Laughs, tears: Another year on the Hilltop

By the

April 26, 2001

Like all good things, this era of Voice Sports must also come to a slow, grinding halt, just like the dynasties of the Bulls and the Lakers (there would be a new one, but the ZenMaster just doesn’t know what’s going on anymore). Like the Pistons of the late 1980s, like the Oakland As of the early 1970s, we were great, and now another year must come to an end.

And what better way to usher in the future, and a new era of achievement for this section, then with a look back at the past. It all began when the summer sun beats down on yellow shirts, as guys grab facebooks and sophomores steal tables from Red Square for beer pong games (“Yo, our apartment is gonna be the spot this year!”). NSO.

Some of us were confused early in the year as to how the MLB season was ending. The Yankees were taking too long to wrap up their clear AL East title as the As and their fearless leader, Jason “Wolfman” Giambi, took home the West. The Chicago White Sox were also good for some reason, and the Reds, despite dolling out boatloads of money and loose women to free agents in the previous off-season, were not in the hunt for the NL Central crown.

As everyone expected, the Yankees walked off with the World Series crown again, despite sputtering into the playoffs and almost being decapitated by Oakland. Coupled with the efforts of their airplane-loving counterparts (it’s NY humor) the New York Mets, they gave Mike Lupica what he’s been waiting for his entire life: a Subway Series.

Even though Mike Piazza is one of the most fearsome sluggers in the game, and Timo Perez is (read: was) one of the biggest sparkplugs in the NL, the Mets were no match for the mighty defenders of their throne and fell in five games.

At this point on our hilltop, the football team was still struggling under the leadership of QB David Paulus, while the soccer teams both did reasonably well in the fall. Women’s soccer, powered by Liz Delgado and Karin Ostrander, drove far into the Big East Tournament. The field hockey team, under the guidance of coach Laurie Caroll, came close to building their first undefeated season on Kehoe Field, beginning 7-0 before finally being up-ended.

But you see, not many cared. Because the NHL was beginning.

Well, not really.

The NBA also started around this time, proving to us all once again the following three things:

1) Phil Jackson really isn’t that good a coach.

2) Rick Pitino is more over-rated than a dot-com.

3) George Karl is fat.

But his team, dear reader, may be phat. What’s the deal with basketball teams that beat you by outscoring you? The point of basketball is clearly the moving pick and the corner trap, elements designed to stifle offense and fan interest for years to come. That all changed this year with the Bucks and the Kings running up scores and making SportsCenter editors work overtime looping highlights.

Our basketball team was doing some highlight looping of their own during the winter season, although typically against the Coppin States of the world. Everyone got all hyped when we took two from Seton Hall early in the season, but then America learned that Seton Hall was the most dsyfunctional family this side of “Will and Grace.” Amaker booked for Michigan, Griffin booked for millions and Ty Shine still sports a black eye.

The basketball team did manage to roll to the Sweet 16, thanks in large part to a monumental upset of Iowa State and Jamaal “Tiny” Tinsley by Hampton in the first round. This allowed us to play Hampton in the second round, a game which we dominated, which sent Hoyas everywhere running to their computers to log onto Priceline.

The results in Anaheim were not as encouraging, as eventual Final Four participant Maryland stomped us into the ground behind their beast of a center, Lonny Baxter, who would later be stomped into the ground by Duke, the eventual winners of the tournament. Vitale went crazy that the NBA won’t give Battier props, and Hoya Paranoia jumped back into American consciousness. Headed into next year, the Hoyas lose some excellent leadership in the Boumtje squared-Perry-Burton department, but return an excellent amount of height and an established “floor general” (that’s fancy talk for point guard) in Braswell. We should make it back to the tournament.

The NHL was, in the words of Fred Durst, “rollin, rollin, rollin … ” Well, no it wasn’t. The NHL keeps trying to blame their low ratings on poor crossover appeal because of the Canadian domination of the sport, but alas, their low ratings are due to the fact that no one can pronounce the last name of the goaltenders of every team in the playoffs. The simplest one is “Roy” yet it’s not even pronounced the basic way.

The spring season brought baseball back to Georgetown, which is to say … to Betheseda. And while our warriors actually began improving on Shirley Povich Field, MLB returned as well, and no one has any idea why the Twins, Mariners, and Phillies are all still good headed into May.

It’s probably a good thing, though. Flyers got mauled by the Sabres and the Sixers are about two weeks from falling to the Knicks. And women’s lacrosse remains the No. 2 team in the nation behind the solid play of the Stanwick sisters; men’s lacrosse has been powered by a bunch of sophomores to a No. 7 national ranking and a likely ECAC Title.

All in all, kids, it’s been fun. Let’s do this all again next year. Same time, same place.

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