Monday Morning Musings

January 9, 2006

In case you missed this poignant account by GU sports info director Mex Carey about Hoya football QB David Fajgenbaum, here is a link to see the entire story. David is not the first Hoya to face the tragic loss of a parent while attending college. Basketball centers Patrick Ewing `85 and Ralph Dalton `86 both lost their mothers as students on the Hilltop. And too many other young Hoyas have suffered similarly. What differentiates David is his focused pursuit to learn from his own experience and to help other students cope with similar situations. So why isn't this true story about virtue printed on the front page of the sport section? Instead, we get stories about players ejected from games for spitting at another player. Ugh!





While I am on the subject of Washington's now-surging NFL team, I will keep quiet no more forever. The DC-based NFL franchise (now owned by lifelong and devoted fan Dan Snyder) once had a dismal institutional record of racial discrimination. Going back to George Preston Marshall, they were the last holdout team in the league to put African-American players on their roster. Okay, that is ancient history now. What is alive and real today is the team's name - an epithet that ought to offend the sensibilities of every thinking citizen. Let me say parenthetically that I find cultural identity objections to such nicknames as the Illini of the University of Illinois or the Irish of Notre Dame to be just plain silly. But for the NFLers in the nation's capital, a line must be drawn. Columnist Mike Wise of the Washington Post wrote a column last September that forcefully argued against continued use of the team's name. I serve (along with American Indians) on the board of the Tewaaraton Trophy, college lacrosse's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Among other objectives, our organization is committed to celebrating a piece of the cultural heritage that the first settlers of this land have passed on to all Americans. In the case of the Washington franchise, the NFL should be ashamed of itself for doing just the opposite. If Dan wants to honor the first Americans, choose an Indian name that is not derogatory. Let the NFL put their best creative and marketing minds on making this long overdue reparation.



Much ado was made over Doug Flutie's dropkick for an extra point-after-touchdown in the Patriots' recent game against the Dolphins. The hoopla was apparently due to the scarcity of the play for the past 64 years. It was last done in an NFL game in 1941. Hoya grid great Harry Costello, class of 1913, would be chuckling if he were alive today. A do-it-all quarterback, Harry weighed all of 138 lbs., small even then, when he reported to practice as a freshman. The older and bigger varsity players tried to kick him off the field, thinking he was with the neighborhood kids who were roughhousing it nearby. But when the head coach saw Harry repeatedly dropkick the football between the posts with ease from anywhere inside the 40-yard line, the rest of the team started to take notice of the frosh phenom. Turned out that not only could he kick, he was as speedy and shifty a broken field runner as ever seen at Georgetown. On top of that, he was among the best passers and punters in the nation. "Pop" Warner who coached against Harry and the Hoyas with a name player of his own, the inestimable Jim Thorpe, described the diminutive Hilltopper as follows: "For his inches, he is one of the greatest players that ever lived." Keep on practicing, Doug.


Nine Point Harry, known for his habit of dropkicking a hat trick of field goals




My picks for most interesting contests this coming week:

> Men's Basketball: Just about every hoop contest from here on out qualifies as most interesting, but with two away games for the Hoyas (10-2) this week, give the edge to the noon tilt at UConn (12-1) next Saturday at the Hartford Civic Center. The #2 ranked Huskies face Cincinnati tonight.

> Women's Basketball: Coming off of a rough week, the Hoyas (7-6) will host Providence (6-7) this Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm in McDonough Gym. The Friars are coming off a win against BIG EAST newcomer Cincinnati, snapping a 39-game winless streak in conference play

> Track & Field: With several post-season qualifying performances last weekend, next up for the thinclads is the Virginia Tech Invitational at Rector Fieldhouse in Blacksburg, VA next Saturday.

> Swimming & Diving: The Hoyas return from San Juan for a home quad meet with Howard, Radford and VMI next Saturday at 2:00 pm. Come on out to Yates and cheer the natators and divers on to victory.

Last week, the Hoya athletic teams posted an overall win-loss record of 2-2 and earned twelve 1st place, a one 2nd place finishes in individual standings competition.




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Schedules

August 9
4:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Shaw Field
August 11
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
August 12
7:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
August 15
7:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
August 18
4:00 PM
West Virginia
Shaw Field
August 19
1:00 PM
Virginia
Shaw Field
August 19
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
August 20
1:00 PM
George Washington
Shaw Field
August 24
7:00 PM
Delaware
Newark, Del.
August 25
5:00 PM
American
Washington, D.C.
August 25
2:00 PM
Davidson
Cooper Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Shaw Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Appalachian State
Cooper Field
August 28
1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Shaw Field
September 1
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
Shaw Field
September 1
8:00 PM
Stanford
Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
2:00 PM
Rider
Cooper Field
September 3
4:00 PM
San Jose State
San Jose, Calif.
September 3
1:00 PM
Lock Haven
Cooper Field
September 4
12:00 PM
UCLA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:00 PM
Saint Francis PA
Shaw Field
September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 9
TBA
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 16
TBA
Marist
Cooper Field
September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
September 18
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 19
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 20
4:00 PM
Stony Brook
Shaw Field