Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

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Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by Rob's Jacket on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:34 am

Gonzaga week always seems to bring out my worst side academically and socially. I'm trying to read about the history of Imperial Russia, and I can't focus worth a damn because I'm thinking about the game. I avoid anyone from Spokane and anyone wearing Gonzaga apparel, and I regret that a significant number of my Facebook friends are Zags. Rolling Eyes

I get asked a lot why the Pilots and the Gonzaga game in particular mean so much to me - especially since I don't even go to UP! I was thinking about that tonight, and I remembered an e-mail I sent to Coach Reveno almost two years ago, on the eve of his first Gonzaga game. After re-reading it and the reply I got from Coach, I thought I'd post it the day before another Gonzaga game.

Dear Coach,

Let me begin by stating that I fully recognize that this is a big weekend for you and that you probably don't have the time to read over a full-length letter, so I'll try to keep it short.

My name is Tim Walsh, and I went to my first Pilots game (a 79-76 win over USF) when I was seven years old, in 1994. But I come from one of those really old Catholic households, and my family's been involved with the university in one way or another for about half of its existence. My point is that while my friends grew up as Ducks, Beavers, or Bulldogs, I grew up as a Pilot. It wasn't easy. There was a stretch of about three seasons where I never once saw a Pilot win - and I went to 3-4 games a year. The principal at my grade school went to GU, and she loved nothing more than to comment about the bi-annual spankings my Pilots got from the Zags.

Coach, I'm e-mailing you because I'm missing the Gonzaga game for the first time in ten years. I don't live in Portland anymore and getting to the game is just too hard. I've never seen UP beat the Zags. For nine years, I've seen half the people eating at the pasta buffet wearing red and blue. For nine years, I've put up with half the Chiles Center cheering every time Matt Santangelo or Dan Dickau or Blake Stepp or Adam Morrison takes the floor. For nine years as the clock is winding down I've heard the Kennel Club chanting "THIS IS OUR HOUSE" in our arena. Every year it makes me want to throw up. But every year I keep coming back because I know that one day . . .

And now I'm missing it. What I really want you to know Coach, is that there's a group of people out there - sure it's small, but it's there - for whom the Pilots are much more than a team. They represent every little guy who's taken on the playground bully and gotten the crap beat out of them but came back for more. And more and more, because he knows that at some point the bully's finally going to wear out. I think it's about damn time that this bully wore out.

I might not be writing very coherently right now - I am a college student and it is very late at night - but please just know that you can pull it off on Monday night. We're down, they're pissed after losing to SMC, and they're playing a virtual home game in an arena where Mark Few's never lost a game. But miracles still happen.

Just believe. I do.

Sincerely,
Tim Walsh

Two months later I got this in my inbox:

Tim,

Thanks for the email you sent prior to the Gonzaga game. I enjoyed reading then and enjoyed reading it again now.

In short, I know what you are saying. And, we do believe. We did not get it done this year but it takes time. Not too much time, but more than one year. All I really can say is, we will get it done.

There will be a time in the near future when it won't be so hard to be a Pilot fan. And you will be able to let your principal know about it.

Keep the faith,
Coach Rev

Guys, how awesome is it to be a PILOT! Very Happy

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by PilotNut on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:52 am

Oh man, what a great e-mail, Jacket! A great response from Rev, too.

Thanks for sharing. And yes, the Bully is big as ever this year... but the little guy is growing up right before our eyes!

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by MesaPilot1 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:42 am

You have a perfect sence of timing. What a letter,and what a way to fire up us PN regular's , newcomer's, lurkers etc.... It will probably end up on the Zaggette board as their confidence is starting to erode. They have already posted one message, (Yes, I have to admit i have looked at their board, but I swear it's only for reference. That sounds like what I used to have to say to my college professor's about my Playboy collection) I believe it will be a good game as were playing as a team. Although were far less talented pretty much player for player down the line this year. The young men have unity. Rev has a group that really deserve's another win.

Thanks for posting it. Here's to a competitive game I'm waiting. . . ,finally. Win or lose I'm proud of the men and Rev.Stomp the Ganzagaay Bulldogggy's. That's the way the redneck college BB fans across America prounce their name..

Razz



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Beating a Dead Horse Beating a Dead Horse Beating a Dead Horse , just pretend thats the Pilot's to the Bulldog Thursday!!!

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:21 pm

"Only for reference, like..." lol!

And there will come a day when everyone here can say, "Of course I'm a Pilot fan. I was there back in the Rob Chavez years." And then the person you are talking to will raise his eyebrows, his eyes will get big, and eventually, after processing what he just heard, he'll say, "Wow. Really?" Kind of like there are "old" and "new" Gonzaga fans.

That's one thing that's kept me going. That, and the fact that win or lose they still live in Spokane. Twisted Evil

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by SciFi on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:47 pm

That would be a good letter for Coach Rev to have his players read right before they take the floor. GO PILOTS!

-SciFi

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by onetouchfutbol on Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:55 pm

That is a great e-mail. Sports ebb and flow in cycles, and whether we beat GU tomorrow or not, this team and program is starting to come into its own. Reveno is extremely likely to win WCC coach of the year, and I think this season could be the tipping point toward something greater.

