I started writing this on the morning of the 2017 men’s basketball national championship game, excited yet cautiously hopeful that Gonzaga would pull off a miraculous victory against North Carolina. When the game got out of hand in the last few minutes, I thought I’d never post this – but I didn’t delete the draft. Now, in July, close enough to the midway point between the end of the 2016-17 season and the beginning of the 2017-18 season, I’m going to click “publish,” as part of my duties of #Zag4Lyfe.
Also: the photo at the top is from when the Zags won the 2008-09 regular-season WCC title, and it was taken on an iPhone 3G, so please excuse the terrible quality.
Enjoy this nostalgia trip.
I only spent a year and a half at Gonzaga University – from September 2008 to December 2009 – but the entities that positively influenced my time there are with me to this day, and I thought it only right to salute these deserved people, places, and experiences.
This is for you, weekly scrambles during the preseason to find out which channel the Gonzaga basketball games were on, and then figuring out if the campus-provided cable lineup carried it.
To watch parties at the COG, where Peachy Kay was overjoyed to swipe you in, and watching the Zags fight valiantly but eventually lose to Michigan State, because on this day, the Izzone had the honor of cheering their team to victory.
To Jeremy Pargo, Josh Heytvelt, Austin Daye, Micah Downs, and Matt Bouldin, the first starting lineup I ever knew.
To everyone who camped out for games against St. Mary’s or Wake Forest or whatever game was deemed big enough for the Sunday afternoon ticket distribution to come with a tent number and the promise of better seats if you were only willing to brave the elements.
To the Kennel, which was first a sanctuary for preserving the Gonzaga home win streak, but remains one of the most formidable places to play in the country.
To the Spokesman-Review article posted behind the counter at Ultimate Bagel immortalizing Dan Monson’s 1998-99 squad and the Zags’ first trip to the Elite Eight.
To our fearless leader Dave (who in a bureaucratic intervention later became “Mr. Fague”) and the rest of the pep band; to blasting “The Impression I Get” and “Hey Baby” and “American Idiot” (and never speaking of times past where “Sweet Caroline” was a mainstay in our repertoire).
To being a Cinderella for so long, and suddenly not.
Thank you for the brief time I shared a campus with you, Gonzaga men’s basketball, and for the continued enjoyment from afar, from then to now and for years to come.