Painful Memories of Exam Weeks Past

GUHOYAS.COM
GUHOYAS.COM

GUHOYAS.COM

Dec. 18, 2008

PAINFUL MEMORIES OF EXAM WEEKS PAST

So now what?

Six days ago, the Georgetown Hoyas and the Memphis Tigers competed for forty-five minutes and were never separated by more than six points.

Aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnddddd...Well, that is, until Jessie Sapp accidentally floated in a thirty-five foot rainbow worthy of the Harlem Globetrotters (okay, to be fair, he didn’t throw in the behind-the-back shot) at the buzzer.

The Hoyas and Tigers were tied fifteen separate times, and were never further apart than a single basket over the final twelve and a half minutes of the game.

There must be something special about the Verizon Center and close games.  Saturday’s 79-70 overtime victory marked the fifth time in 2008 that the Hoyas emerged victorious from the Phone Booth in a game decided on the final possession.

That the Hoyas ran their overall home winning streak to 27 (with one victory included from McDonough ...COUNT IT!!!Arena) was a testament to the decisive daring-do of sophomore point guard Chris Wright, who spun his way past Tyreke Evans and half of the Memphis defense on his way to a crucial overtime bucket, and freshman sensation Greg Monroe, whose deft bounce pass to a cutting DaJuan Summers moments before was the most impressive no-look play of the afternoon until Jessie Sapp went all Meadowlark Lemon in the final seconds.

So what do Wright, Monroe and Co. have for an encore?  How do you follow one of the hardest fought games at 7th and F Street in recent memory?

------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, here’s the thing.

With all due respect to Mount St. Mary’s—who, it bears mentioning, won the same number of NCAA Tournament games last year as the Hoyas—nobody is about to confuse the Mountaineers with Memphis.

Not that there figure to be many bodies at the Verizon Center to confuse.  Take it from a federal government employee who lives near National Airport—it’s getting mighty empty at one place and the lines are looking awfully lengthy at another.  Last Friday night and Saturday morning saw Georgetown students checking the Weather Channel for their pre-game queuing forecast for 7th and F and older Georgetown fans checking the Verizon Center webpage for the location of the mysterious Dewar’s Club (site of the well-attended Hoya Hoop Club Holiday Party).  This Friday and Saturday…well, tell grandma that the Blog Staff says Merry Christmas.

Speaking of Georgetown students: If you’re a Hoya undergrad, let me be the first to congratulate you on finishing your first semester exams.  As I type this, the last exams of the fall semester at Georgetown are about to conclude—students have until tomorrow to officially ship off for winter vacation.

This of course means that loud HOYA you heard on CBS last Saturday is at their parents’ house in New Jersey, and SAXA is headed for a ski slope in Colorado (which means the likelihood that they’ll appear shirtless with Dajuan Summers’ jersey painted on their chest this weekend has dropped dramatically).

A sparsely populated Verizon Center and an opponent whose most recent NCAA Tournament win was against Coppin State as opposed to North Carolina—not exactly the recipe for a memorable Saturday afternoon.

But let’s hold on a minute here.  Just because the Mountaineers of Morgantown, WV are more of a household name than those from Emmitsburg, MD doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to look forward to.  And just because this game is being played on December 20th doesn’t mean someone won’t one day remember it as if it were played in March.

Let me explain.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back on the third week of December 2000, I had just turned in my last paper of my first semester at Georgetown—something to do with the end of the Cold War (1989 was a mixed blessing—the fall of communism in Europe was inspiring, but was balanced out by Duke’s victory over Georgetown in the East Regional Final).  With most of my friends in Village C still around through the weekend taking exams and partying, I decided to hang around an extra two days.  Better still, the Hoyas had a game that Saturday against Howard at the MCI Center. 

