February 11, 2010

This week sucks

There's a reason I've put off writing about what was the s-storm of Monday and Tuesday. What despicable days to be a BU sports fan.

Back-to-back one goal/point losses. To BC and Vermont of all teams. Ugh.

Luckily the SI swimsuit edition showed up in my mailbox on Wednesday. Six straight pages of Brooklyn Decker and Bar Rafaeli subdued the suicide watch that was placed upon me Tuesday night.

Andy Roddick's life is better than mine

I guess we'll start at the Garden on Monday.

This got off to a good start with a one goal lead after one period. Then all of the sudden the freshman defenseman decided to showcase their skills on the way to three straight BC goals.

For probably a little more than twelve straight hours Max Nicastro was embarrassed over and over and over again as the victim of the number one play on Sportscenter:

No doubt that Kreider deserves so much credit there. Nicastro didn't have a chance. Where are you Brian Strait??!? (He's in Wilkes-Barre)

Sean Escobedo deflected, or seemingly deflected a puck past Milan. After the game Milan said that didn't happen, but if you ask me that's what I saw.

3-1 at the end of two took any life out of the BU crowd. BC got another goal to start the third and I thought it was completely over. If it had gotten to 5-1 I'm sure half of the upper decks on the BU side in the Garden would've cleared out.

Somehow, down three goals, the Terriers fought through what seemed like inevitable defeat. They scored the 4-2 goal with 2:46 left, but got the third goal far too late in the game. Had it come earlier I think there was a chance Colby could've been a big game hero again in overtime.

Alas, no dice. As soon as that final horn blared I booked it right out of the Garden. Never have I watched a team other than BU celebrate a Beanpot championship, and I wasn't going to start after BU lost.

This was the first second Monday in February that I've seen BU lose. That T ride home was fortunately without any SuperFans and most of the discussion between my friends and I centered around the America East basketball tournament in Hartford. None of us wanted to think about how this guy:

Was enjoying a Beanpot Championship.

However, this team seems to be much improved from the 2009 half season version. They showed "desire, determination, and the will to win," which gives me reason to believe that BU could somehow sneak it's way into the tournament. I can dream, can't I?

Then Tuesday came, and let me tell you, I think I would've rather preferred a win against Vermont than the Beanpot.

Geez, where to begin. So much pain came from that game.

It probably started when I showed up at 6 pm and noticed that by 6:45 I could still count on two hands how many spectators were in the arena.

I know BU athletics has been literally doing all they can to get people out to games. UVM is usually a big one, especially at Agganis. The fact that 15 minutes before tip-off there weren't more than 500 people there was a problem.

Fortunately, I was somewhat distracted by the abysmal number of people in attendance by the rantings, ravings, stylings, and insight of the only America Easter writer in the world, Sam Perkins.

For an hour I conversed with Sam about the league, his taste in women (strictly black), how he came to get that taste in women, who will win RoY in the conference, Dennis Wolff's dark past, the league back when it was good, the America East message board, and Sam's future plans to walk onto the basketball team of whatever school he attends grad school at.

I was amused, enthralled, and deep into conversation while I got to watch UVM, and more specifically, Marqus Blakely warm up.

He didn't quite do that, but it was close.

There isn't anyone at this school (with the exception of Whitrock and the H&V guys) that I could carry an intelligent, informed, and interesting conversation with about America East basketball. It might be a stretch to carry on with anyone on the actual team other than Schulze about the conference.

Sam Perkins is one of the few who I can talk about the conference with and ever team in the conference, while giving my opinions, hearing his, and actually learning about the history of what was once a perennial threat in the NCAA tournament.

Then reality kind of struck, the national anthem was sung in front of maybe 600, and the game was five minutes from starting. It's never good with single digits remaining on the clock before the game begins to be able to hear a conversation across the arena. Not just a gym, but an arena.

The opening montage video started to role and as the crowd watched Coach Chambers walked over to me.

"Can we get some more -----ing people here?" He asked me. I hung my head immediately. I wanted to cry. Here is a coach at a new school, brought here to inject life into a program, and just hoping, nay, begging for support from anyone at the school.

I've thought a lot about what to say regarding this issue. After many rough drafts I've decided to hold off judgements of the BU student body attendance until after the season, much like I did last season with Dennis Wolff.

That said, I believe Whitrock said it best today in his Freep article. I'm glad he did, because the way I would've said it would resemble middle fingers to the student body. Here's Whitrock:

Agganis Arena is a facility worthy of a big-time basketball team. The players on the roster are talented and more talent is already in the pipeline. The head coach is passionate, respected by both his players and his peers, and has several players on the team playing the best basketball of their collegiate careers.

But when it comes to getting students to care, the Terriers can’t win. Win games against talented, well-known opponents, and students still don’t show up. Give away merchandise at the door game after game, and students still don’t show up. Switch to an exciting style of play, set a school record for the most made 3-point baskets in a game, and students still don’t show up.

