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upan8th
03-27-2019, 02:37 PM
A mod, one of the more prolific and readable posters on this board, has a quote by Dan Dickau beneath his posts: "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people." When I've repeated the quote, people often respond, deadpan, with something like, "Really" or, "Do tell", because they don't know. How could they? So, then, the question becomes, what makes Gonzaga, and Spokane, special? Gonna try to briefly explain.

Spokane became a "place" only because it was chosen as a nexus of four railroads in the 1880's. The Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, The Union Pacific and The Milwaukee Road decided to join the western terminus of their lines in the burg beside the Spokane River not far from the falls. Arriving workers by the thousands were rough and tumble, as railroad men often were, and many of them were first generation Irish Catholic immigrants. They were know to work hard, live hard, play and pray hard, as one wag put it. But, basically, most were, as the phrase has come to mean, "from the wrong side of the tracks." The city, and the university, has embraced the heritage.

Along with them came Fr. Joseph Cataldo, a Jesuit missionary, to open a school that was originally intended to serve Native American students but in 1887 became Gonzaga University, a mighty grandiose name for the humble original structures. But the Jesuits persevered, the college added programs, students, and grew slowly, until, in the signal year of 1950, lead by Carl Maxey, Gonzaga won it's first national collegiate title in . . . boxing. The sweet science. Sounds right. Tough, hard-scrabble parents, tough kids. Throw in a few crazies from Montana and you've got the makings of a National Champion. The goal of the sport at the collegiate level was to outfox and outbox the opponent, not pummel him into oblivion. Of course, GU had some very accomplished football teams in the first 40 years of the last century, as well, compiling a record of 134-99-20. More tough competitors, punching well above their weight class. That's Spokane. That's the Gonzaga mentality.

So what, big deal, you say. Another little school, overrated athletics. But, wait. Did I mention academics? No, I didn't. There's a reason Zag athletes consistently have ranked at or near the top of the national APG grade point team averages year after year. At how many nationally ranked schools do the coaching staffs allow their athletes to play intramural softball, or take part in an impromptu game of touch football. Is there any other place where elite-eight caliber athletes might be playing horse or two on two in the campus gym when Father _____ (you supply the name) drops by to join in and then afterwards, everyone gathers for a discussion on, say, the logical application of Truth, Reason, Ethics and Equity in our daily lives. Or, the highest percentage of made free throws based on trajectory of the shot; or why, under a loving God, bad things happen to good people (especially Cub's fans).

At Gonzaga, they don't teach students to win. They teach them HOW to win, with respect for the other side, grace and joy, but, above all, humility. Sometimes, that's a problem. Over the last twenty years of basketball, Zag fans have grown tired of the disrespect much of the country, especially East of the Big River, has shown toward the school's unprecedented success. And, I'm afraid, until the team finally breaks through and wins validation, a national championship, much of the country, despite all the stats, the evidence, will continue to regard us as the little engine that couldn't. Haters will hate. I won't, though, because, in Gonzaga, we know what we've got -- and they don't.

MontanaCoyote
03-27-2019, 02:54 PM
A mod, one of the more prolific and readable posters on this board, has a quote by Dan Dickau beneath his posts: "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people." When I've repeated the quote, people often respond, deadpan, with something like, "Really" or, "Do tell", because they don't know. How could they? So, then, the question becomes, what makes Gonzaga, and Spokane, special? Gonna try to briefly explain.

Spokane became a "place" only because it was chosen as a nexus of four railroads in the 1880's. The Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, The Union Pacific and The Milwaukee Road decided to join the western terminus of their lines in the burg beside the Spokane River not far from the falls. Arriving workers by the thousands were rough and tumble, as railroad men often were, and many of them were first generation Irish Catholic immigrants. They were know to work hard, live hard, play and pray hard, as one wag put it. But, basically, most were, as the phrase has come to mean, "from the wrong side of the tracks." The city, and the university, has embraced the heritage.

