If Lovin' the Hoyas is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right
In the final Big East matchup between Georgetown and Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a regular season college basketball game, and on the same day that the Orange retired Carmelo Anthony's jersey, your Fighting Hoyas put together one of the most unforgettable performances in the program's storied history. In what must be viewed as one of the top three Georgetown wins of the last decade, the Hoyas snapped Syracuse's 38-game home winning streak (the nation's longest, and Syracuse's longest-ever streak at the Dome) and held the Orange to their lowest scoring output since the Dome opened its doors in 1980. Otto Porter, who scored more points in a single game against Syracuse than any other Georgetown player before him, had one of the most complete and memorable games in Georgetown's history.
For a Georgetown team that started conference play with two wins and three losses, the Hoyas have now reeled off nine consecutive victories and, entering the last four games of Big East conference play, are now in sole possession of first place during the last season of the conference that Dave Gavitt built.
Before moving on to a very difficult stretch of games to finish this Big East season, let's take just one more moment to savor Saturday's epic performance. It's time for another movie tribute. This time, the movie of choice is an 80s classic: "Coming to America," the story of a young African prince who comes to New York in search of true love. Sword of Brunner and I have joined forces for this edition, because there was just no other way to do it.
For those of you who are too young to remember "Coming to America," go out to your local Blockbuster right now, rent the VHS tape, and toss it in your VCR right now. (Wait, you have no idea what a Blockbuster is? And you're confused by acronyms like "VHS" and "VCR"? Deal with it. Ask mom and dad to tell you what the 80s were like.)
Why "Coming to America," you ask? Three reasons: (1) It's a damn good movie with a long list of memorable quotes; (2) Moses Ayegba is himself a young African prince; and (3) any trip to Lower Canada must conclude with a return trip back to America. So here's the story of your Georgetown Hoyas putting on a show up north, taking care of business, and then coming back to America. Enjoy.
"He helped Joshua fight the battle of Jericho, he helped Daniel get out the lion's den, he helped Gilligan get off the island."
Moses. Moses. Moses. The man not only parted the Red Sea, he led Georgetown up front with a solid ten rebounds, including five offensive boards, and two blocks. His monster block late in the second half was arguably the biggest moment of the game. Georgetown was up four points, but Syracuse was threatening to take over; the Moses block came out of nowhere and was followed immediately by Otto's four-point play, which was the exact moment when most Hoyas fans began to think, "Holy crap. We might actually win this."
Moses's 27 minutes were the most time he saw on the court all season, and his ten boards tied a personal record that he set against Notre Dame. Equally important was Ayegba's tremendous defense and poise. He kept Syracuse's bigs in check, didn't really turn the ball over or otherwise get rattled, and was an absolute rock for the Hoyas in the middle. This was Moses's best game as a Hoya.
"So you see, my son, there is a very fine line between love and nausea."
This accurately characterizes the way most Georgetown fans felt during all forty minutes of this game. Be happy and excited, or run to the bathroom and vomit? Why not do both? I love being a Georgetown fan.
"I don't know whether to shake your hand, or kiss it, or bow, or what."
"I feel like breakdancing."
Ladies and gentlemen, Otto Freaking Porter. The guy put in one of the greatest performances of all-time. In the first half, he literally scored all but one of our field goals and kept us in the game. In the second half, he turned on beast mode and just dominated. He finished with 33 points (a career-high), one point for every year of Georgetown's rivalry with Syracuse in the Big East. He also had eight rebounds, five steals and two assists. And he hit five threes and made all four of his free throws. And, oh yeah, he had a ridiculous, game-changing four-point play. The guy was absolutely everywhere. He's gotta be the Big East Player of the Year. He just has to.
Otto, I'm not sure whether to shake your hand, kiss it, bow, or start breakdancing. I want to do all of those things at once. I love you.
"Hey, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. But now... now I'm washing lettuce. Soon I'll be on fries; then the grill. And pretty soon, I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."
Gerry McNamara and Louie Anderson have similar career aspirations.
"We require meager accommodations"
"This sh*tty enough for ya?"
"Yes, this is perfect."
