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Why I Like Georgetown, Part I: Jeff Green's Mom

Dan Steinberg here. This will kick off my three-part pre-Final Four series on why I like Georgetown, for those with lingering doubts on this matter. There are two problems with each of my three parts:

1) They're extremely dated, and are therefore already 100 percent familiar to Georgetown fans.

2) They've all been written up by SI.com's Luke Winn, who has apparently decided that he wouldn't mind having a blog that focuses exclusively on offbeat items concerning the Georgetown Hoyas. What a jerk. For the record, though, I came by all three items honestly, and only later discovered that each had been Winned.

Anyhow, Jeff Green's Mom:

If you're a basketball blogger determined not to actually write about basketball, the very first thing that strikes you at any Georgetown home game is the "Jeff Green's Mom" chants. They're incessant. Lull in action, students turn toward the grown folks, waive arms, yell "Jeff Green's Mom," work themselves into a frenzy, and won't stop until they've been acknowledged by Jeff Green's Mom, at which point they go nuts. Then they chill out for about 20 seconds. Then the process starts again.

And what does Jeff Green's mom make of all this?

"Oh, she loves it," said Mia Young, Jeff Green's Sister. "It makes her feel like she's a superstar. She likes the attention. She loves the attention."

I asked Mia what she does when the cheers begin. "I'm like, 'JEFF GREEN'S MOM!,'" she said.

I should note that I talked to Mia and fam after the Pitt game, while students were stampeding in the concourse, yelling things like "Pitt [does things that can't be printed in a family newspaper]!" And at this point, my interview was interrupted by D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, who approached Jeff Green's Mom, chatted for several minutes and offered his congratulations.

[Blog Interruption: At the AU-Colgate Patriot League tourney game, which I never blogged about, the AU Blue Crew and pep band handed out a cheer sheet. Samples:

A - U

If the Colgate Players are dribbling shout "bounce, bounce, bounce"

If the Colgate Players are passing shout "pppppppppaaaaaaaaasssssssss"

SIMON SAYS....BRICK!!!!*

* Jon Simon is their best player

I mean, I don't care if she's in Lithuania, they'd be better served chanting "Arvyda Eitutavicius's Mom" than any of that dreck.]

Anyhow, once Fenty left, I got my interview with Jeff Green's Mom, aka Felicia Akingube, who happily told me the oft-told tale: that, during Jeff's freshman year she carried a sign that said "Jeff Green's Mom #32," and that students started the cheer, and that she therefore had no choice but to acknowledge them, and that things just developed from there.

"I love em," she said. "How many kids are there, a thousand or so? Those are all my babies."

I asked about the cheer's timing; "that's on them," she said. "Whenever they do it, I fall in line. I stand up and blow 'em kisses."

And I asked why other parents weren't similarly serenaded; "I guess they're not as lively as I am," she said.

Students also shower Jeff Green's Mom with Hoya swag; she's left games with their Georgetown caps, their Georgetown towels, their Georgetown pompoms, their Georgetown signs and their Georgetown hard hats. Usually, you'll note, Jeff Green's Mom is sitting next to Jeff Green's Aunt, Vivian Stallion, who also wears a 32 jersey and is constantly mistaken for Jeff Green's Mom, at every game. I asked her if she's ever received a "Jeff Green's Aunt" chant, and she said no, she had not.

"They only recognize the mom," she said. "They don't even recognize the dad."

And so I figured I needed to ask Jeff Green's Dad why that is.

"That's a good question," Jeff Green Sr. said. "We're gonna write that to the Georgetown students. I asked Coach Thompson that, why they don't cheer for me. He laughed. She's the one."

At this point, an older Georgetown fan fan approached us and hugged Jeff Green's Mom.

"You see?" Jeff Green's Dad said. "Nobody knows me."

"Because I'm cute and he's not," Jeff Green's Mom said.

"Maybe that's what it is," Jeff Green's Dad said. "Because most all the ones who are cheering are male students. That might be what it is."

As to her prominence, her visibility, her regular swaddles in the enveloping throaty soundwaves of Hoya Paranoia, insiders are not surprised.

"She's cool with it, so we're cool with it," Roy Hibbert said. "My mom likes to be in the corner, not too crazy. Jeff's mom is out there waving pompoms."

"I don't know, she has a lot of energy," Jeff Green said.

"They loved her in high school, too," Jeff Green's Dad said. "She just draws people to her. That's what it is."

Jeff Green's mom admitted that occasionally she has to be reminded to stand and wave, that sometimes she's so wrapped up in her emotions that the moment almost passes her by, until someone points out that the students are calling for her. But she did admit that, as her family members insisted, she loves the attention.

"What parent wouldn't love it?" Jeff Green's Mom said. "As long as his grades are good and he's doing good in school, I love it. Now, it's time for me to go to the garage and hold this up," she said, gesturing to her "Beat Pitt" sign. "They're all gonna honk their horns. Why not? Why not?"

Indeed, why not. Anyhow, before they left, Jeff Green's Dad added a final word: "Make sure you put in there that I'm mad," he told me.

So there ya go. Requesting at least one "Jeff Green's Dad" chant at the Final Four.

NBC4 Podcast, which beat me to the story

Milwaukee Blog, which didn't linger on the mom chants but should have

DCist, live from the White House, wondering why people were chanting Jeff Green's Mom

Luke Winn, crushing me

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 30, 2007; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Comments

Dan, thanks for a nice piece. As one of your chief antagonists I suppose I could give you some grief for finally getting on board with what many of us have known since November, but I'm in a good mood today and happy to see yu taking some of our comments to heart.

So I'll just leave it at thanks.

Posted by: Thin Man | March 30, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Just to point out After the Hoyas won the Big East Tournament tons of hoyas took over cafe 31 next to MSG. Jeff Green's family was there. The Jeff Green's Mom cheer was broken out. Then Jeff Green's Dad asked for a cheer for him and he was quickly obliged. We really should try and do one during a game though.

Posted by: Peter Keszler | March 30, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I love when Steinz starts with "Dan Steinberg here." Gets me everytime.

Also, cheer sheets are for dorks.

Posted by: Jamie Mottram | March 30, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

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