Along with them came Fr. Joseph Cataldo, a Jesuit missionary, to open a school that was originally intended to serve Native American students but in 1887 became Gonzaga University, a mighty grandiose name for the humble original structures. But the Jesuits persevered, the college added programs, students, and grew slowly, until, in the signal year of 1950, lead by Carl Maxey, Gonzaga won it's first national collegiate title in . . . boxing. The sweet science. Sounds right. Tough, hard-scrabble parents, tough kids. Throw in a few crazies from Montana and you've got the makings of a National Champion. The goal of the sport at the collegiate level was to outfox and outbox the opponent, not pummel him into oblivion. Of course, GU had some very accomplished football teams in the first 40 years of the last century, as well, compiling a record of 134-99-20. More tough competitors, punching well above their weight class. That's Spokane. That's the Gonzaga mentality.

So what, big deal, you say. Another little school, overrated athletics. But, wait. Did I mention academics? No, I didn't. There's a reason Zag athletes consistently have ranked at or near the top of the national APG grade point team averages year after year. At how many nationally ranked schools do the coaching staffs allow their athletes to play intramural softball, or take part in an impromptu game of touch football. Is there any other place where elite-eight caliber athletes might be playing horse or two on two in the campus gym when Father _____ (you supply the name) drops by to join in and then afterwards, everyone gathers for a discussion on, say, the logical application of Truth, Reason, Ethics and Equity in our daily lives. Or, the highest percentage of made free throws based on trajectory of the shot; or why, under a loving God, bad things happen to good people (especially Cub's fans).

At Gonzaga, they don't teach students to win. They teach them HOW to win, with respect for the other side, grace and joy, but, above all, humility. Sometimes, that's a problem. Over the last twenty years of basketball, Zag fans have grown tired of the disrespect much of the country, especially East of the Big River, has shown toward the school's unprecedented success. And, I'm afraid, until the team finally breaks through and wins validation, a national championship, much of the country, despite all the stats, the evidence, will continue to regard us as the little engine that couldn't. Haters will hate. I won't, though, because, in Gonzaga, we know what we've got -- and they don't.

Love Spokane and Gonzaga! Now this; Despite nearly 20 years of basketball success, I submit that upwards of 80% of Americans couldn’t place Spokane on a map to save themselves. Give ‘um a hint, “ It’s in Washington.” Wouldn’t help, just confuse. Geeze, over 40% put Canada where Mexico should be and visa versa.

We do know what we’ve got and that’s what matters. Small is Beautiful. Got to Love It!

TacomaZAG
03-27-2019, 02:58 PM
Thanks, Up, couldn't agree with you more...............

Is the Carl Maxey you reference the ultra successful Spokane attorney??

Couple of anecdotes regarding the Gonzaga athletes..............

When I attended GU back in the mid-80's, there were a lot of varsity athletes in my engineering classes, sitting right next to me, just like the regular guys they were. We studied together, no special tutors for them that I didn't have access to. Don't know if they still do that or if the athletes get special treatment now. No problem if they do, just wondering.

When my nephew attended GU in the 2010's, he was a varsity baseball player. He played on an intramural basketball team and they got to the finals, only to face a team with Kelly Olynyk on it, during his red-shirt year. Needless to say, my nephew's team lost, but it's a great story.

Thanks for sharing. The ZAG extended family is truly special, it's not a coincidence that so many athletes from all over the world choose to make Spokane their home after graduation. I grew up in Spokane and thoroughly enjoyed it!!

Go ZAGS

ZagDad84
03-27-2019, 04:27 PM
Over the last twenty years of basketball, Zag fans have grown tired of the disrespect much of the country, especially East of the Big River, has shown toward the school's unprecedented success. And, I'm afraid, until the team finally breaks through and wins validation, a national championship, much of the country, despite all the stats, the evidence, will continue to regard us as the little engine that couldn't. Haters will hate.

