By Karen Travers Hoya Staff Writer
I’LL BE IN THE BLEACHERS ON Saturday, cheering for Georgetown – my friends and classmates.
Since I have been at Georgetown, our football team has grown from a struggling Division I-AA team to a team that has won a league title and posted 32 wins over the last four seasons. Despite the general perception around this campus – that people don’t have any school spirit and could not care less about any of the Hoya sports teams-there is school spirit generated on about six different Saturday afternoons on Kehoe Field. While we do not have a stadium like Boston College or the crowds like Notre Dame, we have our own unique kind of enthusiasm for Georgetown football that too few people have ever experienced.
This is the last game for me as an undergraduate. I have seen the team win one Metro Atlantic Athletic Championship during my sophomore year only to lose it to Fairfield last year in a title based on head-to-head competition, not a playoff game.
This year’s championship is already lost after a bruising defeat to Duquesne two weeks ago. Unless the Dukes lose to a woeful Canisius squad tomorrow, they will have a win against the Hoyas to secure them the MAAC title trophy.
So while the championship trophy is probably not going to be the shining culmination of this season, I would love to see my Hoyas go out on a win.
I’ll be in the bleachers on Saturday, cheering on LaSalle – my father’s and aunt’s alma mater and a school that I grew up rooting for at Big Five basketball games at the Palestra.
But now I have an even greater reason to wear the Blue and Gold this weekend. My little (all right, he’s much bigger, but younger) brother is the starting quarterback for LaSalle and he is making his first trip down to Kehoe Field to play MAAC titan Georgetown. A daunting experience for any team, no doubt, but combine that with an entire family sitting in the stands and I can only imagine how my brother is going to be feeling at opening kickoff.
My brother did not take the normal route to becoming a college quarterback. As the back-up quarterback to a starter who rewrote the Pennsylvania high school record books, John saw limited time as a passer. He earned a starting spot as a receiver and marketed himself to college recruiters as a wide receiver – not a quarterback. But during camp his freshman year at LaSalle, one of his coaches opted to make an adjustment and start using John as a backup quarterback. He saw some time as a rookie and over the next year and a half, worked his way into a starting position. It will certainly be strange to see my little brother out there, dodging and averting my large, aggressive friends bolstering the Georgetown defensive line. After all those years playing football on the front lawn against more imposing family members like myself and my younger sister Katie, he can handle anything.
I’ll be in the bleachers on Saturday, cheering for Georgetown.
As a sports editor at THE HOYA, I have had the chance to report on and build relationships with many athletes and coaches at Georgetown. Last fall, I covered the Hoya football team in a season when the team had a shot at the MAAC title only to lose it to Fairfield. Every week, there I was in Head Coach Bob Benson’s office, either getting the statistics and breakdown of the last week’s game or looking ahead to give a preview of the team’s upcoming challenge. Reporters are supposed to maintain a separation from the subjects that they cover and are expected to approach their subjects from a non-biased or opinionated angle; but this is my own college sports team and I am not claiming to be a professional. It is hard not to root for the Hoyas every week, largely because they are a successful program. Plus, it is a lot more fun and easier to write about a team that is winning and has a legitimate shot at the league title every season.
I’ll be in the bleachers on Saturday, cheering for LaSalle.
I have a strong tradition of football in my family. My father was a high school football coach for 23 years in the Philadelphia area. In fact, my parents got engaged at a Philadelphia City All-Star game. When my father coached his games, my brother and I were right there on the sideline, first as water “people” (gender exclusive language, even on the gridiron) and then moving on to coveted positions of ball boy and stats girl. You can imagine who had which job.
My family sticks together, especially when it comes to football. When John was just 3 years old, he could throw a perfect spiral with a regulation football. He had such a great arm and natural ability for the game that one of my father’s former quarterbacks, Bob Zupcic (who went on to play professional baseball with the Boston Red Sox), overestimated his hand-eye coordination. Bob assumed that if the 3-year-old can throw a regulation football, he must be able to catch one too. He was sadly mistaken, as he soon found out when he threw the ball back to John full force, hitting him smack in the middle of his forehead and temporarily knocking him out.
I think it was my brother who taught me how to catch a football and it was probably he who taught me how to throw a spiral, too. Fall Saturdays at my house consisted of football, football, football – watching games on TV, scouting games with my father or playing pick-up games on my front lawn. We are more competitive than most families but when push comes to shove, and it usually did in the front lawn Super Bowls, we back each other up. This Saturday should be no different for us.
I think the best thing for me to do is to play both sides – most likely, I’ll be wearing a LaSalle baseball cap and T-Shirt, but they will be coupled with my blue and gray mesh pants. Yeah, that’s the cheap way out, I know, but I figure it wouldn’t be in my best interest to choose a side.
Either way, I can’t lose.