John Thompson quizzes John Thompson
In Joseph "The Ubiquitous Driving Cap" White's Georgetown-Connecticut game story, he included the following exchange between John Thompsons during the post-game press conference:
Thompson's Hall of Fame father, who was sitting in the back of the room, then chimed in, pointing out that his son has won four regular-season titles -- including three at Princeton -- in seven years as head coach.
"You seem to be more excited today than I've ever seen you after winning a championship," the elder Thompson said. "You seem to be more emotional."
"The first one I think I was the most excited, when we won at Princeton when we beat Penn," the son replied. "But today, yeah, I was a little excited out there today. Yeah, I was excited, Pops."
"So excited," Pops said, "that you're going to take your old man to a real good restaurant?"
This was a regular occurrence throughout the season: Thompson Jr. would sneak into the back corner of the Verizon Center interview room, lean on a counter behind the TV cameras, and as the press conference was winding down, he'd ask a question. They were the types of questions that could've come from any of the assorted media types, though they wouldn't have sounded as good without that distinctive deep delivery. And they probably wouldn't have been as funny.
After Georgetown beat Notre Dame, Thompson Jr. asked his son if the Hoyas made a point of getting out and pushing the ball against the Irish -- "none of that Princeton [bad word]." He then added, as his son laughed, "No offense to Princeton, of course." After Thompson III asked a reporter to identify his affiliation during the post-Marquette presser, Thompson Jr. prefaced his own question with, "SportsTalk 980."
There is, of course, an explanation behind all of the father's questions. (Surely he has better access to Thompson III than the rest of us reporters.)
"I'm superstitious," Thompson Jr. said. (Like father, like son.) "I tell John, I've always got to ask you something. Ever since I've been doing this, you've been winning. I try to wait for the very last [question] and then I ask something."
But that tradition has come to an end. Thompson Jr. will be in New York for the Big East tournament, but he doesn't plan on crashing those press conferences.
"Nah, they won't let me," he said.
Then he paused, as if he suddenly remembered that: 1. as a radio host, he is an actual member of the media; 2. he is the father of the coach of the Big East champion; and 3. he is only one of the seminal figures in all of college basketball.
"I could get credentials," he said. "But I won't. I'll do [the questioning] at home."
March 6, 2007; 10:15 AM ET
Categories: College Basketball
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