Two Games

March 27, 2008

Two games, involving young athletes playing a sport they love, representing their school, striving at a level of competition that very few ever reach.

Last weekend, the Hoya men's basketball team suffered a heart-breaking season-ending loss in the NCAA tournament, the most widely viewed national stage on which Georgetown University can appear. On the same weekend, the men's lacrosse squad rejoiced in a mid-season conquest of the number-one team in the nation. In the former, Georgetown was favored to win and in the latter, favored to lose -- and the results in both differed dramatically from the expected outcomes.

Over the last few days, I have pondered these two outcomes of the past weekend. I have no profound conclusions to espouse, only a simple observation. The juxtaposition of the two games offers us two sides of the same coin. Each contest provided a special environment for learning and growth.



The overachieving spirit of face-off man Dan Vinson '08, a walk-on who was cut from the team in his first year, has spread to his teammates

Beyond the how and why, there is something to be learned from unexpected loss. The lesson imposed on our talented basketball team is a hard one: there are no sure things -- in games or in life. Fans typically have little interest in such lessons, most already familiar with similar loss in their years of following their team (see Villanova, 1985). But isn't it really about the athletes? They are the reason the games are played. As fans, we are bystanders, there to share the joy in victory and endure the pain of defeat. But what may serve as reminders for us, are for young athletes, powerful lessons not taught in the classroom.

What about the flip side? The Hoya lax team, after rallying from behind, cinched a win against a Duke team that had most top programs thinking they were only competing for second place this season. Now this is a lesson worth reinforcing to athletes and fans alike: if you believe in yourself and work hard, anything is possible.

With the rest of the school on Easter recess last week, these as well as other Georgetown athletes competed and were tested. Regardless of the outcomes, I take great pride in all their performances. I am happy to call them Hoyas.

Hoyas Forever.





PJM - View From The Hilltop



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