Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12 Links

I’ll be honest—I haven’t been paying much attention to the Twins lately, even with Spring Training starting. Some of you may be shocked by this, and some may even question how much I care about the Twins. I mean, for Gardy’s sake, I spent last summer interning for the Twins Geek and liked it enough to sign up for a second season. And yet, I really haven’t been paying that much attention. It’s kind of crazy, I know, but I think I have a pretty good reason: the Georgetown Hoyas.

When I first set foot on Georgetown’s campus, the basketball team was led by Craig Esherick, the successor to Hall of Fame coach John Thompson, Jr., and a pretty mediocre coach. The team had made the Sweet Sixteen in 2001, had missed the tournament the year before I got there, and would miss it again my freshman year. And then the bottom really fell out, as the Hoyas finished dead last in the Big East, missed the NCAA Tournament and NIT, snapping a string of postseason invitations stretching back to the early 1970s.

For a team that had been feared in the 1980s by dominating the Big East and making three NCAA title games (winning one) in four years, it was the breaking point. Think the Twins in 1999, right down to the Athletic Department arguing they couldn’t compete due to a lack of resources and discussions about moving (to a lesser conference).

That all changed when John Thompson III was hired to replace Esherick. Following in his father’s footsteps, he quickly turned around the program, giving #1 Duke their first loss last year and reaching the Sweet Sixteen, falling to eventual champion Florida. But that wasn’t enough for him—with the core of his team returning, the Hoyas dominated the Big East this year, winning 11 straight games in conference and grabbing the regular season title. Then, after they survived a furious comeback from Villanova in the first round and Notre Dame’s best game, they took it to the only other contender to the title of “Best Team in the Big East”, throttling Pitt 65-42. After 18 years of futility (I was five the last time they had won the conference, in 1989) the Hoyas are once again the undisputed champions of the conference they helped found.

And so, for the first time ever, I’m not paying attention to Spring Training (and by that, I mean I’m only reading a few sites and articles, instead of all of them). This Hoyas team is special, much like the Twins have been since 2002. They are a team that emphasizes the fundamentals, valuing every possession, playing tough defense and always exuding class. So, if you’re looking for a team to pull for this year, take a long hard look at Georgetown—this is a team that’s not only wins, they do it the right way—by respecting the game and their opponent, much like the Twins do.

And now, for the links (trust me—they’re about the Twins):

  • After the success of the Vikings blog (which you might describe in a different way after reading the comments), the Star Tribune has rolled out three different blogs for the Twins, one on the Twins written by LeVelle E. Neal, one on the majors by Joe Christenson and A Fan’s View from Section 220, penned by Bat-Girl commentor Ron Davis. I’m sure these will join the many Twins blogs that I now consider “must reads” (A number that is actually quite high, and why I feel like I’m not paying very much attention to the Twins when I only read a few of them).
  • Even with that said, Pulling a Blyleven isn’t so sure they like the trend of newspapers starting up blogs.
  • This one’s about basketball, but it turns out I’m not the only one focused on March Madness.
  • Finally, if you’re wondering how your favorite Twins are going to do this year, make sure you head over to Twinkie Town and check out their projections. They’ve already projected 8 of the players, and add a new one daily.

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