Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where's the Party?

Mike Lonergan addresses season-ticket holders

Colonials' season-ticket holders were treated to a sneak peak at this year's team (at least some of it) earlier tonight, as part of the men's basketball ticket pickup party at GW's Smith Center. Forgive me for sounding ungrateful, but this turned out to be one party I wish I had missed.

Harsh words for a free event (one with food even) but hear me out. Doors opened five minutes early for the event. Upon entering, I was greeted with my season tickets (the main reason for coming) and a free food ticket. The food station would open in a few minutes, so I was invited to take a seat in the gym and come back later for food. No problemo; I was anxious to see some basketball. The crowd inside was sparse (less than two dozen) and no players/coaches were on the court yet. Conspicuously absent were any signs of a party... No cheerleaders, students, music, nada. Eventually, assistant coach (and DeMatha alum) Pete Strickland spoke to the crowd, alerting us of an earlier practice and study hall conflict that would limit the evening's schedule. Again, no problemo. Coach Strickland was gracious and informative... above and beyond if you ask me.

With a lull in the action, I decided to trek out and get some food. As I arrived at the concessions table, I noticed several fans with two hot dogs on their plates (including some guy just in front of me.) The setup was pretty simple. Buffet style (serve yourself) dogs, bottled water and cans of soda. I politely asked the food attendant if it was OK to have two dogs... Big mistake. The food attendant looked genuinely annoyed at my question, and offered the surly reply 'It's up to you.' Needless to say, I took just one and went back to my seat. I understand it's free, but I'd prefer nothing versus bad or indifferent service. P.S. I couldn't help but notice several more fans returning with two hot dogs, after I sat down.

Back to the court, where head coach Mike Lonergan greeted a slow-growing audience. He apologized for not having a full crew of players, but was enthusiastic to discuss (in detail) those who were there. I liked (former head coach) Karl Hobbs, but you can really "feel the love" from coach Lonergan... I'm predicting big improvements on last year's 10-21 team.

I didn't stick around for Q&A with coaches and players... To be honest, I was a little disappointed. Perhaps it makes more sense to focus on Colonials Invasion, and skip the ticket pickup party next season. Thankfully, the season gets under way next week (Saturday, November 3rd) when the Colonials host Catholic University for a 2:00 PM exhibition.