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siliconzag
04-02-2017, 10:03 PM
Hi everyone, Sili here. To begin with the conclusion--CONGRATULATIONS. It was a almost a near miss, but a victory is a victory. And unlike 10 years ago, we didn't fold in our tents.

As some of you may know, I live in Tuscany now and despaired that I would only be able to follow the game by Gametracker until one fine afternoon while attending the Lucca Garden Show (not far from our farmhouse), I ran into about 8 lovely young folks, one of whom was wearing a GU hat (all of them were attending Gonzaga in Florence). I introduced myself and exchanged usual pleasantries. They told me about the public viewing of the game at Uncle Jimmie's Pub near the Piazza Antinori, located around the corner from the Duomo in Florence. We dined with friends who were staying there, and decided to spend the night in the city ourselves. We finished dinner 12:30 AM Central European Time at Torcicoda, a lovely restaurant near Santa Croce. We had a wonderful bistecca fiorentina from the famous Chianina beef after some delicious fettuccine with veal cheek sauce. It was a 5 star dinner along with some lovely Sangiovese wines that brought tears to our eyes. We adjoured to Jimmy's Pub, about a 5 minute walk from Santa Croce, passing the Bargello, arriving just after half time. There was a room adjacent to the main bar filled with the most delightful, beautiful, energetic, and lovely young people I have ever seen in my entire life. All pictures of youth, of lives about to unfold, all wearing Zag gear. Most of them were young ladies with fine young lads interspersed among them. Beer was being consumed in quantities that I shouldn't mention, but just in case any of you reading this are parents or grandparents, there was not excessive intoxication. Just fellowship and good cheer. It was just before halftime when we arrived.

There were a few professional agitators in the back of the room. Young Florentines, They were shouting for South Carolina, mostly to be obnoxious. They were easily outnumbered, I would say 10 to 1. However they were obnoxious and considerably more inebriated than the foreign branch of the Kennel Club. G O N Z A G A, Go Gonzaga cheers began to drown them out. Sili successfully introduced the Lets Go Zags cheer and in every single instance, the Florentine Kennel Club acquitted themselves very well indeed.

About 5 minutes after I arrived, a spendid young chap walked up to me with two beers in his hand and asked me to join him. His name was Matt and I think he works in the Netherlands. He is a GU alum and a terrific kid who grew up in Bellevue. I abandoned any Kirkland anti Bellevue programs at once and we truly bonded. We watched the second half very intently and became very nervous as the gap closed and eventually disappeared. Meanwhile the protestors in the back of the room grew more and more obnoxious. The Zag fans started yelling USA, USA, USA and it could have all become very ugly. Sili tried to quiet that stuff down, as it is not well regarded over here. The drunkards started singing the Italian National Anthem, and I wondered how we got to this point where Nationalism was interjected. Over here there is a derrogatory name for Florentines, and I let it drop. ("Buccaioli"). I followed this with "Pisani di Merda" which seemed to agitate them even more. Then came the comeback, the stiffening defense and improved rebounding.

After we secured the lead and held on for dear life, the place errupted. Unbelievable pandamonium. Ear shattering screams and dancing and hugging and kissing ensued. I had been adopted as the grandpa, and was even told I was remarkably "well preserved" for having attended GU almost 50 years ago. I felt I was transported backwards 50 years and was young again. I was privileged to share this spectacular moment with the greatest kids in the world, right there in Uncle Jimmy's pub. Tears of joy fell from everyones eyes, especially mine, and whaterver regrets I had about not making to Phoenix were abandoned.

Tonight, the game will be at 3 AM CET, and Uncle Jimmy's will be closed. I will be searching for a hotel that has Sky Sports 2. Our farmhouse has a dish, but I am adverse to connecting it and the streaming is not an option either, since our area is not allowed. There are some work arounds but I've already wasted the better part of a day trying and failing to navigate them. I will be watching tonight if I can find a hotel with the right hook up, but I will miss Matt and the other beautiful young Zags I met at Uncle Jimmy's. The paltry consolation of not being able to share tonight's victory with them (notice the cautious optimism) is that there will be no buccaioli provacateurs.

I want to send a big, BUONA FORTUNA to all of you and for those of you in Phoenix, shout for Sili. This is truly a great achievement; No matter what happens tonight!

FORZA GONZAGA
Andiamo Zags!

kitzbuel
04-02-2017, 10:37 PM
Silicon, you need to look at vpn services. You can get one that gives you a US IP address and allows you to stream content from US sources. Small price to pay for a Zag National Championship game opportunity.