Post-Burton Generations may be unaware, but during the early part of the decade, Georgetown annually played a fair amount of non-conference games at McDonough Arena—the Hoyas had played their four home games on campus to that point (so there…it wasn’t that I couldn’t get fully excited for that NIT game against Cal State-Fullerton…I just couldn’t get the memories of Grambling out of my head).  Saturday December 16, 2000 then was my first chance to attend a game at the Phone Booth.

At about 12:30am on the morning of 12/16, I was creating my own personal athletic memories on Healy Lawn, going all Demetrius Hunter on a game of late-night Ultimate Frisbee.  Gliding in for another easy score…well, I picked the wrong time to go all Courtland Freeman I guess.  I rolled my ankle on the edge of the planter housing the Virgin Mary statue and went down like a sack of potatoes.

I’m nothing if not a stubborn idiot, so I eschewed the advice of a friendly GERMS paramedic on the fifth floor of my dorm and failed to elevate and ice my leg that morning.  The next morning I woke up, rolled out of bed, aaaaaaaaaand…down like a sack of potatoes.  My left ankle was (give or take) the size of a basketball, and I got the feeling I wasn’t going to be for much Ultimate Frisbee…or standing up…that day.

I called my mom and informed her I was going to…ummmm…have someone carry me(?) to the hospital to have an x-ray performed on my throbbing ankle.  She responded in the only way a caring mother with a proper sense of perspective could to hearing her son was in agonizing pain:

“You’re not going to miss the game, are you?”

Now, I’m as devoted a Georgetown Hoyas basketball fan as they come, but at the moment the fate of Kevin Braswell and Mike Sweetney seemed insignificant next to the question of whether my ankle would snap the next time I set it down.

“Well, I mean…mom…I’m hurting pretty bad here.  I really ought to go to the hospital.”

“Yeah, but John…you can always go after the game.”

I’m sorry, is John Thompson holding her hostage and making her say this?

“I can’t even walk right now, mom!  How in the heck am I going to make it to a basketball game right now?”

“I don’t know John.  It just seems awfully silly to stay at school for two whole days to see a game and then miss it because you had to go to the hospital.”

This is the same mother who carefully delineated the streets I was allowed to ride my bike on when I was eight.  The same mother who cried during freshman orientation at the thought of being away from her son.  The same son she was now advising to lop off his leg and go watch Georgetown play a MEAC school.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So forty-five minutes later, I struggled for dear life with the railing on a Charles County School Bus, pulling myself up the stairs onto the student shuttle to the MCI Center.  I wore a sandal on my left foot—my ankle was too swollen to fit inside a shoe. 

And I hopped.  Everywhere.

Hopped off the bus onto the sidewalk. 

Hopped through the turnstyle.

Hopped down the ramp into the student section.

And I hoped my mother was happy with herself.

Mom visits the infamous rail 8 seasons laterFor once, I took the GERMS medic’s advice—I rested my foot against a railing in front of my seat, in the first row of Section 118.  There weren’t many students at the game, and that was okay…the fewer to accidentally bump into my ankle.

As it turned out, the Howard game was pretty memorable for a throwaway exam-week contest.  Georgetown set a school record for points against a Division I opponent, and the 123-90 score represented the second-highest combined point total for a Hoyas game that ended in regulation.  I also saw probably the most impressive scoring performance that afternoon that I’ve seen in person at a Georgetown game: Howard’s Ron Williamson scored 41 points on 11 for 17 shooting from three-point range, and left the game to a standing ovation.  Williamson’s outburst was the largest by a player against Georgetown in seven years, and it has only been equaled once since, by J.J. Redick in 2006.

And upon returning to campus…I hopped.

Not to the hospital.  I gave up all hope of making it to an x-ray machine.

I hopped to the bookstore to get a bandage for my ankle.

Halfway to the Leavey Center, my sandal broke.

And so I hopped.  With one shoe and one sock.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That exam week game marked the first of six years’ worth of games in the student section at the MCI and later Verizon Center.  When I outgrew…well, the hopping of the student section…I quickly gobbled up Young Alumni tickets prior to the 2006-2007 season.

