Tuesday, December 05, 2017

An Intertwining Day of Emotions

Today stunk.

That's right.

Today really really stunk.

You can substitute any word in Roget's Thesaurus for stunk that you want. They all applied. Indeed it was that bad.

By the time I got home this evening, it seemed like the best part of the day was that the Christmas tree fell over. That was the highlight. Listing the events of the day in order from bad to worse, the Christmas tree crashing to the ground, that was the highlight.

And yet the day wasn't over. I still had my wife's 25th birthday to celebrate and a doubleheader of my favorite sports team of all time Mt. St. Mary's, against Pittsburgh. That to be followed by my alma mater, the Syracuse Orange, in the World's Most Famous Arena, against the most exceptional basketball rival from my four years on campus the UCONN Huskies in the nightcap of the Annual Jimmy V Classic.

My father was here to watch his alma mater with me. That helped to start to make the day better.

But it really lacked clarity and perspective until about 20 minutes or so after 8 o'clock. At that time, despite some flashes of brilliance the young Mountaineers, like 12 freshmen on the roster young, trailed an ACC member, yet somewhat mediocre, Pitt team by 15 points.

And this team that really wasn't having a great night did something about it. They kept playing. They kept battling. They kept fighting.

Many of you know, I've been doing that for four years or so since I was diagnosed with the rare disease Sarcoidosis. I didn't do a lot of it today. There were times today when all the decisive moments I've had along a path to recovery and a sense of normalcy in my life seemed very distant.

But as I watched this group of kids places one foot in front of the other, precisely as they have since Day one of the season, I was inspired. I was inspired to continue along my path. Inspired to make tomorrow a bit better than today. And beyond that, I was inspired to make today great. There was still time on the clock today.

The Mount even had enough time left for enough three-point bombs to fall straight through and for the best unknown player in the country to rally the team from 15 down on the road at a Power 5 conference team, no matter how bad the whistle, continued to scratch and claw to force overtime.

Junior Robinson is nothing if he isn't inspirational.

I'd like to pay the player the respect he deserves and fail to mention his height. Because on the basketball court his height does not matter. Many people time and time again have told him it did. Or that sometimes it would. They told him he couldn't achieve his dream to be a basketball player. He ignored them. He's a not only a basketball player. He's a great basketball player. The leading scorer in a Division I basketball team trying to get back to the most magnificent sporting event of all, the NCAA Tournament, where it won a game a year ago.

All 5-feet and 5-inches of Junior Robinson entered the game at Pittsburgh as the 16th leading scorer in the country. He left with a higher average than he began with. The 24-point 9-assist masterpiece was spectacular. Much of it brought the Mount back from that 15-point deficit. Many other teams would have folded. In the end, the volume of those whistles became insurmountable, and the shots stopped falling, and Pitt survived.

Still, the game and the effort had provided for me. It had put me back on task, showed me exactly what I needed. I just didn't quite know it all yet.

The Jimmy V Classic happens every year. They play a pair of basketball games at Madison Square Garden. The teams are good, the matchups are marquee, but the event isn't about the games. It's about the message. A message that Jimmy V first delivered at the ESPY's in 1993.

I watch the inspirational speech often. At times, I've got the video on what seems like a constant loop.

Tonight before the Syracuse UCONN tipoff seemed like the right time to hit play.

Nothing changed in Jimmy V's speech. The same words I've listened to countless times before. Yet somehow, I always hear something new, focus on something different. Tonight I couldn't get past Jimmy V's opening plea, where he told us all that every day of our life, "We should laugh, we should think, and we should have our emotions moved to tears."

It all of a sudden hit me. I was privileged enough to have done all of those things today. Many weren't that fortunate. I was. Actually, I did all of that more than once.

Today was good.

That's right.

Today was really really good.

(Nothing that happens in the next 7 and a half minutes from Madison Square Garden can change that)





Thursday, November 02, 2017

It's Been Awhile

If you were once a faithful reader, Thank you, and I apologize for my absence. Kyle McFadden asked me to write a piece for Maryland Sports Access on last's night exhibition win. Kyle does a great job covering the Mount and local sports for MSA and other outlets.