What happens when you put two teams on the floor that both rank in the top ten in defense? You get Georgetown and Syracuse combining to miss 68 shots, including 34 threes. Some people, including Syracuse alum Pete Thamel (shocker!) thought the game was too boring and slow-paced to watch. I thought it was beautiful. JTIII, once known as "that guy who runs the Princeton offense," has rebranded himself as "the coach with one of the best damn defenses in the country." I loved watching Saturday's game; and if you didn't, then go watch an ACC game. Speaking of which, enjoy the ACC, Syracuse. Jerks.
"I met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. one time."
"Man, you lyin'. You ain't never met no Martin Luther the King."
One day I will be telling my kids about the day I met the Great Otto Porter Jr.
"Daddy, did you really meet Otto?"
"Yes, I did. I once met Otto the Orange Killer."
"Daddy, what's an orange?"
"I believe the children are our future, thank you, teach them well and, let them lead the way..."
The youth of this team is well documented, but still remarkable. This quote could apply to so many players on the team. Markel, who despite not having one of his better games against Syracuse, has really stepped up his play this year. (And let's not dismiss the humongous charge that Markel took. That was fantastic.) Or Nate, who started as a gangly "effort" guy, and has now become one of our more reliable contributors on both ends of the court. Or Aaron Bowen, who has gone from "dude who fought hard in China" to "Air Bowen."
"I have recently been placed in charge of garbage. Do you have any that requires disposal?"
Don't worry, James Southerland, you'll get there soon. Keep talking trash, by the way. And keep launching threes. Too bad your academic adviser can't help your performance on the court. We'll be waiting for you on March 9th, whether you're eligible or not. (Obligatory side note: FREE GREG WHITTINGTON.)
"He was special. That's the only way to categorize it."
This one's from JTIII, referring to Otto. You were pretty special yourself, JTIII. Take some credit. I love your understated quotes after the game. By the way, remember Otto's four-point play? It came immediately following a Georgetown timeout.
Seven straight years of being in the top ten. DEAL WITH IT.
"All right, here we are. There's only one bathroom on this floor, so you're going to have to share it. We got a bit of an insect problem, but you boys from Africa are used to that. And another thing, don't use the elevator. It's a death trap. This is the place I was telling you about. It's real f*cked up. Got just one window facing a brick wall. Used to rent it to a blind man... damn shame what they did to that dog."
The Carrier Dome sucks. Also, basketball games should not be played in football arenas.
"She's your Queen-to-be. A Queen-to-be forever. A Queen who'll do whatever his highness desires. She's your Queen-to-be. A vision of perfection. An object of affection to quench your royal fire. Completely free from infection. To be used at your discretion. Waiting only for your direction. Your Queen-to-be."
Fine, Otto, just take my daughter. You've earned it. And to be honest, even though she's only a baby, I think she's smitten.
"That boy good."
"Mmm-hmmm, good and terrible."
Michael Carter-Williams, who will soon join Wesley Johnson and Johnny Flynn as NBA flops from Syracuse University.
"Freeze you diseased rhinoceros pizzle!"
This seems to be a fair way to characterize ESPN's coverage of our win at the Dome, although "diseased rhinoceros pizzle" may be too generous. I came home expecting to find hours of exciting coverage of Georgetown's historic and triumphant win in its final Big East game at the Dome. After all, it was a big game for both teams, a battle for first place, the end of an era, Carmelo Anthony was there, it was the largest group of people to ever watch a home game, etc. You'd think that this would be the top story on a day in which there really weren't that many good college basketball games being played. When your headliner is an unranked Kentucky team playing an unranked Mizzou team for a chance to be "bubble in," you know it's a slow day.
So why wasn't more attention given to Otto and the Hoyas? Because ESPN apparently doesn't really care about honest sports journalism. It cares more about shameless self-promotion of its own products and, wait for it....money! Georgetown's win was something like the eleventh story. We all had to sit through multiple stories about the crash at Daytona, even though the race wasn't suspended, no one was killed or even seriously injured, and oh yeah, no one gives a sh*t about auto racing. Except for ESPN, which now has a huge contract with NASCAR. Should I write a letter to ESPN's Ombudsman?
