I have it said it on many occasions and in previous columns, having a car in the district, while at times annoying, is a difference maker. It makes the city more available and easier to escape. Last week in search of college hoops, my car became especially helpful as thanks to my father the basketball coach, I got tickets and went to College Park to see some University of Maryland men’s hoops.
Many close friends of mine went there while I was at G.W. and not a single person disliked it and with a stadium like this, how could you not? The arena felt like that of a small professional team though my courtside seats also helped with my wow factor. As the game was during academic finals, it was not exactly well attended, but judging by its size and the passionate fans who did go, I can imagine when Duke comes it’s a different story. It was also on national television (ESPN) and because I was sitting behind the Maryland bench, I got on TV.
The other great reason to go to this game was their opponent FIU is coached by Hall of Fame point guard and destroyer of the NY Knicks Isiah Thomas. Every tri-state part of my body wanted to jump the rail and aggressively ask him for my lost decade of New York City basketball back, instead I watched his team lose while eating a hot pretzel.
Hopefully I will be able to get some conference game tickets, particularly either Duke or UNC. Beautiful facility and basketball tradition, College Park is worth spending some time on the Green Line (or car) to enjoy some hoops.
Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend Lebodome Style
NFL: Giants vs Jets Saturday at 1pm, Bears vs Packers Sunday at 8:20 pm. Also realized I play my girlfriend in the semi’s of one of my fantasy leagues (after dispatching fellow Borderstan writer Laura last week); I better win.
NBA: Welcome Back says the NBA with a full slate of games starting at noon. For me, it’s all about Boston and NYKnicks (noon on TNT) actually being a competitive rivalry again and the rematch of last year’s finals with Mavericks vs. Heat (2:30 pm on ABC). The late night Clipper game may be worth a glance to see how their new team looks.
Enjoy Some Chinese Food: I like to think General Tso was a cruel warlord who spread destruction and delicious chicken everywhere he went. Also everyone loves that red sweet and sour sauce with some eggrolls.
See a Movie: Right now I’m thinkin’ new Mission: Impossible movie, but maybe out of sheer laziness I’ll go with RedBox… let’s call it a gameday decision.
Have a great holiday, Borderstan, and a happy new year!
Thought of the Week
I heard D.C. may not get much snow this year…. whooray
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
All found by roommate.
As I was digesting my very tasty Thanksgiving meal watching holiday football (the games were pretty good) I noticed something on the bottom ticker that seemed unfamiliar.
Places and numbers were rolling by with the title NCAAM and it took me a few moments to place it. In the excitement of the NFL season and my disgust in the NBA returning (it will take me at least ’till April to care if Lebron James can win in the 4th Quarter) I somehow forgot about college basketball.
Where I am from, this could be considered treason.
DC College Teams
We in the District are pretty fortunate in that there are lots of colleges around and all fairly easy to get to using mass transit. As a former DC college student, I can tell you first hand that many of these gyms have great atmospheres with very passionate fanbases.
You would think with so many teams in the city, there would be a great “Battle of the Metro,” but thanks to general stupidity and the stubbornness of one major school (Hint: the metro doesn’t go there) there is nothing but a watered down version. What a shame.
That aside, here is a just a short rundown of what we got in the District.
George Washington Colonials, Atlantic 10 Conference
Smith Center, Blue Line-Foggy Bottom Metro Stop. With no football team this is where most GWU students get their “big school athletics” fix and over the years have had some success. Located right near the White House, the small stadium provides a loud and intimate crowd that gives you a great college vibe. New coach this years hopes to rebuild GWU and take them back the NCAA tournament.
University of Maryland Terrapins, Atlantic Coast Conference
Comcast Center, Green Line- College Park Metro Stop. If you are looking for the bigger stadium and the long basketball history, look no further than the Terps. While a bit far away from Borderstan, the trip is worth it as during their season, they play national powerhouses Duke and UNC. Terps are starting to rebuild with a new coach, and are always dangerous come tournament time.
George Mason Patriots, Colonial Athletic Association
Patriot Center, Orange Line-Vienna Metro Stop. I think of this team as the “the little engine that could”. Never the flashiest or the most talented, but the Patriots always play consistent and clean basketball. They stole the spotlight by making a historic run to the Final Four in 2006 and have since remained on the D.C. map. Just a feel good team that you hope to see in the postseason.
Georgetown University Hoyas, Big East Conference
McDonough Arena, Somewhere on campus-Verizon Center, Red Line- Chinatown. Yes this school has a long and great basketball history. Yes this school gets the exclusive right to play in the Verizon Center. Yes lots of famous coaches and players have been Hoyas. Frankly though, this team will only be OK and is not a good reason for me to be in that neighborhood of D.C. (Plenty of other places to get cupcakes). But if you want to watch the best conference in the country and some of the best programs, Gtown is the way to go.
I know I left out American University and some other smaller schools but these are the teams worth watching. So start watching now, take your mental notes, and when March rolls along, you’ll be ready to dominate your office March Madness bracket challenge.
Thought of the Week
If you haven’t seen the new Muppets movie, cancel your weekend plans and do it. No excuses people.