Here is the piece on my thoughts against Delaware. Who knows, it may not be two years until I write again.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Mount release on big incoming class

Emmitsburg, Md. (May 18, 2017)—Mount St. Mary's University men's basketball, the reigning Northeast Conference champion, has rounded out its 2017 recruiting class, announced today by head coach Jamion Christian.  Donald Carey (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass)Omar Habwe (Lexington, Va./St. James School [Md.])Nana Opoku (Woodbridge, Va./Potomac)Bobby Planutis (Hazleton, Pa./Hazleton/Bridgton Academy [Maine]), Ace Stallings (Washington, D.C./Sidwell Friends) and James West IV (Woodbridge, Va./Freedom) will be joining the Mountaineers in the fall.
"I am so excited about our 2017 incoming freshman," said head coach Jamion Christian.  "Over the past few years, we have been trying to be bigger at every position on our roster, while maintaining our ability to shoot the ball often and well from three-point range.  When we look over five years ago we wanted to be the best program in our league at building from within. Watching the yearly improvement of our roster at all positions has consistently become a major part of our success."
"Our incoming freshman class is a great fit in terms of what we believe are the foundations of Mount Mayhem.  It has a tremendous local feel, a great understanding of our program and its great history, and the physical components (long arms, speed, shooting ability) that we are diligently looking for in recruiting," noted Christian.
In addition to this year's recruiting class, the Mount will also have redshirt freshmen Jonah Antonio and Jack Vukelich in the fold next season.  This will give the Mount eight freshmen on the roster in 2017-18.
"Our roster has been consistently deep enough to use the redshirt as a major weapon for our program, and we are excited to have Jonah and Jack ready to go next season," said Christian.
Donald Carey (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglas), 6-5, 190, Guard
Coach Christian on Carey:  "Guard play is essential in the pick and roll system that we use here at the Mount, and guards with great size and natural passing ability have had tremendous success here. Donald has the attributes that we look for in our guards in that he is tremendously unselfish, can guard multiple positions and his IQ will allow him to play at a high level.  He played at Frederick Douglass High School for head coach Tyrone Massenberg. He averaged 16 points and four assists."
Omar Habwe (Lexington, Va./St. James School [Md.]), 6-6, 210, Forward
Coach Christian on Habwe:  "Omar gives us a player unlike any I've recruited here thus far. His raw strength as an incoming freshman will be welcomed. In addition, his ability to shoot the ball from well beyond the three point line gives us a person who can guard multiple positions, but still be a major threat on the offensive end of the floor.  Omar comes to us from St James School in Hagerstown Md., where he was a three-year starter for Coach Dan Prete.  He averaged 13.5 points and seven rebounds per game."
Nana Opoku (Woodbridge, Va./Potomac), 6-9, 190, Forward
Coach Christian on Opuku:  "One of our strengths is having players that can play multiple positions and impact the game in a lot of ways.  We've had outstanding combo four men (Sam Prescott, Gregory Graves, Chris Wray), and Nana falls along the line of these players.  His reach at 7'3" gives him a distinct shot blocking ability, but his offensive game also possesses great variety.  Nana played at Potomac High School, where he played for Keith Honroe.  He won a state title as a junior, and averaged 11.3 points and 3.4 blocks this year."
Bobby Planutis (Hazleton, Pa./Hazleton/Bridgton Academy [Maine]), 6-7, 195, Forward
Coach Christian on Planutis:  "Size, shooting and passing, Bobby does each of these at a high level.  Mount basketball has over the years emerged to having a lot of guys who can play different positions. Bobby will have the ability to play 2-4 positions and help us attack mismatches game in and game out. This past season at Bridgton Academy (Maine), Bobby shot 43% from three while averaging 23 points and eight rebounds.  He played high school for Mike Joseph at Hazleton which means he has a tremedous skill set for his size."‎
Ace Stallings (Washington, D.C./Sidwell Friends), 6-10, 215, Forward
Coach Christian on Stallings:  "Every team that presses like we do here at the Mount needs a defender in the back that blocks shots and re-energizes the fast break.  Ace has a tremendous ability to change the momentum of a game with his intelligence on the defensive end of the floor. His ability to block shots and finish above the rim is perfect for the ball screen and roll system that we use here at the Mount. Ace will be joining us from Sidwell Friends School, where he was coached by Eric Singletary."‎
James West IV (Woodbridge, Va./Freedom), 6-2, 165, Guard
Coach Christian on West:  "When you think of Mount guards, you think of guys who have an elite ability to score and guys that use their IQ to make those around them better. James is exactly this! He has a tremendous offensive feel and a passion to be here at the Mount.  James comes to us from Freedom High School where he was coached by his father, James West.  He averaged 19.8 PPG shooting while shooting 43 percent from three-point range.