Instead of seeing highlights of our historic win, I saw 18 interviews about Daytona, including one with some dude who must be Jimmy Chitwood's son, and then I learned important things like "LeBron James plays basketball like he's a quarterback" and "Manti Teo doesn't think his draft stock will be affected by his imaginary girlfriend." Thank you for giving priority to the NFL Draft in February. It makes perfect sense to no one, unless, wait....unless you have massive contracts to cover college football and the NFL! Even the next morning, I was teased with a brief mention of the Hoyas during the first few minutes of The Sports Reporters, but alas, not only was there zero coverage of the big game, John Saunders didn't even mention the fact that Georgetown won the game. Thanks again, ESPN, for ruining everything as usual.
"A man has the right to change his name to vatever he vants to change it to. And if a man vants to be called Muhammad Ali, godammit this is a free country, you should respect his vishes, and call the man Muhammad Ali!"
Otto Porter, if you want to change your name to Otto the Orange Killer, you have my permission. If you want to be referred to as Otto of House Porter, fine. If you want to be known as a symbol like Prince was for a brief stint, I'll call you the Basketball Genius Formerly Known as Otto Porter. You've earned the right to be called whatever the heck you want to be called. Girls want you and guys want to be you. You're pretty good at basketball.
And, by the way, did we somehow forget that OTTO WASN'T EVEN 100%?!! He was playing on a bad knee. He's just that amazing. Without a bad knee, he might've scored 500.
"When you think of garbage, think of Akeem."
Seriously, James Southerland, your game is garbage.
"Yes, in the face!"
"Now let's see if you can defend yourself, you sweat from a baboon's balls."
One of the more amazing things about our heroic, earth-shattering victory at the Dome is that we beat Syracuse at its own game. Our 2-3 zone was simply better than theirs. You would think they'd know how to break the zone, considering they must face it every day in practice. The thing is, so does Georgetown. Only, instead of matching up against a bunch of scrubs in practice, Georgetown's starters have to learn how to score against Greg Whittington, Josh Smith, DSR and Moses Ayegba. That's gotta be one of the best second-string squads in the country.
One comment on Georgetown's ability to break Cuse's zone. We really couldn't do all that much. Otto hit a bunch of threes and we occasionally got the ball to Nate instead (thanks to Jabril's ability to penetrate), but for the most part, we looked tentative. Unlike Chris Wright's performance two years ago, this time around, Georgetown did not have anyone that could effectively flash to the middle and break down the zone. That's something that needs to change heading into March 9th.
"But it is also tradition that times *must* and always do change, my friend."
Yes, yes, I know. Times are changing. Syracuse has chosen college football and MONEY over tradition and rivalry and everything else that has made the Big East so great over the course of the last 33 years. Please enjoy your new conference, Cuse. It might be easier to sustain a home winning streak in a conference that does not include Georgetown. Just being honest.
"So why did you come here?"
"To find something special."
"It's a long way to travel."
"No journey is too great when one finds what he seeks."
We came, we saw, and we beat the crap out of Syracuse in front of 35,000+ screaming creatures. The stage really could not have been bigger. We wanted to send the entire Syracuse community a message on its home turf, and holy crap, we actually did. I love our team.
"It was a most gripping victory."
It was. For realz. Syracuse scored the fewest points it has EVER SCORED AT THE CARRIER DOME.
"If you want to keep working here, stay off the drugs."
Sorry, just a short message to Syracuse's men's basketball team. Oh, who am I kidding, you guys can fail as many drug tests as you want. Jimmy B. will find a way to keep you eligible. You still haven't exceeded the annual quota for "misunderstandings" yet.
"And, baby, when I tell ya the boy has got his own money, I mean the boy has got his own MONEY!"
[Presents the currency of Zamunda bearing Akeem's picture]
Moses is totally an African prince. And he totally has his own money.
"Good morning, my neighbors!"
"Hey, f*ck you!"
"Yes, yes! F*ck you too!"
(This is common banter among Georgetown and Syracuse fans. I will miss this. Can't wait for Round Two.)
