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Americans Fans Say "Welcome to Hell"

The night my daughter was born, I was called away from a Patriot League quarterfinal game at Bender Arena. The following year, I took her to the Patriot League final, her first live sporting event. So last Friday, of course I had to make it two years in a row with the little one.

When we walked in the door, American trailed 9-8. That was erased by a 9-0 run. Garrison Carr hit a three-pointer somewhere in there, the crowd went crazy, and my daughter began pointing at the exit.


So that was pretty much it for my league title game joy, but I watched it on TV, and there were plenty of highlights.

Those kids paying tribute to freshman forward Stephen Lumpkins with the "Lumpkin Patch" shirts featuring large orange pumpkins, for example. Or when the play-by-play guy announced "A pretzel came flying down from the stands!" while explaining a stoppage. Or the fact that American has the second-longest winning streak in the country after Memphis. All highlights.

Or, especially, the Welcome to HELL sign right behind the American bench that the TV cameras, obtusely, went out of their way to avoid. I mean, Tenleytown is mattress chains and Radio Shack and CVS and that place that used to be called Krupin's. Is "Welcome to HELL" really so off the mark?

I've been trying to figure out if I should go to Philly for American's game on Thursday or just stay here and watch Maryland on TV. Probably the latter, though I might point out that well before American's name flashed on the screen last night the pep band started playing the theme song to "Rocky." My daughter's birth, the theme to Rocky, the Carr Bomb t-shirts....all these things can't be ignored, readership surveys be danged.

Also, that special copy of The Eagle? The one with the "Back-To-Back!" headline, that fluttered all over the Bender Arena court, that Derrick Mercer held up for the cameras, that was featured in ESPN's championship week highlight package yesterday? The lede, by David Aldridge, was fairly good. "The tale," he wrote, "as it so often does among men, began with meat."

(Observe the product placement here. American Eagle, get it? That kid's mother must be so proud.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2009; 3:47 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Non-NCAA Teams Face Exciting Month
Next: Local Poll Ends: It's VCU!


of course you should go to Philly! Its all but local and I know there will be a large contingent of American fans there (unlike last year). Plus, playoff beards.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 17, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, I remember my first visit to Tenleytown as a freshman. "I guess this is the mattress district. Awesome."

Go AU! I'd love to hear the Wachovia Center turn against the home team.

Posted by: Brett19 | March 17, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

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