I’ve never written a sports story before. Op-eds, news reporting, movie reviews; I’ve done those, but in my years of working at The Pitt News, I never wrote a single sports story. So this is going to be as weird for me as it is for you. If you want a box score, go read ESPN’s recap. I’ll wait.
Yesterday, I tooled down I-95 to the
MCI Verizon Center in Washington for the Pitt-Georgetown mens’ hoops game. This one was a big deal, because as Lady Andrea said yesterday, it decided who had the spot atop the Big East.
More sweet action after the jump.
The tools of the trade: Pitt t-shirt, phone, pen, reporters’ notebook, gum. Not pictured: camera. (Confidential to Hershey’s people: Please send me a case of peppermint Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum. I swear it’s made with crack cocaine. It’s THAT good.)
The scene outside the MCI Center.
Warmups. Don’t get excited; they’re all like this.
The Pitt pregame huddle. At first, I typed “the Pitt pregame hug,” but this is not that kind of blog. (Is it?)
Levon “Fauxhawk” Kendall’s introduction. The fauxhawk is so commanding you can appreciate it eight rows from the top of the arena. Kendall started playing for Pitt my senior year, so I’ve had the pleasure of watching him mature from a gorpy freshman with serious guns and a bad haircut to a senior with serious guns and a ridiculous haircut.
The “don’t be a jerk” pre-game warning. In case you can’t read it, it says, “Georgetown University and the NCAA encourage and promotes [sic] good sportsmanship by student athletes, coaches and spectators. We request your cooperation by supporting the participants and officials in a positive manner.” Booooo, pre-game warning, BOOOOOO!
Here’s the opening tip…
…and we’re off!
A coaches’ meeting during a commercial break. The shortish fellow in the tan suit is former Pitt star guard Brandin Knight. BK was seriously hot shit; I would get the vapors when I saw him around campus. He’s currently the Panthers’ video coordinator.
Now that I mention him, when I said I’d never written a sports story before, that was a little fib: I forgot I interviewed BK (scroll down to “Pitt Sports Star”) when he was voted “Best Pitt Sports Star” in a Pitt News readers’ poll. Really cool dude.
One half of Georgetown’s student section. Punk ass Jesuits.
A little commercial break entertainment by the Georgetown dance team.
This game was a big deal for Pitt fans because it marked the return of Aaron Gray (slightly left of center, in front of the ref), who was sidelined with an ankle injury in a February 17 win over the Washington Huskies.
My friend Karen said “Aaron Gray needs a haircut.” I say he’s playing the role of Jim Halpert.
The game starts to get exciting, so I put down the camera and start taking notes.
7:55: Patrick Ewing Jr. gets his second personal foul. Karen jabs me in the ribs and says, “You know whose son that is, right??” I might not know a lot about sports, Karen, but I know who Pat Ewing is. (Note to self: Look up Pat Ewing’s Wikipedia when I get home.)
7:42: Gray takes it to the house. Go Halpert go!
3:56: Georgetown guard Jonathan Wallace takes a header into the scorers’ table. I don’t have a photo of this, but trust me, it was awesome.
For some reason, I have “Note to self: Look up Ontario Lett” in my notebook immediately after this note. (Apparently The Province of Ontario is playing in Australia now.)
Karen and I discuss the stripes shaved into Levon Kendall’s sideburns. Karen says derisively, “He’s a tall, sensitive Canadian. I saw him being interviewed on ESPN. He was playing the piano and singing a song his father wrote for his mother. I was like, ‘Oh, barf.’” I love Karen.
During halftime, Georgetown brings out their mascot (top center of the frame). He’s cute. Karen and Charlotte yell at me for saying I think their mascot is cute. It’s a cute little bulldog! How can you NOT think he’s cute?
We come back from halftime and at 19:10, Aaron Gray gets double teamed by two Hoyas. Yeah.
The Hoya Rival Reel. This is simultaneously quite clever and totally retarded: The university solicits YouTube-style videos from the students to show on the jumbotron, ostensibly to psych out their opponents. It’s all very “look what I made with iMovie. On my Mac.”
This one featured a bunch of Georgetown kids doing silly walks, scored to “Walk it Out” by DJ Unk. The punchline was something like “You better walk yourselves out of here, Pitt Panthers!” Oh, burn. I’m really feeling burned by that.
(Note to self: Download “Walk it Out” by DJ Unk.)
The camera crew goes around the arena and spotlights the “Fans of the Game.” One possible fan of the game is wearing a parrot costume, and the other possible fan of the game is wearing a chicken suit. (Both are sitting in the student section. Infer from that what you will.) This cute baby is declared the winner by an overwhelming round of applause.
8:50: Ronald Ramon hits a clutch 3. That’s the way you debate!
There is a large group seated in the row in front of us. I recognize one of the younger men from the group; I used to see him giving campus tours all the time. The group keeps getting up and down to buy beers for the grownups and snacks and sodas for the small children in the group, and I wonder why one would go to a sporting event if he doesn’t plan to spend any time in his damn seat. You kids get off my lawn!
At 7:43, I notice there is a cute baby with the group in front of us. He’s very sweet and smiley and cheerful, and that is probably because he is contentedly suckling at his mom’s breast during a foul-shot contest. Karen and I struggle to stifle our giggles. Boobs!
4:51: Whoever it was that drew the foul on Levance Fields should get an Oscar for that acting job. Bravo, sir.
3:48: The Georgetown band is playing a song that sounds like “Happy Happy Joy Joy.”
2:25: Gray hits a 2-pointer. I can breathe.
1:59: Hoyas up by 6. I have stopped breathing again. I wish I had a towel to hold over my face.
1:53: My toes are curled up in my shoes like fists.
1:16: Pitt possession. Down by 5. We need a miracle.
19.3: These are the longest 20 seconds of the month.
0:00. And we’re done here. Hoyas 61, Panthers 53. Karen, Charlotte and I came to this game last year and the Panthers lost. We decide we are not coming back next year.
We are despondent. Not even Agent Zero’s mug cannot cheer us up. The only way we will feel better?