Someone suggested that I should write this column about Valentine’s Day and sports. I’m not going to do that right now, for a couple of reasons; first of all, because I am vehemently and diametrically opposed to that idea; and secondly, because right now is a hard time to equate the two.

It’s a tough time to use “love” and “Georgetown basketball” in the same sentence. It’s hard to find it within oneself to love anything about the team, the players, the coach, the athletic department; I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.

The men’s team just completed a dizzying and death-defying drop to the bottom of the conference. The women’s team lost by 32 points to Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, its worst loss of the season. The men are in danger of not only missing out on an invitation to the NCAA Tournament and the NIT Tournament (for the first time in 28 years), but also the Big East Tournament. The women slipped to 4-6 in the conference after shooting only 22 percent from the floor and going 0-8 from the three-point realm.

You don’t need me to tell you that these are the worst of times. So, I’m here to give you yet another dose of bad news. Not only are we not loving the teams any more (and understandably so), it has gotten to the point now when we are not even hating them anymore. That’s bad.

One journalist wrote that the men’s team has “hit rock bottom.” I beg to differ (I’m talking Esherick-for-his-job, fans-for-his-head, Hoyas-for-a-win type of begging here, folks). There is a good chance that things are going to get worse – maybe a lot worse – before they get any better.

The saddest part is that we may well be right in the middle of this losing streak. We have the potential (or lack thereof) to lose several more games before the end of the season. This isn’t news to you, you’ve all seen the schedule. There’s no need to deny it. We’ve still got Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame on the horizon. We already lost to Seton Hall twice, a team we absolutely should not have lost to once, much less twice. I don’t see this trend stopping any time soon, and (correct me if I’m wrong, I love people disagreeing with me) I don’t think the fans do either.

We’re in a slump, and we can’t see the end of the tunnel.

I offer the following as Exhibit A: a week ago the sign was in Red Square (you know the one I mean); fans were openly outraged by the team’s mounting losses. Now, after two more disappointments, we have let an air of resignation creep over the campus. After the Syracuse game I, and many others I’m sure, bemoaned our loss for days. After the UCLA loss, I was disappointed for about seven minutes before going right back to my homework. Following the most recent failure at Rutgers on Wednesday night my roommate and I immediately turned off the TV without a word and went to sleep, having accepted our fate.

A general sense of apathy now pervades the hilltop. It is a sad fact that campus has moved from a mood of discontent to one of dejection. I am certainly not the first to call for the athletic department to do something, and likely I will not be the last to call for action. But frankly, something has to be done and there are only a handful of people who can do what needs to be done.

The students have supported the team. We may not be Cameron Crazies, but we’re not Atlanta Braves fans either. If the student population hadn’t cared about the Hoyas, we would not have begged to get them back at McDonough; we would not have agitated for a new coach; we would not have traveled to MCI Center despite a quickly-worsening record and spiraling expectations.

The team has done what it could. Mike Sweetney is scoring over 22 points per game. He had 38 against Notre Dame and 32 at Syracuse, both in vain. The kid can’t keep making blanket excuses forever. And speaking of which, as much as we idolize the team sometimes and blame them at others, they’re kids. They’re 20-something years old, some younger, and they’re here for an education.

Craig Esherick and the staff of the athletic department are the ones getting paid thousands of dollars a year; they’re the true leaders and the ones responsible for this mire in which we find ourselves. I’m not going to tell them their job, for the most part they know it quite well. Suffice it to say that something has to be done. We’re in dire straits when even the fans have stopped complaining.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.