"Just a man I met in the bathroom."
Now is probably a good time to mention that I befriended an old guy at a bar in Brooklyn Heights during the second half of the game. The bartender kindly forewarned me that the old man was partially deaf. When we were up ten with a minute to go, he said "If Georgetown loses now, they're gonna have to shoot someone." Wait, what? And then, fifteen seconds later, he asks, "Are there 45 seconds left or 45 minutes?" For about an hour, I loved that old man. He will forever be a part of my "I remember where I was when we won that game at the Dome" story. And, fortunately, I will never see him again.
"I am very happy to be here!"
Much like Akeem at the Miss Black Awareness Week pageant, I am very happy to be here. Your Georgetown Hoyas are in sole possession of first place with only four conference games left in the Big East's final season. I'm thrilled to be in this position. Please, please, please do not take UConn lightly. UConn is very good, especially at home. Stay poised, young Hoyas. No time for a letdown.
Also, to all of you Georgetown fans who braved the cold to make the grueling trip to Canada, thank you. I'm sure you were all very happy to be there. And I am very happy for you.
"Let me tell you something once and for all. Rocky Marciano was good, but compared to Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano ain't sh*t."
(Note: Joe Louis was 137 years old.)
Carmelo was good, but compared to Otto Porter, Carmelo ain't sh*t.
"Please refrain from using any further obscenities in the presence of these people...I warned you. I will be forced to thrash you."
Jabril Trawick is the Hoya I'd most want wielding a broom against a shotgun-wielding robber at my favorite fast food eatery, McDowell's.
"Bark like a dog. A big dog."
As a follow up, I'm pretty sure Jabril told Rakeem Christmas to stand there and be useless, and he listened because Jabril is a bad, bad man.
"Yes, this is my favorite part of the game."
Dedicated to Carmelo Anthony's halftime jersey retirement after nine months of loyal service to Syracuse. I'd imagine the halftime was his favorite part of the game, as the rest of the game was all Hoyas.
Michael Carter-Williams: "And this being the last game, I EXPECT, and I repeat, expect a win. Because first of all, Georgetown is not better than us. They never have been, and I don't see them ever being better than us..."
Georgetown: I don't care who you are. This is America, Jack. Say another word about my squad, and I'll break my foot off in your robe stealing ass.
Sorry, that wasn't Georgetown, it was Cleo McDowell, and the quote is slightly altered for context, but the sentiment is the same.
"Just let your Soul Glo."
The only way Otto Porter's stock could be higher in my eyes is if he went super ironic and rocked the gheri curl. F*CK FLATTOPS, I'M LETTIN' MY SOUL GLO.
"The land is so big. The choices so infinite. Where shall we go: L.A. or New York?
I don't know how far this Georgetown team will go, but right now, I don't care. Let's take it one game at a time, and then take care of business in New York, and then potentially make a run in some other American cities, maybe even LA or Atlanta.
"Hey, take care of this for me"
Take out the trash and turn off the lights, Syracuse, because the Carrier Dome is officially closed.
"F*ck you, f*ck you, and f*ck you! Who's next?"
Notre Dame, Louisville, Cincy, Marquette, and now Syracuse. Who we got next? UConn? Let's finish this sh*t. Six weeks ago, I just wanted to keep things respectable in the last year of the conference. And maybe win one of those big games against Syracuse. Now I want it all. And so should you. Let's win the whole damn thing.
One game at a time, to be sure. But the last year and a half has been painful to go through, realizing that one of the things that makes you so happy is being taken away from you, and all for a bigger cash payout. I know our team is young, and I know we may be playing over our heads a little, and dammit, we still want Greg Whittington to come back, but none of that matters. This is the last year of the Big East conference, and there's nothing we can change about our team or about the circumstances. Entering the homestretch, we control our own destiny and we have a chance to make things right, by cementing Georgetown as the best team in the best basketball conference ever assembled, and sending a beautiful middle finger to Syracuse, Pitt and all of the others who ruined things for us. Hoya freaking saxa.
Let's go Hoyas. Beat UConn.