Game 070:at New Hampshire 76, Stony Brook 66 Sunday, February 28, 2005 Lundholm Gymnasium - Durham, NH
On a cold and clear Senior Day just off the New Hampshire seacoast, the 100 Games Project entered the seventies. The 100GP tied Mark McGwire's single-season home run record, an aesthetically pleasing blend of crooked and round numerals, before the close of the shortest month of February. This means that we are a full five games ahead of schedule heading into the madness that is March.
But there's one basketball quest that's already been completed. The Official Wife Of The Mid-Majority™, who had never been to a college basketball game before last November, has accompanied me to twenty of these contests. None of what has happened here - or the three-digit glory to come - will have been possible without the love, kindness and sacrifice of the beautiful young lady who took a vacation from her normal linear logic to wed me. So after New Hampshire (9-18, 5-13 AEast) wrapped up a second-division season-closing win over the Stony Brook Seawolves (11-16, 6-12 AEast), I managed to nab this exclusive interview.
TMM: As anyone who's just read the opening paragraphs knows, you had never been to a college basketball game before you met me. Now you've been to over 20 in one season. Describe the feeling.
TOWOTMM™: Considering I didn't think I'd make it past two games, I feel pretty darned proud of myself. It was surprisingly easy to get sucked into the excitement of it all... unfortunately, once I got past 10 games, the details started to blur a bit.
TMM: That's okay, but you realize that most season ticket holders only get 14 or 15 games a season. Most crazed fans don't make it out to 20 games. You are the envy of Hoops Nation. How's it feel?
TOWOTMM™: Me? People are envious of ME? Pfffft. I'm just a girl.
TMM: Isn't it annoying how interviewers always ask poorly-written questions as open-ended queries about feelings?
TOWOTMM™: I'll let it slide this time.
TMM: Take us through your feelings - er, thoughts - about the 100 Games Project through the months as it's unfolded. Or rather, when did you realize that you were dealing with an obsessed nutjob?
TOWOTMM™: In the beginning I had my doubts you'd ever make it. I believe my exact thoughts were, "100 games, is he crazy?" I didn't realize how truly dedicated to it you were until we went on our mini-vacation upstate and we managed to squeeze in a couple of games amid all the romance and wine and such. The funny thing is, by that time I was just as into it as you were and didn't think it was crazy at all.
TMM: That reminds me. Have you thought during these past few months, even for a second, that I love college basketball more than I love you? 'Cause it's not true, you know. I have my priorities straight.
TOWOTMM™: Ah, so sweet. No, I never thought you loved college basketball more than me.
TMM: Phew. So back in November, sitting at that James Madison-LaSalle game, did you ever believe in your wildest dreams that you'd complete the 20 Games Project?
TOWOTMM™: Good lord, no. I remember that for some reason the buzzer in the LaSalle gym was REALLY loud; it seemed to be sitting right on top of my head. I grew to dread time outs. I thought that if every game was going to be like that I'd need to invest in an industrial-sized drum of Excedrin-Migraine.
TMM: Yeah, I think LaSalle does that to keep people from falling asleep. So do you think it's possible to have wild dreams about college basketball?
TOWOTMM™: I HAVE had dreams about college basketball! But this is a family blog, so I will stop there.
TMM: I guess you're right - next to that foul-mouthed Hoops Junkie, this is a NetNanny preferred site. So what's your favorite part of the game? Hot dunks, buzzer-beating three pointers, dribbling?
TOWOTMM™: Hard to say, really, although I do get excited by the down to the wire frenzied play, whether it's the last few seconds on the shot clock or the last few seconds of the game.
TMM: That's always exciting. But when the dance teams come on, I notice how you squint your eyes and carefully analyze the choreography. Of all the dance teams you've seen, which one's been the best? Or your favorite?
TOWOTMM™:Harvard had great technique, but their choreography was a little bland. Holy Cross had better, more difficult routines, but their technique was lacking. Manhattan had the best marketing machine... they sold their own calendars! (And I KNOW you secretly bought one.) I really appreciate it when the dance team participates in the "spirit" of the game, cheering along with the cheerleaders and the band and the rowdy student sections. It seems rather selfish when they show up at halftime and then leave, dontcha think?
TMM: What!? I bought that calendar with the kitties and doggies at the Wal-Mart in Binghamton, I swore off cheesecake when we got married. But I agree about absentee dance teams. However, the mascots never take off during crunch time - I know how much you love the furry critters. Care to describe your favorite mascots among those you've seen during the 20GP?
TOWOTMM™: Well, I'd be a horrible person if I didn't mention my best friend, the Drexel Dragon. He's the tops! The DelawareBlue Hen scared me a little bit... but he was the most spirited of the group, and the only one I've ever seen wear an inflatable suit at halftime. I fell in love with the Northeastern Husky at a hockey game (how often do you get to see a big stuffed dog skate, I ask you?) but I barely saw him at the NU hoops games we went to. Of course I can't forget the Providence Friar, who was pretty cute for a monk, if you ask me.
TMM: I didn't, but I'm not worried - the Friar's taken a celibacy oath so it would be difficult to run off with him. So, I've been wondering - why do you think there aren't there more redheaded cheerleaders? Are you redheads just too cool for school?
TOWOTMM™: I think that you would know better than most that redheads, by and large, are a tempermental lot, prone to mood swings, and as such are not always a "cheerful" bunch. We may be able to tumble and make pyramids and shout with the best of them, sure, but do we reeeeallllly want to?
TMM: What advice would you have for all those women out there who are about to become Tournament Widows, as their husbands try to watch every one of the 63 games? How can wives who don't normally excited about NCAA hoops grow closer to their husbands this March?
TOWOTMM™: If you think you could get interested in it, then watch the game with him, I promise you won't regret it.
However, if you have NO interest whatsoever, if the thought of watching an entire game makes you want to hurl, I suggest you find a hobby and be thankful it's called March Madness and not March-April-May-June Madness.
TMM: I'm not filling out a bracket, but I've pledged to help you with your office pool at your new job. How much pressure is on me to perform?
TOWOTMM™: Not much Ã¢â‚¬" I'm new here, so not too many people know about the 100 Game Project or The Mid-Majority (or if they do, they don't know I'm the Official Wife™). I'm sure if I won (ahem, sorry, WHEN I win) that my co-workers would attribute to "beginner's luck." Suckers.
TMM: Alright, alright, I'll go back to analyzing those Southland Conference box scores from January. But before we go, any closing thoughts?
TOWOTMM™: I'm sure we're both wondering the same thing... what's next?