It used to be, make it to the final four and then we will talk. Now the we have made a final four, it is win a national championship and then you will make it. You can bet that once we win a National Championship, they will respond with, you have one championship, and we have _____ (fill in the blank).

While Duke and UNC have been more prolific, Kentucky has exactly one NC in the last 20 years with the current coaching staff. Seven of the banners hanging in the rafters are older than every player on the current team. Like UCLA and Indiana, the longer UK goes without another national championship, the cries of "we have eight national championships" becomes less relevant.

ZagDad

LongIslandZagFan
03-27-2019, 06:40 PM
I was born in Michigan, spent the first 13 years of my life there. But I call Spokane my hometown. It is where I really grew up... where many of my friends are. Spokane, as rough and tumble as she is, has a good heart and great people. For me, GU isn't about basketball at all. I spent 5 great years there (look, don't judge, Mom worked there teaching Doctoral Studies, with school covered was in no rush to leave and wanted to get a second degree in history). Every one of those years is etched deeply in my being. If this whole run never happened... guess what... I'd still yell out for all to hear what a great and special place GU is. The service to others, to the community, the "family" that is the student body, Fr. Tony (RIP), SEARCH at Bozarth (don't know if that still exists). I love GU, not for the hoops, for the memories I made there in the late 1980s.

Now I should qualify that I work in Higher Ed for a few different schools over the years, as did both my parents (different institutions). I am basically a college brat. I grew up on college campuses (I literally lived on the Michigan State campus for 3 years). When I say GU is special, I know what I am talking about. It is a school that regardless of size is tight-knight and one big family. I've never gotten that feel from almost any other campus I have been on.

Oh, and one more thing, GU Football has two Pro Football Hall of Fame members. That is as good or better than many BCS programs that have been active over the last 60+ years unlike GU... just sayin'

LongIslandZagFan
03-27-2019, 06:42 PM
One more thing... here is a real cool pic from GU's past:

https://d8bixwancjkpp.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Babe-Ruth-Clipper-Smith-Gonzaga-1926.jpg

Those stands are about where Crosby Center is today.

ETA... guess the owner of the pic complained about the hotlink... it WAS a picture of Babe Ruth with the GU Football coach at the time.

Lets see if this one sticks around:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c5/5a/5a/c55a5aeb20ef3bfba497ae88f0f664e1.jpg

bartruff1
03-27-2019, 07:36 PM
Carl Maxey was a black firebrand civil rights attorney in Spokane in the turbulent/violent 60s.....at that time Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho was a hot bed of a violent White Supremist movement.....it was very dangerous to be Carl Maxey.....

He mentored Frank Burgess and convinced him to enter law school... the rest as they say is history..

Reborn
03-27-2019, 09:05 PM
Carl Maxey was a black firebrand civil rights attorney in Spokane in the turbulent/violent 60s.....at that time Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho was a hot bed of a violent White Supremist movement.....it was very dangerous to be Carl Maxey.....

He mentored Frank Burgess and convinced him to enter law school... the rest as they say is history..

A great description of Carl Maxey. I was fortunate to know him very well.

Go Zags!!!

