Don't Worry, Be Happy

February 14, 2008

If you have followed these posts for the past 30 months, you know that I relish all victories in every sport over that school in the Philadelphia suburbs founded in 1842 by the Augustinian fathers. So, Monday night's win over the Wildcats in the waning milliseconds was sweet and deserved. Let others rehash and spar over the absolute preciseness of the official call. As for me, I'll settle for what feels right and appropriate.

When asked what went through his mind when the official whistled a foul to send Jon Wallace to the line for the game-winning free throws, Coach Thompson replied simply that, "We got a call to go our way." Within earshot of his son's comment, John Thompson, Jr. echoed the sentiment with a lifetime of coaching perspective. "Thank you, Jesus," he quipped.

Games are arbitrary by nature, defined by pre-established conventions and subject to the subjective interpretation of officials. Coaches and players understand this better than fans. Sometimes you get a call your way and sometimes not. You take what you get. It is part of the game. You hope that over time, it all comes out even.

Now, in the case of the Wildcats and basketball, there is the matter of the 1985 national championship game. For the Villanova faithful, it has colored every contest ever since. There is no game versus the Hoyas that they will ever feel they cannot win. In fact, the greater the odds of losing, the more confident they will be. I am okay with that. It makes winning all the more pleasing.

So when Jon Wallace was bumped at the end of the game and awarded two chances from the line to take the lead, I couldn't help but remember that night in Lexington in the 1985 championship game, when Villanova had 27 chances from the foul line versus eight for Georgetown. Despite plenty of banging under the boards, Patrick Ewing, the most dominant post player of his generation, never once went to shoot a free throw. Sometimes you get the call, sometimes you don't.

The win last Monday night just felt right.


PJM - View From The Hilltop



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August 9
4:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Shaw Field
August 11
7:00 PM
Maryland
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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
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12:00 PM
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August 20
1:00 PM
George Washington
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August 24
7:00 PM
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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