The Colonial Commish on the CAA/A-10 Debate
Or non-debate, I guess. Colonial Commish Tom Yeager certainly did nothing to antagonize A-10 fans or officials. Very polite and respectful toward his Mid-Atlantic co-inhabitants.
"You can't measure anything without a multi-year comparison," he said. "It would be unfair to take a one-year snapshot. Last year I'd say we had a better year, but it's one out of 20. It goes back and forth. What we'd like to do is achieve the level of success that they've had over the long haul.
"We always set a goal of being a top-10 league. You immediately identify that there's six of those spots that are pretty perennial. [The BCS leagues.] Others are back and forth, but last year we made it. Our challenge is to come back and do it again. The A-10's perennially been there. Our goal is to get to that status, and we think it's a realistic goal, but we have to work hard and get some lucky breaks along the way."
Fine, they all love each other, I give up.
In other news, Yeager told me about his magic tie, a story that has probably been written up before and will be featured in the upcoming book on a year in the CAA by Michael Litos. The gist of the story is, on his way to Wichita for George Mason's bracket buster game at Wichita State last February, something happened to delay Yeager's luggage. He had traveled in a suit with no tie, and he needed to get to the game. So he rushed to the Marriott gift shop and bought the best match he could find, a $19 Italian silk in some sort of dark brick-red color, with little green and yellowish stripes providing the Mason love.
Mason, of course, won that game. Yeager wore the tie in Dayton, and Mason beat Michigan State and UNC. He wore the tie in D.C., and Mason beat Wichita and U-Conn. Players started rubbing the tie for good luck before they took the court and calling it "the magic tie." He hasn't worn it since the Final Four, and he won't wear it ever again. It's on a bookcase in his office, waiting to be framed. And he insists that it actually matched with the olive suit he was wearing in Wichita.
(And here's your John Feinstein update: he showed up, just in time for lunch, and asked if I wanted to sit at his table. I explained that I had to run and post something, anything, on my blog.
"Thank God I'm not living your life," he said.)
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