Realities: Past and Present

November 17, 2006

Okay, lots of catching up to do. Since my last post, I have, in no particular order, celebrated Homecoming, Halloween, and my birthday. I also saw most of the season home finales for the Fall Hoya sports teams, took in the basketball open practice, watched the World Series, traveled to NYC to visit a few Hoya alums on Wall Street and to Nashville for the men's hoop contest versus Vanderbilt (lots of photos below). In addition, I attended the basketball season home opener at Verizon Center, took a face dive onto the streets of Georgetown in a bicycle accident (yes, I had a helmet on and no, the helmet did not -- unlike my chin -- get a single scratch on it), and subsequently, I grew a beard. And for over three weeks, I went cold turkey without access to my computer. Actually, the laptop went back and forth to the repair shop, but the resulting disconnect with the virtual world made it clear to me just how much my life is now dependent upon this ephemeral reality. It's kind of scary to contemplate, even as I write and post these words into cyberspace.

Junior swingman Tyler Crawford welcomes young Hoya to the Hoop Club open practice

In case you haven't noticed, Georgetown is commemorating its first century of basketball with a season-long celebration. There is a new logo (above) that now adorns all things basketball. For the past year, I have methodically stashed away photos, dates, articles and any other scraps of interest about Georgetown basketball extending backward 100 years. Last weekend, with the support and hard work of others doing the same (Kedi in the men's basketball office and Bill, Mex and Ben in the sports information office, and a big assist from hoyasaxa.com), it all came together with the unveiling of a new section of the GU Hoyas website commemorating the centennial of Georgetown basketball.

I've been involved with a bunch of university-related website launches over the past 10 years. This is one of the only campus sites I can remember (the other one is the Library archives) that does more than simply pull you into the reality of the present. Filled with historical detail about the blue and gray line of heroes on the hardwood beginning in 1907, 100 Years of Georgetown Basketball, as the site calls itself, is a tribute to the commitment, the excellence, and the tradition of the sport on the Hilltop.


Yet even with its devotion to the basketball past, what makes the website so compelling is the reality of the basketball present. While other sports at Georgetown share similar pasts filled with glory, honor and recognition, none carry the signature role at the University that basketball does. To wit: for the first half of the 20th century, four major sports at Georgetown ruled both the Hoya campus and the eastern seaboard: football, basketball, baseball, and track and field. Other sports flourished as well but they were known as minor sports at Georgetown for a reason.

During the second half of the last century, this paradigm changed substantially as the University reduced its overall funding of athletics, abandoned intercollegiate varsity football for a dozen years and witnessed a migration trend of top baseball talent to warmer college climes and to the bigs.

Junior center Roy Hibbert high/low-fives with young Hoya fan at the open practice

Honoree Ron Blaylock '82 was joined by his former teammates at Homecoming's Patrick Healy dinner: from left - Ron, Ed Spriggs '82, Mike Hancock '82, Patrick Ewing '85, and Ralph Dalton '86

Volleyball seniors Jessica George, left and Annie Connor, right, along with freshman Kortney Robinson, middle, faced tough Big East foe, Notre Dame in their penultimate home match of the season on Homecoming weekend

Athletic Directors past and present: Joe Lang (right) and Bernard Muir at the Patrick Healy dinner

With a then-recently built gymnasium and relatively lower expenses of competition, basketball and track retained their status as first among equals within the Georgetown athletic hierarchy. But it was the eventual success of the NCAA tournament and increased television coverage of college hoops (coverage that money couldn't even buy), which clinched the primacy of basketball in the hearts and minds of Hoyas worldwide. And it didn't hurt that Georgetown's rise on the national scene coincided perfectly with these external developments.

All this to say that the wonders of this rich historical past is made all the more relevant by a fresh and vital present. So check out and enjoy the new website today and often.

It's for real.


The Homecoming pre-game tailgate had a good crowd, good music, good food, good fellowship, and plenty of sunshine and alternative beverages

Must be time for the opening kick-off at the Yard when the percussion band marches in

The Homecoming game doubled as senior day: linebacker Chris Paulus '07 with parents Dave and Denise

Former football assistant Dan Droze catches up with Gridiron president Chris Murphy '93 at Homecoming football game versus Marist

Former football assistant Jay Calabrese and Kevin Pellegrini '94 at Homecoming game

A striking nighttime view of the historic Observatory on Fowler's Hill where the post-game festivities were held for the team and families


Following the Homecoming victory, the team joined the crowd in singing the fight song

Football alums Kevin Boland '81, Rory Coakley '82 and Bob Sitz '79

Senior tight end Matt Cooper with Hoya dad Peter and senior lineman Liam Grubb


Field Hockey seniors Megan Celluci and Abby Winer played their final contest as Hoyas on Kehoe Field against Holy Cross

The men's golf team closed out their fall season by winning the Hoya Invitational at the highly-rated Members Club at Four Streams in suburban Maryland

Diamond Club president Tom Elliott '71 chats with Hoya catcher Brad Davis '07 at the 2006 baseball lettermen dinner this fall

Little Hoyas unite: grads from the Prep playing on the Georgetown and Penn lacrosse teams gathered with their high school coach, Kevin Giblin, after the scrimmage at the Yard in late October



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