left in the dust are respect for student-athletes, coaches, parents and tradition. Notre Dame’s move to the ACC interestingly happened quickly on the heels of what appeared to be apparent hits to the storied programs of UNC (transcript scandal) and Duke (lawsuit filed against 201o’s Lance Thomas, member of Duke’s championship basketball team, for allegedly receiving benefits–credit for a $100k jewelry purchase that season–that other students would not be offered. In the coverage of Notre Dame’s defection from the Big East to the ACC, there was no mention of either matter. As if they didn’t matter. As if rules don’t matter, tradition doesn’t matter and relationships and allegiances don’t matter. In my opinion, these are poor lessons for educational institutions to teach students, and student-athletes.
Please share with us your favorite professional sports team relocation/move, historical or recent, and tell us what you liked/disliked about it.
I was disappointed that Louisville couldn’t rally to deliver a big surprise against the One and Done’ers Kentucky Wildcats tonight. Louisville fought and clawed and rebounded but in the end fell short to Calipari and his team of post-grads on their stepping stone to the NBA. Kansas, on the other hand, showed their resilience in coming back to hand OSU another loss in the Final Four–was the last one in the 2007 final to Florida? In any case, an exciting ending. Tomorrow all basketball players should be more cognizant of foul line violations.
On to the Final game Monday night–predictions?
There is a great debate unfolding out there in cyberspace, on the twitter and Facebook feeds and every sports website and blog imaginable. Now I make my case:
Georgetown should be Nerlens choice. Nerlens has stated that he wants to attend a college that feels like “home”. ”Home” is Georgetown’s middle name (if its last name is “University” ) and he will have a family from the day he walks into Georgetown for the rest of his life. This family is not the kind that uses someone for his or her talents but that cares for the whole person in accordance with Jesuit ideals. Noel will make an immediate impact and Coach JTIII, a Princeton graduate with a moral compass and all of the intelligence associated with the Princeton and Georgetown basketball programs and institutions, will fully embrace Nerlens’ potential and play to his and the team’s strengths. It’s not just about “Big Man U”, while that is a given, it’s about “Big Man U” + family and home + the finest academics, access to the nation’s capital and likelihood that re-elected President Obama will be a fan of Nerlens. Jeff Green, Celtic and high first-round draft pick who left early for the NBA, is walking in his graduation ceremony this May. Ewing, Mutombo, Mourning, and Hibbert are all proud Georgetown graduates and return “home” frequently to contribute to the life of the University, not just its basketball life. Greg Monroe made an immediate impact in JTIII’s offense then left for the pros. Georgetown has tradition, class and integrity unparalleled by all but a few schools and none of them are Syracuse and Kentucky. We Hoyas, current students, alumni and fans worldwide are rooting for Nerlens to become part of the Georgetown family. We take care of our own.
The special time of year has begun, to college basketball fanatics the “high holy days” and days, beginning Tuesday for some teams, that you can fly as high as the sky or sink so low. What is it about college basketball and the allegiance to one’s team that can affect your emotions as much as any friend or family member who praises or criticizes you. I would like to hear from readers what traditions or routines they follow during this media-created March Madness. Who are you rooting for? Who do you think will win and are you entering a pool or two or three?
Check out this interesting article from the WSJ this morning. Do you think this adequately explains the situation?
2/1/2012 Verizon Center:
Tonight’s game at the Verizon Center is not simply “another battle” between the Big East rivals. Tonight’s game is critical for the Hoyas, who can demonstrate whether they are poised to fight for the top spots in the Big East Conference, or whether they are comfortable to slide down to the middle of the pack. Having dropped out of the Top 25, U Conn has something to prove. So i think this game should mean more than a mid-season battle to each squad, and it should be interesting to see which team is hungrier and wants to chase the prize.
It’s Eli’s Time:
In a week that should shine the spotlight on his younger brother, Eli, Peyton is dominating the airwaves. I know that Eli has been used to playing second fiddle to his elder; however, if I were Peyton, despite all of the issues surrounding his injury and future (or not) with the Colts, Peyton should have declined interviews this week and allow his brother to take front stage. Second, it seems clear to me that Peyton should see the larger picture–life and health–and be smart about his future in the NFL, where another hit or two could have grave consequences. Peyton’s future is a matter of interest for the NFL and Peyton’s fan, but for the moment step aside–let Eli enjoy his second Super Bowl.