Friday, February 17, 2006

Marquette vs. Georgetown: Braving the Over-Hyped Elements

Marquette played Georgetown downtown last night, and for the first time in what seems like months, I got to see them play. Big win over Georgetown last night. And it was a long night for me, since due to the local weather, some friends and I headed downtown early to get settled and have a few beverages before the game. It occurred to us that our pre-game festivities might have been a tad too early when we saw Steve Novak crossing the street and walking in the opposite direction of the Bradley Center while we were stopped at an intersection on the way down. But better early than late, I guess.

Here are today’s thoughts. Due to a late night, they’re not as comprehensive as I like, but I wanted to spit something out, after weeks of neglecting the Golden Eagles. So here you go:

1) During a pre-game conversation, one of my friends was noting that if Marquette could beat Georgetown, it would really help their chances of "getting in." This was a conversation that I figured before the season that I would be having, except I was pretty sure at the time that "getting in" would refer to the NIT, not the NCAA tourney. What a pleasant surprise this team has been.

2) As I noted, I haven’t been to a Marquette game in ages, so though it might be late, I have to note that I love the giant PTI-esque cardboard cutout heads that the student section holds up. If there’s some notable meaning behind them, I’d appreciate it if no one told me what that is, because the delightful randomness of seeing Chuck Norris’ head blown up on a piece of cardboard would be totally ruined for me.

3) Kudos to the Marquette promotions department for their Dwyane Wade t-shirt give-away which for the first time in the history of give-aways included a shirt that was neither blatantly ugly, or really cheaply made.

4) My laughing at idiots moment of the night came when I was sitting with my friend The Franchise in the corner of the upper deck of the Bradley Center. About a minute before the game two guys started walking up to their seats in the same section when one noted that he thought they should just sit in the empty row behind The Franchise and I. His friend noted that all of the seats had pom-pons on them, and were probably saved, overlooking the fact that Marquette had placed pom-pons on all of the seats that were expected to be filled. So no guys, there wasn’t someone saving 12 seats in the cheapest section of the building with pom-pons that they brought to the game. That’s just a completely illogical proposition.

5) The weather wasn’t as bad as most of the world made it out to be last night, but nonetheless, I was impressed at the large number of people that overcame the scary weather reports and made it to the game (and skipped the ESPNHD broadcast). Great crowd on a night when I wasn’t sure if that would be the case.

6) It seems that I say this every time I see Marquette play, but Dominic James is a freak of nature. I’m excited to play back my recording of the game just to hear what Rick Majerus has to say about him on his breakaway reverse dunk. Guys who are 5'10" shouldn’t be able to do that.

7) Ryan Amoroso failed to enter the game last night. I haven’t heard anything, but given his recent one-game illness-related absence, I would have to assume his lack of time was due to illness. As well as Ousmane Barro and (I’m not even kidding about this) Chris Grimm played, when Marquette had all of its big men healthy, it was not unusual to see five of them get minutes. Dropping down to two and completely benching a guy who put up 30+ points in a game earlier in the year seems totally illogical, even with Marquette’s bizarre big-man rotation, if not for some sort of health issue.

8) Not to take anything away from an impressive and pivotal win for Marquette, but as several people have noted to me post-game about Georgetown, "Those guys beat Duke?" Yeah, I’m confused as to how that happened as well.

There’s so much more to be said, but I’m going to leave it at that, since I have no time to do more. Assuming I’m not too worn down, tonight will be my fifth night in a row of attending games in person. Right now I’m thinking Whitefish Bay and Nicolet at Nicolet, but I’m kicking around a couple of other options, so I’ll have think it over a bit. Whatever happens, there will be basketball.


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