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An Open Letter to Marquette Students on Senior Night

Dear Marquette Student:

As you should know, tonight is Senior Night for YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles' men's basketball team.  With any luck (PLEASE NO NIT PLEASE NO NIT), this is the last time you'll see Jimmy Butler, Joe Fulce, Dwight Buycks, and Rob Frozena on the floor at the Bradley Center.  And it would be awful neat if there were a whole bunch of people -- and a whole bunch of their classmates -- in attendance to give the fellas a proper send-off.

Now, I'm not going to berate you about the pathetic showing during last Sunday's game vs. Providence, a game that was critical to your team's once-flickering hopes of an NCAA tournament bid.  Instead, I'm going to look to the future.  And to make my point as succinctly as possible, I'm going to paraphrase this exchange between Reuben and Linus from Ocean's Eleven, with me taking Reuben's lines and you, Marquette student, taking Linus's:

ME: You're a Marquette student. From McCormick. It's nice there, do you like it?
YOU: Yeah.
ME: That's wonderful. Get in the goddamn Bradley Center.

Still need convincing?  Fine.  I'll continue to twist arms, after the jump.

"But Rubie," you protest, "I've got things going on tonight, and the game is really going to crimp my skeddy."

Let's address your concerns, sez I, and stop using that youngster speak to try to confuse me.

It's a school night.

It's a seven o'clock tip.  College basketball games generally take two hours to complete.  After the game is done, there will be a ceremony for the seniors.  Buzz will speak for 5 minutes.  Jimmy will talk for three.  Joe will, too, and so will Dwight and Rob.  Add in the clapping, and you're looking at another 30 minutes.  In sum, then, we're talking about two-and-a-half hours.

This is shorter than the runtime of Avatar. This is just as long as the most recent Harry Potter vehicle.  This is about 15 minutes longer than the latest installment of the flarking Teen Erotica Extravaganza that is the Twilight series.

Point is: if you have time to watch the werewolf guy who can never find a shirt and the pouty-eyed vampire who, for some reason, doesn't combust when he's exposed to sunlight, you have time to watch this game.  Capiche?

I've got a test tomorrow.

Two things: you've got a BIGGER test tonight, in a class called "Shut Up The Alums Who Think You're Spoiled Shits Who Only Show Up For Games Against Top 10 Teams."  And, two: if you're not at all prepared for the test right now, that means (a) you haven't been reading the book, or (b) you haven't been going to the class, or (c) both.  You're not going to remedy those issues in the two-and-a-half hours that you're going to spend at the game, especially not when you've got one eye on the fifteenth Exclusive Charlie Sheen Interview that's aired this week.

It's just Cincinnati.

In case you're unable to work the scroll function on your mouse and can't page down three inches, here's BrewTownAndy's piece on the history of Marquette - Cincinnati.  Come tonight and stand up for the kid who had to call Kenyon Martin "Mr. Martin."  Come and stand up for Donald Little's roommate.  Come and stand up for Buttercup, which I presume to be the name of the police horse that Bearcats' center Art Long (allegedly) brutalized.  And come and stand up for Cordell Henry's battered nuts.

There's plenty of Hate there, younglings.  Tap in and drink deep.

This team has broken my heart too many times this season.

Listen: on a level, I get this.  The Run of Doom in Louisville took three years off my life and changed my blood-pressure situation from "slightly concerning" to "potentially life-threatening."  The blown leads against Notre Dame and UConn and Georgetown were damn aggravating, too. The game against St. John's ... doesn't need to be discussed anymore.  Everybody saw what happened.

And yet, at the same time: my child, you don't know pain until you've watched your team participate in a LAYUP contest during Marquette Madness because there was NO ONE -- no exaggeration -- on the floor who could actually dunk the ball.  You don't know pain until you watch Louisville press your team for forty minutes when they're up 50 because you lost your only point guard a week before.  You don't know pain until you watch an overmatched power forward try to dribble the ball up the court in a home loss to Western Michigan in the NIT.  And most of all, you don't know pain if you don't remember Bob Dukiet.

Point is: this year has had its share of heartbreak, but, all in all, it's not that bad, and it's certainly not bad enough to keep you from the game entirely.

When you think about it, this is the least you can do.  So: get your ass to the BC and make a lot of noise, and maybe I'll make Admiral Ackbar, S.J. buy you a beer outside section 220. (Proper ID required, of course.)

Don't let us down.

Yours in His name (and by His, of course, I mean Jimmy Butler),