Zagger
03-28-2019, 04:55 AM
Count my lucky stars to have been born in this town who's Native American name means "children of the sun". I'm sure there are a few of us; sons and daughters of military families based at Fairchild AFB. My dad was from Adams, Mass and mom - from Spokane. My mom's mom came out west on a train when she was 16 in 1900. It was just after my sister was born in Deaconess, same as me, that Pop was transferred to Biggs in TX, then Redstone in AL, then Vandenberg in CA. It was in Vandenberg (foggy & cool) that I began to fall in love with my town of birth. We headed up this way from CA each summer to spend time with granny and stay at Sacheen or Loon. Ponderosa Pines became my favorite tree. Pine tar is still my favorite smell. Once Pop retired we again called Spokane home. After Wazzu I spent some time in Montana .... love that place too ... but came back to Spokane in 82. Whenever I hear Spokane called a 'city' I sorta wonder about where they're talking about. To me it's always been a big town - just keeps getting to be a bigger town. Not sure how it can be a city with a waterfall in the middle and a couple of smoke stacks that are almost the tallest things in town. Have I yet said what summers are like here? Best keep that a secret ;) Being that I've changed professions that required some schooling I've gotten degrees from Wazzu, Eastern and GU. We lived near Whitworth and I got to do a Jan Term there as well - along with taking a course or two in the Spokane Community College schools. The area is a great one for learning! I didn't think much about Gonzaga until starting a masters program there in the early 90s and then it took Adam Morrison to trigger my basketball loving genes (love of the game - can't play worth poo). Anywho, back to Spokaloo .... I like Spokane's remoteness in a state where most people think WA is rain, Seattle and Rainier and I'm kinda/sorta a bit proud when waiting for a flight back home and hear on the speakers, "Flight 345 now boarding for Spo-cane" - I just grin. I was pleasantly surprised when Kimmel got both Spokane and Gonzaga right on his first tries. The fun he's having with GU is amusing. Might not be as much attention on Spokane now as there was since Expo 74! ;) Spokane to me is sort of a town that every now and then just decides to do something outward well and in a big way. The rest of the time it's just fine with being Spokane where we enjoy our summers and maybe venture out once in awhile to escape our winters. Right now we're waiting on some leaves to sprout and the Zags to kick some arse. It's a comfy place to live and not big enough to not frequently run into people you know but may not have seen in awhile. Lots of us here that came here and stayed, came-left-and came back, and those of you out there that may yet move back or are planning a visit to see old pals. It's a pretty special area where the Palouse meets the forest.

GoZags
03-28-2019, 05:34 AM
A mod, one of the more prolific and readable posters on this board, has a quote by Dan Dickau beneath his posts: "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people." When I've repeated the quote, people often respond, deadpan, with something like, "Really" or, "Do tell", because they don't know. How could they? So, then, the question becomes, what makes Gonzaga, and Spokane, special?

Awesome post, upan8th. While I enjoyed reading the entire post, I'm going to address your very first point ... and the source document for the awesome quote .... posted here a decade ago (but written by Dan Dickau 16 years ago after the heartbreaking 96-95 double overtime loss to Arizona in Salt Lake City. I believe 3D's words echo your sentiments .... as does his dad's (the first post of the attached link). I'll copy/paste Dan's post in its entirety below the link. Thanks again up. GoZags

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?18497-Thoughts-from-an-quot-insider-quot&p=379027#post379027


What does it mean to be a Zag? What kind of friendships and lifelong bonds do these teammates form?

Here's another post from the past that (in my opinion) embodies what's so special about the guys we root for -- support.

This post (attached below) was written the day after the Zags lost the 96-95 double overtime heartbreaker to #1 seed Arizona. This post was also the first time the expression "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people" was found it print. Ronny Turiaf later used the description for Gonzaga -- when he was finishing his Senior year.
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DanDickau
Registered User
Posts: 1
(3/23/03 10:12:51 am)
Reply
The Fellas

Every once in awhile I would get on this website throughout the season to find out how things were going for the fellas. I obviously would talk to the guys and the coaches at times and they had their ups and downs because of the schedule and how every team absolutely gears up to play their best game against us especially in league. Zach and Winston showed tremendous heart and courage as seniors, too bad it had too end this way. These guys have shown tremendous heart and an appreciation for being a part of such an awesome program. Zach having been part of all five NCAA tournaments is and has been an integral part of the program. As seniors they have nothing to be ashamed, they are great friends of mine and am proud to have been their teammates. As for the other guys they all stepped up and made big plays when needed.