Frustrating? From the perspective of someone who cares about this program and wants to see it succeed, frustrating doesn’t begin to cover it. It’s not just frustrating. It’s pathetic. It’s downright embarrassing.

This was the biggest game of the season for the team and there was less than 1,000 people in attendance. The only other Boston team playing was the Bruins. What were people's excuses this time?

To top off all the pain BU lost in the worst possible way. Up four with one minute to go, it was UVM up one when the clock expired. Corey Lowe dribbled the ball off of his foot and out of bounds. Game over. The BU team showed true emotion on the court during and after the game. Carlos was pissed. Holland was exhausted. Corey was crying. Chambers shook his head in disbelief about everything.

Never before have I felt as bad as I did than after that game. Even now writing about it I'm getting deeply upset. Then I went home, turned on the TV and watched an absolutely packed lower tier of students, dressed completely in white, going ape-s--- at the Michigan State game.

I could've gone to a school like that. A school where kids have pride for the community that they're a part of.

I love Boston University. I do. I love the athletic department. Over the last four years I've gotten more free stuff from the school than anyone else. It's too bad not many others have realized the glory of athletic events, and even more so, the glory of athlete parties.

In closing, I have solutions for the basketball and hockey team to gain attendance. They're not conventional, but racking my brain they're the only things that are absurd enough to make people want to come to a game:

1. Asian basketball player - it seems like there are more Asians at this school than any other race. This isn't accurate, but whenever I go play basketball at FitRec there's at least one court of strictly Asians.

So, why doesn't BU recruit a top tier Asian player. This will appeal to the large Asian, basketball fans at BU. Hell, I've been to a 76er-Rocket NBA game. Asians show up in BUNCHES to see one tall Asian play. Similar results must be inevitable if we get a Yi Jianlian type.

2. For hockey if attendance continues to drop - black hockey player. I've dreamed about it for four years. Getting a black hockey player is like finding that toy in the Cracker Jack boxes. I mean, BU had Mike Greir, arguably the best black player, not named Jarome Iginla, to ever play.

Let's bring in another one to at least create some interesting controversy.

3. Back to basketball - foreign-born player - either European or Puerto Rican - either one will have some pull in their given racial community. Similarly to the Asian basketball player, bringing in something that isn't normal always gives the school some attention.

That's all I got though.

Finally, there was some justice, kind of served today. Or at least a very interesting read. So, if you remember, before the AEC basketball season started the Binghamton Bearcats kicked five kids off the team for various infractions.

Today the investigation into the school and the handlings of the basketball team over the last couple of years was published, and my God, is it juicy.

Download it and give it a look-over when you get a chance. The level of blatant violations would make Al Skinner shudder.


Anonymous said...

What are the odds that Marc Hsu is on the Binghamton bench at Agganis Arena on Wednesday? I'm starting it at 200-1. How can you not fire the guy after that report? The whole situation is shady but him and Broadus come out looking like the shadiest of them all.

Also, are you considering moving to the other end of Agganis to heckle fake BU?

Anonymous said...

I heard that Holland and Strong were big media favorites in Puerto Rico because they have Puero Rican roots. So you already have "Puerto Rican" players that nobody at BU probably knows about. The fact is that BU students don't have school spirit or a sense of community when it comes to the athletic programs. It's really a crying shame. Anon 2

The Hot Dog said...

Anon 2 -

I think Strong will probably end up playing in Puerto Rico after he graduates.

I keep seeing them both tagged in pictures on Facebook that lists their stats along with a couple other college players that are being looked at by the league or popular. Pretty cool.

The Hot Dog said...

I'm really torn for Wednesday against Binghamton. When everything started to go down as it did I was circling the 17th on my calendar a million times.

Now, I'm in a weird place. No one (other than Hsu) I think is still involved with the team.

If Hsu somehow is there I'm going to move to the other end and shout at him all game.

I am going to give Chriteien Lukasa a round of applause. It takes some big balls to do what he did and stand up for what was right. He seems like the only one involved in this mess to have done that.

Mark Macon's name wasn't in the report so I will probably hold off heckling him. Plus he is an intimidating man to even look at. Looks like he could bench my entire family.

Anonymous said...

Rumored that a few people I know are going to wear orange jumpsuits... or at least have a sign that says something along the lines of "My doors are locked, so stay the hell away from my television!"...

Macon was involved... trust me...

The Hot Dog said...

The original plan (I was expecting Tiki to somehow be on the team by AEC play) was to bring countless bags of baking soda.

Last year I loaded up on the condoms and brought those for effect.

The Hot Dog said...

And the jumpsuits are classic.

Honey and Vinegar Sports Blog said...

Appreciate the shout-out Hot Dog and I think the Asian baller suggestion is genius- I'd say at least half the kids who play and seemingly live at FitRec are Asian