(SOUTH BEND, IND.; FRI. 3/17/2000) — It would be the easiest thing in the world to say that the luck of the Irish was upon the women of GW Friday night. My God, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day and we’re on the campus of the Fighting Irish! It’s like I’m at the center of the universe! But a dead sportswriter loses his wings every time I use a clich?, so I’ll just say that the Colonials played well enough to win Friday, and if anything, the Irish eyes are frowning on GW right now, because playing second-seeded and undefeated-at-home Notre Dame is not the recipe for a Sweet 16 berth.
But the Colonials have already faced one tough challenge. I was weary of the Bruins. (By the way, why does their band have to play to stereotypes and wear Hawaiian shirts? Why doesn’t our band wear suits or something?) UCLA is not the kind of team a seven seed deserves to face. The Bruins were coming off an Elite Eight year and, because of injuries, were better than their record. But Joe McKeown, who is now officially the Rick Majerus of women’s college basketball, had his troops prepared. I’ll admit, my bags were packed, but at halftime I was making weekend plans in Chicago (never mind I quickly forgot them in the second half) when the Colonials came out cooking once again in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. I don’t know what Coachin’ Joe does that week before first round NCAA games (what am I, a sports reporter?), but GW’s 8-0 record in that round sez it’s working.
So, now my trip to the midwest will amount to more than a tour of the College Football Hall of Fame, which is right next to our hotel in downtown South Bend. I would like to share that the highlight of any trip to this particular Hall of Fame is posing for photographs with the 1956 George Washington 13, Texas Western 0 score listed on the Sun Bowl display. Ah, those were the days.
So, all of us in the GW party were very happy that the Colonials will be sticking around. Because we were getting the hell out of Dodge if GW lost Friday night. The way I was told that I would have 15 minutes to gather my things at the hotel after a loss made me think that Coach McKeown just might leave at halftime if things weren’t going well.
But things generally went great versus the Bruins, who have got to really hate everything about Notre Dame at this point. The campus of Notre Dame, for its part, is all it’s advertised to be, although I’m not one for sentimentality. Rudy was fine and all, but I haven’t met him yet. In fact, I have little trouble in my life avoiding the Irish disease that afflicts so many and has accounted for far too many Starter jacket purchases in this country. No, as a student at a school with its share of bitterness, I have never had anything but indifference to mild dislike for the hegemonic Fighting Irish – Touchdown Jesus or no Touchdown Jesus.
But enough about me and those wonderful Irish. It’s time to join them at the local bars on this Saint Patrick’s Day and celebrate another GW first round victory – and get ready for our big field trip to Chicago tomorrow. I’m glad I brought underwear to last four days.
And everyone laughed at my big bag. But, Coachin’ Joe? I bet he brought a whole trunk.