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Monday, February 12, 2007

100 Year Banquet

I thought our readers might enjoy some of the details about the 100 year celebration that have been posted on various message boards. This write-up I particularly enjoyed:

Paul Tagliabue received an award for leadership that almost brought the former NFL commissioner to tears. The former Hoya team captain started off a general theme for the evening. He used a famous quote from former U.S. President John F. Kennedy by telling us not to ask what can Georgetown do for us alumni, but to ask what can we do for Georgetown. He complimented GU President Jack DeGioia and former coach John Thompson, the "Father" on their great vision and leadership. President DeGioia would then make a memorable speech about the history and the future of Georgetown basketball. Next, President DeGioia would surprise the crowd and induct Patrick Ewing, the Hoya Player of the Century, into the Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame. Patrick is the first men's basketball player to be inducted since Eric "Sleepy" Floyd. Patrick could not be inducted a year ago since his NBA coaching schedule made it impossible for him to come to the induction ceremony. Patrick was very emotional, thanking coach John Thompson, "the Father," for supporting him and helping him through all of the media attention when he entered college as a shy freshman many years ago. As a member of Generation Ewing it was truly an event to see Patrick's induction.
. . . .

The elder Thompson gave a truly inspiring talk. As those of us who have attended many men's basketball banquets know, he can speak well into the evening. He came straight to the point this evening. He told his family how much he loved them. He thanked everyone who worked with him at Georgetown over the years, especially Frank Rienzo, and former GU President Tim Healey, "the Big Irishman." He told his former players how he loved them as part of his family also. The coach joked about how he had been abusive to his players when they played for him. He asked them to understand that he was only doing what he thought was necessary to bring out the best in them as student-athletes. Coach Thompson has always been proud of the accomplishments of his former players not for basketball, but for what they had done for society and their communities: truly the mission of a Jesuit education. He continued the theme of the commissioner in telling his players that his one regret was that he never emphasized enough that they all needed to give back to Georgetown. There was passion in his voice as he stated that for those that could not give financially, they could also give time or service depending on their situation. He set the tone for the future saying that the University should serve as a power base for them. As they would give and help strengthen the University it would pay dividends back to them many times. Indeed he was proud of the education that they had received. He thanked President DeGioia for his friendship, and thanked former President Tim Healey, who is no longer with us, for "having his back"over time. He reminisced about calling former drug lord Rayful Edmond III into his office to tell him to stay away from his players. . . . He finished imploring the crowd that we needed to build an arena and improve our athletic facilities soon. He mentioned that we could not continue much longer in the prehistoric McDonough Arena. Moreover, he did not want his son to struggle with the same facility that he did for all of those years. It is truly an issue that our University must address.


Diamond_Mike said...

Oh, and a number of posters mentioned that Jeff was adament about returning for his senior year. At the end of the Marquette game, his mom told me the same.

Jester of Magellan said...

Two things. First, it's nice to see icons of the program pushing for a new facility, especially with DeGioiai in the room. Let's see if it pays any dividends.

Second, "his mom told [you] the same." You talked to Jeff's mom and didn't feel the need to report? You're as bad as the IBP.

IPB said...

That is even worse than my lack of reporting.

I am also glad that people actually spoke at the Sat. evening event.

The person I ran into at Chef Geoff's--who will go unnamed for purposes of preserving his anonymity, attended an exclusive, former players and coaches gathering on Fri. night and he told me he was disappointed that no one spoke. He also said that AD Muir was not at the Fri. gathering.

This facility thing is a no-brainer. I have not heard one inkling from DeGioia that this is high on his priority list. I am still incredibly disappointed that he elevated the MSF ahead of something so critical to the future of the program. I totally understand you have to follow the money from time to time and someone (or group of donors) dangled some money out for the MSF, but a lot of university priorities flow from those on top and DeGioia seems out to lunch on this one.

Diamond_Mike said...

Me: "We've got one more year of Jeff, right?"

JGM: "That's right. One more year!" (Holds up index finger.)

Guy behind me: "Jeff is going to get his degree!"

JGM: "That's right!"

Jester of Magellan said...

IBP, you're worried about preserving anonymity? What kind of reporter are you? Are you worried that you aren't going to get a Christmas card from him? Are you worried that he isn't going to grant you a follow up interview? C'mon!