Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Don't You (Forget About Drexel, Delaware And Towson)

The Flying Dutchmen football team hasn’t even taken the field at Shuart Stadium yet, but men’s hoops was on the brain at Defiantly Dutch HQ Monday night as the letter notifying us of season ticket renewals landed in our mailbox.

After last year’s drastic hike, ticket prices as well as the number of home games (13) remained the same this year: $195 for premium tickets and $130 for reserved tickets without a Pride Club membership, $146 and $97 with one. Of course, the only way to get the Pride Club discount is to donate a minimum of $100, so technically you’re spending more money than you’d save in order to get said discount. Or I could be wrong. If I was smart enough to take more than one Economics class at Hofstra, you think I’d be a sportswriter for a “living?”

I’d like to thank Hofstra for not raising prices again, but really, with the hoops team coming off a 12-18 season and the economy more shredded than Tom Brady’s left knee, it’s not like the decision-makers had a choice. Maybe one of those guys coming to Hofstra next month can do something about improving the latter, if not the former.

(Random thought: Remember when Jay Wright and Tom Pecora used to have a faculty guest at the end of the bench? I think this tradition should return in modified for the CAA home opener, when the loser in November gets to watch Tom toe the do-not-cross line for 40 minutes. Get this done, Hofstra!)

Anyway, there were two particularly amusing/interesting sentences in the letter signed by Pecora and Jack Hayes. In the opening paragraph, they note that “Over the last four years the Pride has averaged over 20 wins…”

It’s not fuzzy math, per se, because while I don’t know enough about economics to weekend at the Hamptons, I’m smart enough to know that 21+26+22+12/4 = 20.25. But it’s also a more concise and positive way to say: “Over the last four years, the Flying Dutchmen won 21, 26, 22 and 12 games.”

At least they didn’t go Disco Stu on us and completely disregard the last two years. Though I’d like to see Pecora decked out in his ‘70s best as he uttered the following: “Did you know that Hofstra’s victories were up 325 percent for the year ending 2006-07? If these trends continue…heyyyyyyyyyy!!”

The second sentence of the third paragraph, though, reconfirmed the essence of our very existence here at Defiantly Dutch. Wrote Pecora and Hayes: “CAA rivals Old Dominion, UNC Wilmington and Virginia Commonwealth will highlight the home conference schedule.”

That, too, is technically true: Old Dominion, UNC Wilmington and VCU are in fact CAA rivals. Those three schools are among the seven that Hofstra plays home and away every season as well as among the perennial powers in the CAA. And I think the 2007 NIT birthed a legitimate rivalry between Hofstra and Old Dominion.

But OCU, UNC Wilmington and VCU aren’t the rivals to anyone who watched Hofstra hoops prior to the 2001 season. The rivals, as far as those of us are concerned, are Drexel, Delaware and Towson—the schools that have accompanied Hofstra from the ECC to the NAC (albeit a couple years before Hofstra took the leap) to the CAA.

They, too, are among the seven schools Hofstra plays twice a season. And they’re the teams fans look forward to seeing the most. It’s Drexel who reminds us of thrashings at the PFC, courtesy of the Shaq of the NAC…it’s Delaware who reminds us of the “no time for Blue Hens” chants and the abject joy of storming the court after consecutive America East title game victories (as well as Wayne Chrebet’s brilliant final collegiate game)…and it’s Towson who reminds us of the upset victory in the ECC title game that may have knocked Hofstra out of the NIT in 1992 (plus the win in football in 1994 that ended Hofstra’s unbeaten season and its I-AA playoff hopes).

And guess what? Even without those Generation X-specific memories, Drexel, Delaware and Towson represent Hofstra’s most traditional non-metro basketball rivals. In fact, Hofstra has played more games against Drexel (66) and Delaware (65) than anyone else. Towson (48 games) is Hofstra’s fifth-most frequent opponent behind Manhattan (56) and Wagner (49).

I’m sure there was no ill intent behind the letter. And maybe those who authored it figured ODU, UNC-Wilmington and VCU bring the most name recognition to Hofstra…which, of course, would further embolden my initial theory that the school’s athletic history isn’t as appreciated as it should be.

Maybe that’s changing, though. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.


Stormy said...

Would you like to see what it costs us to purchase tickets to HALF of UConn's home games??

I'm pretty sure we won't be taking advantage of that offer this year.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, Jerry. Some of us grizzled Hofstra veterans remember when Drexel and Michael Anderson [who had a cup of Gatorade in the NBA] beat us in the ECC final to earn the right to get destroyed by eventual champion Louisville in the 1986 NCAA tournament.
Good times.
And enough said about those blue-and-gold Blue Hens. . .