Send an email to thefanblog@gmail.com

Friday, March 17, 2017

Jay Wright on Mt. St. Mary's

“They were just great. They really outplayed us. We just, at the end, had some more size and some more talented players that just made plays. But they were better prepared. Jamion had them better prepared than I did, and they played better. We just had bigger, better athletes. But they were a great team. I thought they were the better team tonight, and they deserve a lot of credit.”

Wow. As fans, we are all so lucky to get to see that team every time out.

Monday, March 13, 2017

First Four Game Watches

Go Watch The Game with Some Mount Friends!
#MountMayhem is Everywhere
 
It's dancin' time!  Catch the Mountaineers as they take on the New Orleans Privateers in the First Four on Tuesday night!  Join fellow Mounties for some rounds of pre-game "warm-ups" at the Regional Game Watches listed below.
 
If you're in Dayton for the game, stop by Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave. Dayton, OH 45410, between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. for the pregame social.

No game watch in your area?  No problem!  You can watch the game from the comfort of your own home on TruTV or on NCAA.com!

No matter where you watch the game, you can show your support and make your gift of $68 to Mount Athletics in honor of the Mount being part of the Elite 68. 

 Allendale, NJ6:30 p.m.
Allendale Bar and Grill
67 W. Allendale Avenue
Allendale, NJ 07401
Baltimore, MD 6:30 p.m.
El Bufalo Tequila Bar and Kitchen
2921 O'Donnell Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
 Baltimore, MD6:30 p.m.
Ocean Pride Restaurant and Bar
1534 York Road
Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
The Carolinas 6:30 p.m.
Tyber Creek Pub
1933 South Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
 Denver, CO6:30 p.m.
Home of Anne Wassmann C'10
E-mail alumni@msmary.edu
for address information
 Frederick, MD6:00 p.m.
Glory Days Grill
Frederick Shopping Center
1305 W. 7th Street
Frederick, MD 21702
Frederick, MD 6:00 p.m.
Magoo's
1 W. 2nd Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Fort Washington, PA
(Philly)
6:30 p.m.

MaGerks (Fort Washington)
582 S. Bethlehem Pike
Fort Washington, PA 19034
 Hoboken, NJ6:30 p.m.
Village Pourhouse
205 1st Street
Hoboken, NJ
Gettysburg, PA 6:30 p.m.
Blue and Gray
2 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Philadelphia,
Center City
6:30 p.m.
Field House1150 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
 Washington, D.C.6:30 p.m.
Crystal City Sports Pub
529 23rd Street S.
Arlington, VA 22202

Please email alumni@msmary.edu if you have any questions.
GO MOUNT!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Per @TeamRankingsCBB #Odds that the Mountaineers make the NCAA tournament are up to 26% (auto bid), an #increas... https://t.co/n5vT4RIrPd


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Per @TeamRankingsCBB #Odds that the Mountaineers make the NCAA tournament are up to 26% (auto bid), an #increas... https://t.co/BkfMYF2xxf


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Per @TeamRankingsCBB #Odds that the Mountaineers make the NCAA tournament are up to 26% (auto bid), an #increase of 2% since yesterday


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Stanley Black & Decker to open U.S. plant after Trump's 'border tax' threat https://t.co/yb8qCYpBXP............... https://t.co/bEbJ3MJNeP


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Stanley Black & Decker to open U.S. plant after Trump's 'border tax' threat https://t.co/yb8qCYpBXP............... https://t.co/7km07SLOeM


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Stanley Black & Decker to open U.S. plant after Trump's 'border tax' threat https://t.co/yb8qCYpBXP............... https://t.co/FaZbnoIkZZ


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Per @TeamRankingsCBB beating Cent Conn 77-68, Mt St. Mary's is now projected to finish the regular season 14-17 (12-6 NEC). #nature #video


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Stanley Black & Decker to open U.S. plant after Trump's 'border tax' threat https://t.co/yb8qCYpBXP............... https://t.co/86jh3Wc4XB


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Stanley Black & Decker to open U.S. plant after Trump's 'border tax' threat https://t.co/yb8qCYpBXP............... https://t.co/cMK9GQknvU


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog

Stanley Black & Decker to open U.S. plant after Trump's 'border tax' threat https://t.co/yb8qCYpBXP............... https://t.co/MpAEU1FGIx


from Twitter https://twitter.com/TheMountFanBlog