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How to Get Your School on National TV

Score one for the guys at Gonzaga High. The District Catholic high school should be proud today of its students who last night used a bedsheet and some old-fashioned ingenuity to get their message in front of a national audience.

The message was simple: "Go Gonzaga! Beat St. John's!" The venue: center field of RFK Stadium during last night's Nationals-Braves game. The game was stopped mid-inning when Atlanta catcher Brian McCann complained that a banner made of a white sheet was obstructing his view because someone had managed to hang the thing on the centerfield wall directly in the catcher's line of sight.

So the nationwide audience watching Jon Miller and Joe Morgan's coverage on ESPN got a couple of close-up looks at the sign, Miller read the sign to millions of viewers, and the stadium crowd got to watch as the RFK crew took what seemed like forever to pull the thing off the wall.

Fabulous. In these days when schools impose absurd zero tolerance regulations governing everything from aspirin to nail files to even the most creative and benign of pranks, it's always a glorious moment when kids get away with anything remotely clever or rule-bending. So three cheers to the Gonzaga guys who pulled this off--and guys, if you email me with your names, address and the pertinent info that confirms that you are the pranksters, I will send you a small prize from the Raw Fisher Swag Pile in recognition of your achievement. I'll of course be happy to withhold your names from publication, or give you full credit, as you wish.

By Marc Fisher |  April 24, 2006; 12:19 PM ET
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Comments

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I was in the car when this happened, and Dave Jagelar initially thought it was a reference to Gonzaga University in Spokane. Someone (Charlie Slowes?) must have dropped him a note explaining it was Gonzaga High. Out-of-towner.

Posted by: Vincent | April 24, 2006 1:12 PM

Gonzaga always comes up with the best in school pride. In 1995 at a Skins game there was a sign that read the same as the one last night, and Wilbon wrote an article about it. My Dad's class at gonzaga made the washington monument purple in 1971 or 1970. They just better beat Saint Johns.

Class of 02

Posted by: Former eagle | April 24, 2006 2:26 PM

Marc, Marc, Marc,
Gonzaga can hang banners from now 'til doomsday, but they still won't have the national notariety of DeMatha, which is known and revered nationwide for its accomplishments ON the field, not on the walls surrounding it.

Posted by: DeMatha-a real school | April 24, 2006 2:50 PM

too bad that dematha sucks

Posted by: danny | April 24, 2006 2:58 PM

During the long rain delay on Friday, I spent some time exploring the concourses and I know exactly where they went to deploy the sign. It wouldn't have been difficult to do at all with a little advance planning, unless they somehow find a spare security guard to patrol that space full-time now.

Posted by: Cosmo | April 24, 2006 3:43 PM

sounds like a fun stunt.

any pics of the monument being turned purple?

Posted by: bs | April 24, 2006 5:14 PM

there is also a legendary story of gonzaga seniors climbing the doom of the capitol before the days of xray machines to drop four 30 foor banners out of the windows - flanking all directions of dc with purple letters spelling out the five words that define the greatest rivalry in the swamp land of washington: go gonzaga beat st. johns

Posted by: mike 01 | April 24, 2006 6:52 PM

Here's a picture of the banner:
http://tinyurl.com/fxsmh

Posted by: dl004d | April 25, 2006 10:01 AM

"danny" (Apr.24) must be a Gonzaga grad, if the snappiest comeback he could muster was "too bad dematha sucks". And his Caps key is broken also. Poor boy!

Posted by: English Teacher | April 27, 2006 10:29 AM

Go St. John's! Beat Gonzaga!

'86 SJC grad

Posted by: Johnny Mop | April 27, 2006 12:08 PM

I went to St John's, and would of graduated in 1985, but moved away. More power to whoever thought this up. But, Gonzaga still sucks.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | May 5, 2006 6:58 PM

The one comment concerning DeMatha's superior athletic program over Gonzaga's may be accurate yes, but it does not bring into account the school's reputation.

DeMatha is not as distinguished in its academic pursuits as Gonzaga. While DeMatha was ranked by Sports Illustrated as the #2 high school athletic program in the country, DeMatha does not have a majority of its graduates attending schools like Harvard, University of Virginia, Boston College, and Yale.

And while Gonzaga may not have as many titles as DeMatha in the most notable sports - football and basketball - it is still recognized nationally for its performance in several other sports - including ranked nationally for seven years in rugby. Also do not downplay the fact that Gonzaga is consistently ranked in the top 20 in the Washington Post as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2006 9:29 PM

HAVEBEEN ON AND OFF THE FOOTBALL FIELD IN THIS RIVALRY IN THE 70'S ,AND BACK THEN GONZAGA WAS A VERY POOR OPPONENT. USSUALLY COULDNT MUSTER UP MANY POINTS WHEN WE PALYED THEM . USSUALLY WE ALWAYS CLOBBERED THEM. BASICALLY GONZAGA IS ALL TALK WHEN IT COMES TO SCHOOL RIVALRY. THERE A PITTENS IF YOU WANT TO CALL THEM FOOTBALL PLAYERS. SAINT JOHNS NUMBER ONE ALWAYS!!!!

Posted by: O'BRIEN , ST.JOHN'S 77 | July 3, 2006 3:58 PM

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