By sheer coincidence, I was assigned to a seat that I still occupy at every Verizon Center home game…

…in the first row of Section 118.

This Saturday’s ho-hum exam week contest will mark the 98th Georgetown game I’ve attended at the Verizon Center.  And for all of the great performances, close calls and heartbreaking finishes, to this day few games stand out as more personally memorable…or as painful…as the first.

 

So there you have it…all you need to make Saturday’s clash with Mount St. Mary’s memorable is a severely sprained ankle and a parent remarkably unconcerned with your well-being.

In the likely event that you’re watching from grandma’s house, here’s how you’ll find the game:

Georgetown vs. Mount St. Mary’s

Sat 12/20/08, 1pm

 

TV: MASN

 

Radio: Sportstalk 980 AM, 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM

 

If you are making it out to the Verizon Center, you’ll find me and my perfectly functioning ankles working at the Hoya Hoop Club table outside of Section 120 prior to the game.

 

Best wishes and Happy Hoya Holidays!

 

John Hawkes (SFS ’04)

Proud Member of Generation Burton

 

 

More Headlines
Top Videos
Schedules
DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE: Add to calendar
Friday, Feb 12
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball at Seton Hall W, 73-65 BEDN GameTracker Watch
Softball vs Towson L, 3-1 Live Stats
Softball vs IPFW W, 13-6 Live Stats
Men's Tennis vs Monmouth N.J. 12:00 PM
Women's Lacrosse Delaware L, 10-6 GameTracker Watch
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field at Spire Invitational All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at University of Washington Husky Invite All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs University of Washington Husky Invite All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at Boston University Valentine Invite Individual Results
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field at Boston University Valentine Invite Individual Results
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field at Iowa State Classic All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at Spire Invitational All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at Iowa State Classic All Day
Saturday, Feb 13
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Basketball at Providence 12:00 PM FS1 GameTracker Listen with TuneIn
Softball vs Towson 11:00 AM Live Stats
Softball at Charleston Southern 3:00 PM Live Stats
Swimming & Diving Providence (Senior Day) 11:00 AM
Men's Lacrosse at Drexel Cancelled
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at Iowa State Classic All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at Spire Invitational All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at Boston University Valentine Invite All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field at Iowa State Classic All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at University of Washington Husky Invite All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field at Boston University Valentine Invite All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field at Spire Invitational All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field at University of Washington Husky Invite All Day
Sunday, Feb 14
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball at St. John's 2:00 PM BEDN GameTracker Watch
Wednesday, Feb 17
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Basketball Seton Hall 9:00 PM FS1 GameTracker Listen with TuneIn
Friday, Feb 19
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball at Wake Forest 6:00 PM GameTracker
Softball vs Penn State 9:00 AM
Softball vs Pittsburgh 11:30 AM
Women's Tennis at University of Chicago TBA
Saturday, Feb 20
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Basketball Xavier 12:00 PM FOX GameTracker Listen with TuneIn
Baseball vs VMI 12:00 PM GameTracker
Softball vs Pittsburgh 9:00 AM
Softball vs Radford 2:00 PM
Men's Lacrosse vs Notre Dame (Cobb County Classic) 11:30 AM
Women's Lacrosse at Maryland 12:00 PM
Men's Tennis at DePaul 3:00 PM
Women's Tennis at DePaul 3:00 PM
Sailing vs Quad Meet All Day
Sailing Tri Meet All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at Penn State Tune-up All Day
Sunday, Feb 21
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball Villanova 12:00 PM BEDN GameTracker Watch
Baseball vs UMBC 10:00 AM
Softball at Jacksonville 2:00 PM
Sailing Tri Meet All Day
Sailing vs Quad Meet All Day
