Anthony Francavilla

Nothin’ but net for Nikita


If you find yourself looking for a way to calm the pregame jitters before the Hoyas’ first game on Monday, try counting the number of times sophomore Nikita Mescheriakov misses in warm-ups. If nothing else, it’s an effective distraction before the opening tip. It could even be fun, except for one little problem: he never…

Sports Sermon: MLS president discusses the league and the economy


I’ve used this space several times in the past to discuss the progress of soccer in the United States and, quite frankly, I’m embarrassed that until recently I didn’t know that one of American soccer’s key figures is a Georgetown alumnus. Mark Abbott (SFS `86), the most recently featured speaker of the Michael Jurist (SFS `07) Distinguished Alumni Roundtable Series, is the president of Major League Soccer and the principal author of the league’s original business plan.

The Sports Sermon: Washington International Horse Show


The first words of the equestrian feature on the opposite page are easily the first I’d ever written about horse shows. But now that I’m in the equine spirit, I may as well take it a little further—that’s what happens when someone who has never been within 20 feet of a horse finds himself surrounded by dozens on a Sunday afternoon. Besides, Greg Monroe won’t take his first official shot for over a month, but in just a few weeks the Verizon Center will play host to the 50th Annual Washington International Horse Show.

Hot in the saddle: Georgetown’s newest club sport


If there’s an epicenter of equine activity in the United States, it’s probably not far from here.

“Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania—these are historically the hotspots in the United States,” trainer Jeff Becker said. “It’s probably the largest concentration of horses in the country, literally thousands of stables and every week new ones open.”

Becker runs one such stable, Lakeside, which he calls “the best office in the world.” This “office,” located on 200 acres at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in Clarksburg, Maryland, is home to some 50 horses, a donkey named Jacob, and one of Georgetown’s newest club sports: the GU Equestrian Team.

Sports Sermon: Taking back the Redskins


I broke up with the Redskins years ago. Where the team once held a stranglehold on professional football in my lexicon of favorite franchises, there is nothing but an empty void, creating in me the rare American sports fan that is indifferent towards the country’s most popular league. But now, I want them back. For fear of sounding like a fickle fan or worse, a bandwagon jumper, I feel like I should explain myself.

Sports Sermon: The death of the ticket stub


Resting on the corner of my father’s dresser in our old house was a tall glass pitcher full of ticket stubs. Having long ago lost its identity as a generic container, the pitcher transformed with each new addition into something more. By the time I was old enough to care, it was overflowing and looked more like a Cézanne still life than a simple glass. That’s just how I treated it—as a masterpiece. One of my favorite things to do was to empty it and rifle through the stubs, exploring every event my dad had been to, from Rush concerts to Penguins games. Every single ticket in that pitcher was the ultimate souvenir—a paper rectangle that made the same simple but important statement: he’d been there.

Sports Sermon: D.C. running culture


What’s the difference between a 60-year-old man and a 20-year-old college student? Answer: He’s faster than I am. This might have surprised me anywhere else in the country, but it’s just about what I expected from my first foray into the District’s running culture: an army of Type-A road warriors.

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