Georgetown’s basketball team didn’t just shock Duke last Saturday – the men in blue and gray stunned the national press.
Journalists across the country scrambled to modify the script that has become standard after each (seemingly) inevitable Blue Devil victory. Now they were grasping for words to describe a stunning upset and a chastened group of fallen Devils. ESPN.com typified the national reaction. “Duke Nuked!” the Web site proclaimed immediately after the game.
A Google News search Monday afternoon revealed that newspapers, magazines and online news sources – from The Oregonian in Portland Ore., to The Washington Post – have printed more than 500 stories crowing about the upset.
As the game ended, The Washington Post offered expanded online and print content driven by veteran staff writer Camille Powell. A huge banner headline accompanying her game story in Sunday morning’s print edition screamed, “Hoyas KO the Big 1.”
Powell couldn’t hold back her glee as she described the win as “the biggest victory any Georgetown team has seen in 20 years.”
While the Post was practically giddy, the New York Times styled a predictably conservative headline for its Sunday edition: “Georgetown Topples Top Seeded Duke.” Apparently not expecting the game to turn out as it did, the Times didn’t send its own staff writer to MCI Center and instead ran syndicated Associated Press content in its print editions.
The country’s elite newspapers weren’t the only publications amazed by Georgetown’s win.
Greensboro (N.C.) Press staff writer Rob Daniels artfully described that “mayhem erupted” once the game clock ticked down to zero. And while he praised Georgetown’s “in-your-face defenders,” he wasn’t as charitable to the Hoyas’ rowdy student section, which he wrote left “a trail of smashed chairs, cold nacho cheese and soggy chips in their wake.”
And wait . Was it only the American press that was shocked? Our ice-encrusted friends to the north are apparently excited as well. A headline in the Toronto Star referred to the Hoyas as “underdogs” who were able to “thwart [the] pursuit of perfection.”
Hey, if those maple syrup-sucking Canadians think this is a big deal, perhaps we should too.