Stand Up and Cheer

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

IMG_1455.jpegThe crowd at Majerle’s Sports Bar had to wonder where these green-and-white-clad goofballs came from. Goodyear, Ariz., to the best of my knowledge, does not have an Ohio University alumni chapter. Yet the ruckus that arose with each made basket or Georgetown turnover had a way of enveloping the otherwise inane chatter taking place at 5 p.m. on a Thursday at the local watering hole.

Indians media relations director (and OU grad) Bart Swain had seven of his old college buddies in town, and it was my pleasure to accompany them to root on our beloved Bobcats.

Now, I don’t throw around the word “beloved” loosely. Because if you want to know the truth, OU is a drinking school, not a school in which the students routinely rally around the athletic squads. I’d say that the majority of my fellow OU grads are “fair-weather fans,” except we really haven’t had all that much fair weather to speak of in our sporting history.

However, the gentlemen I was surrounded by at Majerle’s, I’m happy to report, were true fans. Any time you see a guy rocking a Gary Trent jersey, you know you’re in good company. And any time you’re sitting next to a guy who can actually tell you, without batting an eyelash, the name of Ohio’s all-time assists leader (Dennis Whitaker), you know you’re surrounded by Bobcat brilliance.

We were bonded there together, rooting for 15-point underdogs and expecting the worst, hoping for the best, and taking solace in the fact that an OU team that was a No. 9 seed in its own conference tourney even made it to the Big Dance.

We reached a point, with about two minutes left in the first half and OU leading by double digits, where Swain summed up the events of the past hour perfectly.

“Is this happening?”

And it kept happening. It got a little too close for comfort around the five-minute mark, and I’m hazy on the exact details as to how OU managed to hold off the Hoyas (did I mention OU is a drinking school?). But somehow, it happened. What has to rank as the greatest moment in OU athletic history (like I said… not much to speak of here) happened.

So this one’s not just for the OU alumni, as a whole, but for those of us who actually did live and die with the athletic results or, at the least, acknowledge the existence of the teams during our time on Court Street … err… campus.

ohio.jpgThis one’s for my buddy Brad, who invented “The Claw” (think of the Florida State “Tomahawk Chop,” only much more lame).

This one’s for me, who had to somehow manage to write an unbiased game story for the school paper after Jason Grunkemeyer broke my heart with a last-second three-pointer to oust the ‘Cats from the MAC tourney semifinals in 2001.

This one’s for my buddy Jon, who was writing for the local Athens paper that same night and threw all down-the-middle journalistic decorum aside when he wrote the lead, “Bring me the head of Jason Grunkemeyer.”

This one’s for all of us who are proud to correct people and say, “No, OU, not Ohio State,” when we are asked about our alma mater.

And if I may get a little bit sentimental, this one’s for my buddy Dan Lowe, who is looking down and loving this.

OU? Oh yeah. We are a drinking school, sure. But for the first time in my lifetime, we’re drinking in a tourney win.

~AC

16 Comments

Well done, Anthony. What a great game… I’m an old Bobcat (’84) and I watched the game with my seven-year-old, who then went to bed hugging her stuffed bobcat. Love OU, love Athens…sure would love to be on Court Street about now!

Keep up the good work – and keep dropping in the Boss references…excellent!

Tom Rickard

Well done! The Chicago Alumni Group also enjoyed watching from Crossroads Bar in Chicago. Go Tribe and Go Bobcats!

CLASS OF 78 ! A lot to cheer about , moved and married 1st time to New Orleans in 2000. Love Browns in AFC , Saints in NFC, have Bobcats and Manny Acta working on Championship ! Sitll , love and miss Super Joe Charboneau! I also miss Dr. Maung Gyi! Ang of course the Shadow at the Union Bar.

Class of ’98! Stuck on the west coast, I had to watch it online, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it was a non-stop messaging party with my friends from college.
Rexlibris, they don’t sell Schiltz at the Union anymore! It’s a tragedy!
I read this column aloud to my wife, AC. At the very least, I think it gave her a greater appreciation for OU. Her Gauchos take on OSU tomorrow!

I think the best part about that story is you were living it up at a bar owned by a Central Michigan grad…

Go Bobcats! ’08 grad, Cleveland born and bred. Where is the watch party on Saturday in/around Cleveland?

it is good game, and it doesn’t matter who win just enjoy price papers after it

it is good game, and it doesn’t matter who win just enjoy price papers after it

Now that the weekend is over, when people say “Oh, a Buckeye, huh?”
You should just reply, “Yup! Absolutely, go bucks!”
OU=lucky shooters for one game, big losers the next.
OSU=Consistent talented teams with big name talent.
Too bad you didnt graduate from Washington, Northern Iowa, Cornell, or St. Mary’s!

Do you represent the Admission essays? Your releases referring to this post can be great.

I think the best part about that story is you were living it up at a bar owned by a Central Michigan grad… google adwords promotional code

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