You’ll have to indulge me for a second:
Not sure if any of y’all saw the ninth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas come back from a 17-point deficit midway through the second half against No. 20 Marquette last night at the Verizon Center, but it ranks among the most awesome things that have ever awesomed.
The Hoyas, my alma mater’s basketball squad, are the only team I follow for which I currently maintain any legitimate short-term hope, what with the Jets embroiled in some Beltranian postseason locker-room turmoil and the Mets banking their offseason on Andres Torres, Corey Wimberley and a bunch of relievers that’ll probably be dealt in July if they meet with any success.
And being a Georgetown fan these past couple of years has been not unlike cheering the Mets in 2008, full of promise despite a clearly flawed team — but unencumbered the off-field fuss that has plagued the Mets since — and ultimately ending in heartbreak and disappointment. So when the Hoyas are winning as they have been winning since an early-season loss to Kansas in Hawaii — inspiring all sorts of fawning post-hoc analysis from around the Internet — I watch with some trepidation, knowing as I do that there are dozens of other college hoops teams off to awesome starts and hundreds of others vying for the ultimate prize, that fans of all but one will end up disappointed, that the Big East conference schedule is a bloodthirsty 1,500-pound grizzly of a bear and that all this dizzying post-holiday Hoya-fan exuberance can and likely will be destroyed at some point by a single injury to a key player or a prolonged shooting slump or one of those games where Seton Hall randomly refuses to miss three-pointers.
So though a loss to the nation’s 20-ranked team would hardly spell doom for my Hoyas in January, at some point in the second half I could hear the delusion train leaving the station last night with me still fumbling with my credit card at the ticket machine. I even took to my iPad for some NBA Jam, turning my attention briefly away from the chatter on ESPNU about the undersized Marquette team’s spirited play that somehow neglected to mention the obnoxious way those players seemed more dedicated to drawing fouls than making baskets.
Then, when all seemed bleak — and with Chris Paul heating up, no less — something… something just happened. After about 20 minutes of the Hoya freshmen playing like overwhelmed underclassmen, they yielded to the team’s few veterans.
And all of a sudden Jason Clark, a 6-2 senior guard with Inspector Gadget arms like a 7-footer, is grabbing loose balls and driving to the basket and the Hoyas are trimming the lead. Then Henry Sims, a 6-10 senior center and former top recruit who played laughable basketball until a stern talking-to from his mother refocused him this offseason, is blocking shots at one end of the court and hitting a beautiful fadeaway at the other, and the refs seem on to Marquette’s flop jig and now the difference is down to five. And now Hollis Thompson, a 6-8 junior forward who has never missed a big shot in his life, is nailing them down from all over the floor and the Eagles can’t get out of their own way, and the once-lost game is tied, and I’m punching the arms of my La-Z-Boy and making such a racket in my living room that my wife gets a little freaked out and leaves for a walk because it’s been a long time since she has seen me act this way.
By the time she comes back with cookies — cookies! — the Hoyas have won, 73-70.
Which is to say: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
That type of night. Let me enjoy this while it lasts, huh?