We played the Pacers tonight, but I was able to watch a few minutes before our game started, then had a friend here tape the second half and overtimes for me. I had heard updates throughout the game and found out we had lost by one in double ot, but I still went straight home and watched the tape. Funny thing is I caught myself yelling whenever one of the guys made a big play even when I knew the outcome of the game. The way they played was awesome and it made me appreciate and cherish my time at Gonzaga even more. You could say I was even jealous, not only of the guys because they were in such a great game, but of the amazing fans because I wanted to be there cheering my best friends on too.

This has been a post that has been all over the place, and I will probably never post again, because I am not big on computers.
Last night made me proud to be a ZAG!! I was so happy and proud of the way guys played, and am excited already to hear Coach Few prepare for next year. These guys were part of the best college game I ever saw.
"Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!"

Dan Dickau #21.

Edited to add the '00 post from Dickau's dad (while Dan was redshirting)


.Impressions of Gon ZAG a after one season?

"Love of the game" runs extraordinarily deep at GU. Player, excredible fans (The Kennel...WOW!), parents and coaches.
"Knowledge of the game" within the community is very high.
"Respect and appreciation" of what is required to achieve success. Ego drive, while necessary and valued, is consistenly held in-check for the good of the entire team This is unique in the "modern"era.) The word is TEAM. The "fit" is infinitely better at GU.
"Coaching". Honesty, effort, one-on-one attention is expected and received by the players. "Help me get better" is a request made of coaches which is responded to with enthusiasm. How refreshing! Comprehension of the term "Zag Material" is now complete and is a component of what make this program so special.
"Academic Expectations." 3.3 GPA "nuff said".
"The Dream" of an NCAA Championship is alive! 2001? 2002? However I must not get ahead of myself.
Why not 2000? "My teams on the floor!"
3D'sDD

DixieZag
03-28-2019, 05:47 AM
When I say GU is special, I know what I am talking about. It is a school that regardless of size is tight-knight and one big family. I've never gotten that feel from almost any other campus I have been on.'

Only thing different between the alum and the non-alum basketball fans is that the alum knew that basketball just "caught up" to what all was happening there before, not the other way around. It had a very special feel around the place, a "mission" even when basketball was nothing.

Now, basketball "matches" what we always knew.

webspinnre
03-28-2019, 06:51 AM
Top-notch thread, all around. I'd be delighted to some day end up living back in Spokane.

gueastcoast
03-28-2019, 07:07 AM
Only thing different between the alum and the non-alum basketball fans is that the alum knew that basketball just "caught up" to what all was happening there before, not the other way around. It had a very special feel around the place, a "mission" even when basketball was nothing.

Now, basketball "matches" what we always knew.

Nailed it. Great thread.

ZagsObserver
03-28-2019, 07:13 AM
Great thread, indeed. Thanks all

DixieZag
03-28-2019, 07:19 AM
Nailed it. Great thread.

I heard Few say the exact same thing in an interview - probably got it here, actually.

He was asked about the family atmosphere and such of the basketball team and his response, paraphrased, was that Gonzaga itself was special well beyond the basketball aspect, that the "family" feel of it all applies to everyone that hits campus. He said it didn't matter if one was a "Chemistry-guy" or an "education-guy" that it was all the same, that you were part of something much bigger than you.

I suspect that is what he was getting at when he kept talking about what a "special thing" they had going on there in the early 00's. Took a great deal of maturity from what was then still a very young man, and quite the vision, to see it fully play out.

ZagsObserver
03-28-2019, 07:57 AM
I love reading old historical accounts of Gonzaga and accompanying photos. I have an old book (Gonzaga Jubilee Collection - memoir from 1912), with several photos within its pages. It’s a book I can recommend.

It looks like there’s one listed on eBay as well:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gonzagas-Silver-Jubilee-a-memoir-1912-HB-280-pages-University-Washington/231891932752?hash=item35fdd61650:g:P7IAAOSwZ8ZW9y-N