View Full Version : Not Just a Basketball Game (long)

03-07-2007, 10:50 AM
Last Thanksgiving I was visiting my folks house in Ohio. At the time the Zags were playing in the pres-season NIT and were about to face UNC. My routine is always the same when I watch the Zags on the road. I went to the store and got a fresh VHS tape, went down in to the basement and set up the VCR to record. Win or lose, I was going to have a record of it. My Dad came down. "It's just a basketball game, " he quipped. "Why are you taping it?"

Just a basketball game? JUST a basketball game? These are my Zags. This is my team. My only team. I don't follow baseball. I don't follow hockey. I don't follow the NBA - only a peek once a week to see how the old dogs are doing. I don't have a particular college football team I root for. Free agency has soured me on the NFL. So here I am. VHS tape in hand. Gonzaga Basketball is so much more than a game for me, it's dreams fulfilled.

See when I went to GU in the early 1990's you didn't go to Spokane for basketball. GU was something like 8-20 for the 1989-90. LMU was the WCC school to go if you wanted basketball. They pounded GU back then. No, you went to GU because of the people, the scenary (and I don't mean the girls), and because it was a place were you would be comfortable for the next fours year. Basketball was not part of the equation.

I grew up in the Sacramento Valley and a good number of my high school classmates wanted to go to LMU or Santa Clara. Hardly anyone even considered Gon-Zah-ga. As a life-long college hoops fan, I was torn but knew deep down that GU would be a better home for me than the distractions of L.A. The South Bay attitude that seemed to accompany the SCU crowd didn't appeal to me either.

So by 1994, my senior year, GU miraculously had a team. The start of something incredible, unpredictable, and if not for the legacy of our coaching staff - inexplainable. Since then the team has inspired me, motivated me, shown me that nothing is impossible. That an average guy from a sleepy Jesuit school in the middle of nowhere can rise to be an executive. That life is full of Sweet Sixteen opportunities and they are ALL attainable- regardless of your stature or history. More than JUST a basketbal game??? Ya THINK?

I am making this confession to you my GU Board brothers and sisters because you are the only ones on the planet that may understand. Forgive the length but I never went on a Search retreat and am overdue.

Yesterday, this time my Father-in-Law, wondered what I thought of the lastest episode of 24 Monday night. I Told him I couldn't watch it - WCC Championship was on. "It's just a basketball game" he said. All I could muster was "Sorry but you don't get it, and probably never will".

03-07-2007, 11:03 AM
McZag: Your post's was exceeded by its quality. TY.

03-07-2007, 12:01 PM
Inspiring post.

I suggest getting your father in law the 24 DVD sets and a Bulldog windshirt for Christmas.

Your Pal,


03-07-2007, 02:11 PM
Great post McZag! Nice icon you have there too!

03-07-2007, 02:39 PM

I attended the same years as you. I too have the same feelings when asked from friends why I would fly half way across the country to watch the Zags play in the tournament.

Great post!

03-07-2007, 03:43 PM
Outstanding post. Remembering our roots (pre-1994 NIT) makes us all the more appreciative of what we have now.

03-07-2007, 03:55 PM
Outstanding post. Remembering our roots (pre-1994 NIT) makes us all the more appreciative of what we have now.

Agreed. Remembering the first time I walked into the Kennel and seeing a crowd that was slightly larger than my high school team's crowd, it makes it so much sweeter walking into K2 now and seeing twice as many students at the game than the total number of fans back then.

How can not even the casual fan get caught up in that mob mentality?