Column: Basketball, my saving grace

Thank God for basketball.

Thank God for basketball.

Thank God for basketball.

I’m trying to get a few more positive words out of my mouth. But I can’t. After my impromptu therapy session of banging my head against the wall, nothing insightful is coming out.

Ah October, what a beautiful month. The leaves are turning colors, the Red Sox are down, the weather is turning colder, and for the next few weeks this campus will focus on a race between two guys who have no business being in the White House.

The only thing left is college basketball. It’s my saving grace.

Practices began Saturday morning, about 12 hours before my baseball team unraveled like Britney Spears’ marriage will in a few weeks. An American League Championship that was supposed to be the modern equivalent to the Thrilla in Manila turned into Tyson-McNeely.

Will the black cloud ever drift away? Who knows, but I have a feeling we won’t find out any time soon.

A friend likened rooting for the Red Sox to a heroin addiction. You quickly reach a point of no return – the more you do, the worse it is for you, and the harder it gets to quit. Trust me, cold turkey is hopeless.

So instead of scoring a little bit of smack, I figure, what the hell, I’ll bury myself in work. GW sports have always been interesting. We have a variety of strong teams and they always make my job interesting.

But the fall season has been as entertaining as a mid-season replacement show on the WB Network. Men’s water polo, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball have compiled combined 14-27-8 record. None of these teams has a winning record (women’s soccer is the closest, with a 5-5-5 mark).

Now, the cross country teams have had outstanding few months, capturing numerous first place finishes. But other than that, no other fall sport is making a run to make me forget about the Red Sox.

Call me selfish, but I need a pick-me-up (no, not heroin). I need teams to follow that won’t go down in grandiose Titanic-esque style. To clarify, I’m not telling anyone to give up on the Red Sox, but for a few months, focus your energy on teams right here on campus.

Even better, Bostonians could unite to support the GW basketball teams, two squads with various New England connections. I can guaruntee the Colonials will not let you down – at least not like the Bo Sox do every year.

On the men’s side, head coach Karl Hobbs is a Boston native and assistant coach Roland Houston played basketball at Rhode Island. On the women’s side, seniors Michaela Leary and Liz Dancause hail from Nashua, N.H., which sits only about an hour outside downtown Boston.

To top off the situation, Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz is a Connecticut native who attended Boston College, where he played hoops for Celtics legend turned coach Bob Cousy.

Uh oh, the typical Boston fans will say, these are ominous signs. A strong New England presence will bring bad luck. But as the Yankees’ favorite son Pedro Martinez said a few years ago, “I don’t believe in damn curses.”

For the first time in years, the men’s team has the NCAA Tournament in its sights. All key Colonial contributors are back, and freshman guard Maureece Rice could put up a lot of points to fortify the offense this year.

The women’s team lost stars Cathy Joens and Ugo Oha to graduation, but head coach Joe McKeown has put together one of the most consistently strong programs in the country. There is no reason to believe the Colonials will suffer a significant lapse this season.

Both teams are poised for strong seasons. Sure, anything can happen. But stay positive. And if either team does not live up to expectations, just blame it on Boston.

The other day I saw a T-shirt with a silhouette of Fenway Park. Above the drawing sat a black thundercloud. Under the picture read the caption “God hates us.”

If God really hated us, would he have given us basketball? I think not.

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