Wednesday, Feb 24
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Swimming & Diving vs BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships All Day
Thursday, Feb 25
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Swimming & Diving vs BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships All Day
Friday, Feb 26
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball Butler 11:00 AM BEDN GameTracker Watch
Baseball at Davidson 6:00 PM
Softball vs IUPUI 12:00 PM
Women's Tennis St. John's 11:00 AM
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at BIG EAST Championships All Day
Swimming & Diving vs BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs BIG EAST Championships All Day
Saturday, Feb 27
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Basketball Butler 12:00 PM CBS GameTracker Listen with TuneIn
Baseball at Davidson 2:00 PM
Softball vs Fairfield 10:00 AM
Softball vs IUPUI 1:00 PM
Men's Lacrosse at Towson 12:00 PM
Women's Lacrosse at Princeton 1:00 PM
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs BIG EAST Championships All Day
Swimming & Diving vs BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at BIG EAST Championships All Day
Sailing vs Charleston Women's Regatta All Day
Sailing vs Navy Quad Team Race All Day
Sunday, Feb 28
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball Xavier 12:00 PM BEDN GameTracker Watch
Baseball at Davidson 1:00 PM
Softball at North Carolina 3:30 PM
Sailing vs Charleston Women's Regatta All Day
Sailing vs Navy Quad Team Race All Day
Tuesday, Mar 1
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Basketball at Marquette 9:00 PM FS1 GameTracker Listen with TuneIn
Men's Lacrosse Mount St. Mary's 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Wednesday, Mar 2
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball UMBC 2:30 PM Watch
Friday, Mar 4
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball at Florida Atlantic 6:30 PM GameTracker
Softball vs Monmouth N.J. 12:00 PM GameTracker
Softball vs Maryland 2:30 PM
Men's Tennis vs PAC Coast Doubles TBA
Saturday, Mar 5
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Basketball at Villanova 12:00 PM FOX GameTracker Listen with TuneIn
Women's Basketball vs First Round TBA BEDN
Baseball at Florida Atlantic 4:00 PM GameTracker
Softball vs Robert Morris 1:30 PM
Men's Lacrosse at Hofstra 12:00 PM
Women's Lacrosse at Towson 3:00 PM
Women's Tennis at Point Loma Nazarene 5:00 PM
Sailing vs Bavier Team Race All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at ECAC Championships All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs IC4A Championships All Day
Sunday, Mar 6
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball vs Quarterfinal TBA FS2
Baseball at Florida Atlantic 12:00 PM GameTracker
Softball vs Columbia 1:30 PM
Women's Tennis at UC San Diego 3:00 PM
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at ECAC Championships All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs IC4A Championships TBA
Sailing vs Bavier Team Race All Day
Monday, Mar 7
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball vs Semifinal TBA FS1
Men's Tennis at UC San Diego 3:00 PM
Women's Golf at Fresno State Classic All Day
Tuesday, Mar 8
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Basketball vs Championship 8:00 PM FS1
Baseball vs TBD 2:30 PM
Men's Tennis vs Wesleyan 1:00 PM
Men's Lacrosse Fairfield 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Women's Tennis at Loyola Marymount 4:00 PM
Women's Golf at Fresno State Classic All Day
Wednesday, Mar 9
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball vs Western Michigan 11:00 AM
Women's Lacrosse at Duke 3:00 PM
Thursday, Mar 10
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Tennis at UC Irvine 12:30 PM
Women's Tennis at UC Irvine 4:30 PM
Friday, Mar 11
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball vs Penn 3:00 PM
Softball vs Ohio State 2:30 PM
Softball at Arizona State 10:15 PM
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs NCAA Championships All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at NCAA Championships All Day
Saturday, Mar 12
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball vs Penn 3:00 PM
Softball vs James Madison 5:00 PM
Men's Lacrosse Hobart 12:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Women's Lacrosse Penn 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Sailing vs Women's Intersectional All Day
