Basketball a social event? Not to these GW fans

For The Event Formally Known as Homecoming, there was a game, formerly known as basketball, where a team, currently rebuilding, stormed back in the second half to beat Xavier 78-67.

It was freshman Alexis Nissenbaum’s first game, and she picked a gem.

Nissenbaum watched as freshman guard Chris Monroe scored 26 points, beating his chest while doing so. He screamed and barked, too.

Nissenbaum watched as GW head coach Tom Penders electrified the crowd with his hands during the game, and gave them a masterful speech with his voice after the game: Smith Center fans are the best!

She watched with her friend, Nadia Nieto. Nieto has been to many home games and has seen the rebuilding first hand. She’s seen the losing and now the winning.

Both Alexis and Nadia know this about Colonial basketball – games not only offer a chance to enjoy an athletic contest, but to spend time with friends. And maybe even get your tuition money’s worth.

But despite the stereotype, it’s not a social event, like GW women’s head coach Joe McKeown called it at his Coaches Chat Thursday night. You don’t go to a basketball game to meet people.

Junior Adam Weinstein was sitting in the last row, five rows behind Alexis and Nadia. He was spread out, sitting with a few friends. He’s been to all home games and considers himself a big fan.

One would think he’d made lots of friends at the Smith Center. It must be a social setting as well as a basketball game.

I never really met anybody here, Weinstein said Saturday, devoting himself to the righteousness of consistency.

When asked why he doesn’t introduce himself to Alexis and Nadia – five rows down and very nice – he offered this: I don’t really need to meet people. But later said, Some guys come for the game. Maybe some girls come for the social (aspect).

Maybe so, but no one would admit Saturday that they come for the socializing.

Abbie Lasky, a freshman, vehemently denied the charge that she was there for the social and the chance to meet guys.

No way! she exclaimed.

But after some nudging and some reassurance, she said, Well, maybe it’s a little social. But I don’t come to meet people.

One problem, people say, is the game lacks that certain intimacy. Another loss is not good as an ice-breaker: .Come here often?

Although Weinstein did add that the women’s games are quieter and less crowded. But he said he’s never met anyone there either.

The only social interaction is between true fans, except for those who are too devoted, like Weinstein.

Graduate student Chris Bender said there is a camaraderie attached to the game.

You feel more connected to the school, and you bond as a school. Then you can say `hi’ to other fans on the street, he said.

So while no one admitted to the crime of trying to meet new people at a Colonials’ basketball game, most did admit to being excited about the team, which fights conventional wisdom, too, given the team’s winning percentage.

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