Trials and Tribulations for GU Basketball
Letter to the Editor
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 02:01
To the Editor:
I read with interest the article written by Danny Funt and Ryan Whelan [“On the Complex Loyalties of Fandom,” The Hoya, B9, Jan. 24, 2014]. While I am a firm believer that it is good and proper to analyze and critique the Hoya basketball team, I understand the concerns raised in the Tweet from Mr. Bradley. When things are bleak is the time that the team needs its fans the most. When everything is going well, support from the fans is good but probably has less to do with how the team plays than when the team is down and troubled.
Not to sound like an old alum who walked 10 miles uphill to get to class, but I do remember when there was real cause for concern for the Georgetown basketball team. I was there when the Hoyas went 3-23. Not only was I there, but I saw every game, home and away, that year. As the sports editor of The Hoya, it was my job to critique the situation, which I can honestly say was difficult because I was a big fan — probably the only person not on the team who attended every game — and I wanted to be loyal to the Blue and Gray. But I like to think that our criticism and analysis of both the basketball team and the athletic department had something to do with the athletic director and head basketball coach being terminated and replaced by Big John Thompson and Frank Rienzo. I like to think that the efforts of a number of people on the Hilltop back then were constructive and helpful to the school, the department and the team.
What I hope the current students and The Hoya staffers will understand is that while criticism is a necessary evil, one still has to have enough perspective to know when to criticize and how it will affect the situation. Having followed a Hoya team that lost 23 games, I can assure you that we started our critique fairly early in the season. But 3-23 is a far cry from losing four games out of five with two of the games in overtime. Also, this is a team that started the season one significant player down and now has two more starters out due to academics and injury. And maybe more importantly, these losses are in conference play and though the conference may not be as strong as in the past, winning in the Big East is difficult, even if you are a top-ranked team.
My suggestion is to take a step back and look at the picture from the standpoint that we as Hoya fans have had it pretty good the last 10 years and while this year has not met expectations, it is nowhere near a crisis. John Thompson III, like his father before him, knows how to turn things around. I remember Big John saying at a reception after a loss to Connecticut in Storrs, Conn., “Help is on the way.” The next year the Hoyas were led by freshman Patrick Ewing, and you know the rest of that story. So be patient! We will win and lose more games this year, and we may not be the “Beast of East” this year. But help is on the way and I am certain that if the Hoyas don’t get to the tournament this year, they will next year and the year after and the year after.
David A. Kopech, SFS ’74