Sailing vs College of Charleston Spring Intersectional All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs NCAA Championships All Day
Sailing John Jackson Team Race All Day
Sailing vs CJ Woolum Regatta All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field at NCAA Championships All Day
Sunday, Mar 13
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball vs Penn 11:00 AM
Sailing vs Women's Intersectional All Day
Sailing John Jackson Team Race All Day
Sailing vs College of Charleston Spring Intersectional All Day
Sailing vs CJ Woolum Regatta All Day
Monday, Mar 14
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Golf at ORU/SFA Spring Break Shootout All Day
Tuesday, Mar 15
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball Yale 3:00 PM Watch
Women's Golf at ORU/SFA Spring Break Shootout All Day
Wednesday, Mar 16
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Tennis at George Mason 2:30 PM
Women's Tennis at George Mason 2:30 PM
Women's Lacrosse at George Mason 6:00 PM
Thursday, Mar 17
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball Princeton 3:00 PM Watch
Friday, Mar 18
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball Princeton 3:00 PM Watch
Women's Tennis Xavier TBA
Men's Tennis Xavier TBA
Saturday, Mar 19
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball Princeton 1:00 PM Watch
Men's Lacrosse at Duke 1:00 PM
Women's Lacrosse Johns Hopkins 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Sailing vs Graham Hall Team Race All Day
Sailing vs Women's Intersectional All Day
Sunday, Mar 20
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Baseball Princeton 1:00 PM Watch
Tuesday, Mar 22
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Lacrosse Loyola Maryland 7:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Wednesday, Mar 23
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Lacrosse Loyola Maryland 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Thursday, Mar 24
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Tennis Seton Hall 12:00 PM
Friday, Mar 25
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Tennis at George Washington 1:00 PM
Women's Rowing at Class of 2006 Cup vs. UNC & Old Dominion All Day
Men's Golf at Slomin Autism Invitational (FAU) All Day
Saturday, Mar 26
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Lacrosse at Marquette 1:00 PM FS1
Men's Crew at Princeton Scrimmage (HW) All Day
Men's Crew Princeton (LW) All Day
Men's Golf at Slomin Autism Invitational (FAU) All Day
Sunday, Mar 27
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Golf at Slomin Autism Invitational (FAU) All Day
Monday, Mar 28
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Golf at Henssler Financial Intercollegiate All Day
Tuesday, Mar 29
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Golf at Henssler Financial Intercollegiate All Day
Saturday, Apr 2
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Lacrosse Denver 11:00 AM CBSSN GameTracker
Women's Lacrosse at Vanderbilt 1:00 PM
Women's Tennis Saint Francis (PA) TBA
Men's Crew Delaware (LW) All Day
Women's Rowing at Harvard All Day
Men's Golf at Towson Whiting-Turner Invitational All Day
Men's Tennis Saint Francis (PA) TBA
Sunday, Apr 3
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Rowing at Harvard All Day
Men's Golf at Towson Whiting-Turner Invitational All Day
Monday, Apr 4
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Golf Hoya Invitational All Day
Tuesday, Apr 5
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Men's Tennis at Richmond 2:00 PM
Women's Golf Hoya Invitational All Day
Friday, Apr 8
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Rowing vs GW Invite All Day
Men's Crew vs GW Invite (HW) All Day
Saturday, Apr 9
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Lacrosse Florida 12:00 PM BEDN GameTracker Watch
Men's Lacrosse Providence 3:00 PM BEDN GameTracker
Men's Crew at Yale/MIT (LW) All Day
Men's Crew vs GW Invite (HW) All Day
Women's Rowing vs GW Invite All Day
Women's Rowing vs Knecht Cup All Day
Men's Tennis Bryant University TBA
Men's Golf at Princeton Invitational All Day
Sunday, Apr 10
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Tennis at George Washington 2:00 PM
Men's Crew at Harvard (LW) All Day
Women's Rowing vs Knecht Cup All Day
Men's Golf at Princeton Invitational All Day
Wednesday, Apr 13
Sport Opponent Time Coverage
Women's Lacrosse Villanova 7:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Online Stores & Tickets
HOYAS
Official Store
Vivid Seats
Gameday Live