Rev is the real deal, and small programs can rise from the dust. I think this year is just the start of creating a winning program. LMU had its time of ruling the conference. Pepperdine briefly had its time during the Doug Christie years. USF had its time:

http://www.hoophall.com/genrel/030507aae.html

Gonzaga's time will come to an end, and we'll be ready for that.

Rules

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by up7587 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:13 pm

PurplePrideTrumpet wrote:"Only for reference, like..." lol!

And there will come a day when everyone here can say, "Of course I'm a Pilot fan. I was there back in the Rob Chavez years." And then the person you are talking to will raise his eyebrows, his eyes will get big, and eventually, after processing what he just heard, he'll say, "Wow. Really?" Kind of like there are "old" and "new" Gonzaga fans.

Or, "I was there back in the Jack Avina years."

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by up7587 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:27 pm

BTW, I found this old article; I missed it when it came out about 4 years ago. Discusses some of the history from the old days, and why some of the old players don't come around so much.

Avina story from Trib

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by mattywizz on Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:22 am

up7587 wrote:
PurplePrideTrumpet wrote:"Only for reference, like..." lol!

And there will come a day when everyone here can say, "Of course I'm a Pilot fan. I was there back in the Rob Chavez years." And then the person you are talking to will raise his eyebrows, his eyes will get big, and eventually, after processing what he just heard, he'll say, "Wow. Really?" Kind of like there are "old" and "new" Gonzaga fans.

Or, "I was there back in the Jack Avina years."

I used to go to the Larry Steele basketball camps! Oh wait, he was after Avina? I tried.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by mikemac65 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:43 am

Then there were the Al "the hogger" Negratti years. Such promise, so many broken dreams. Bill Turner out in two years and then coach Davis dies two weeks before the season starts and we get two years of Joe Etzel. Ah the memories!!!!!

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by onetouchfutbol on Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:20 pm

Thanks for that article up7587. I guess the idea of playing against Howard University in Howard Hall would have been more realistic in Avina's coaching days since there were actually games there. Man, what a career... That's a nice slice of history.

As long as we're posting about coaches and players of old, which coach did Anstett play for? He taught some of us at Bellarmine Prep once his playing days were over...

Somebody speed up the clock; I'm anxious for the game. Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by Rob's Jacket on Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:22 pm

athleticjames wrote:Thanks for that article up7587. I guess the idea of playing against Howard University in Howard Hall would have been more realistic in Avina's coaching days since there were actually games there. Man, what a career... That's a nice slice of history.

As long as we're posting about coaches and players of old, which coach did Anstett play for? He taught some of us at Bellarmine Prep once his playing days were over...

Pretty sure that would have been under Negratti.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by onetouchfutbol on Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:24 pm

Thanks.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by up7587 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:12 pm

As I recall, the Pilots played an independent schedule back in those days, so they traveled all over the country and played a tough schedule. Most big schools wouldn't come to Howard Hall. But when it was packed with students hanging off teh upper decks, it was a rockin' atmosphere.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:41 am

You guys are funny.

You shouldn't be so focused on wanting Gonzaga to diminish in success - you should be focused on wanting UP to get up to and pass their level. It's time for the WCC to stop having only one team that is consistently good every year. If UP rises up (which I believe the program is definitely on the rise with a great coach), I hope it is in tandem with continued success by GU so that the conference as a whole continues to get better and so that a nice rivalry starts between the two programs.

Complain all you want about the Zags' dominance, but it has earned the conference a lot of money over the last decade and as a result it has benefited everybody. It's also lit a fire under a lot of AD's in the conference who are no longer content with mediocre basketball programs.

My hope is that the whole league continues to improve and that it will get to the point where several teams like GU, SMC, USD, and UP are all highly competitive for the title each year.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:43 am

athleticjames wrote:As long as we're posting about coaches and players of old, which coach did Anstett play for? He taught some of us at Bellarmine Prep once his playing days were over...

Good ol Anstett... I remember my Jr. Honors English class where he would come in and talk to us saying he needed a break from his knuckleheads and he would see if "nerds could catch" and toss a Koosh ball at us for like 10 minutes... Even after OUR teacher had walked in the door, Anstett would just sit there saying, "I'm warming them up"... Oh the memories...

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:51 am

EngineerZag wrote:Complain all you want about the Zags' dominance, but it has earned the conference a lot of money over the last decade and as a result it has benefited everybody. It's also lit a fire under a lot of AD's in the conference who are no longer content with mediocre basketball programs.

My hope is that the whole league continues to improve and that it will get to the point where several teams like GU, SMC, USD, and UP are all highly competitive for the title each year.

And I must admit I could probably find myself rooting for the zags and their continued success if it wasn't for the attitudes of their fans... Haha much like Red Sox nation a taste of success turned them into an arrogant monster of self gratifying, pretentions fishmongers. Razz

But all silliness aside, i think the combination of good coaching across the board, and honestly a very strong basketball pool to dip from on the West Coast, I see all 4 of those programs with the potential to be solid for years to come... I think there is something to be said for building a solid program... Not just relying on a few big recruits which take the program for a ride, but when they leave, the team languishes.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:49 am

See I don't get this "arrogance of their fans" thing. Maybe there are a few who troll around on other boards. But on GUBoards the vast majority of fans are classy. Nothing like what I've seen on boards of teams such as UCLA, North Carolina, etc.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:03 am

EngineerZag wrote:See I don't get this "arrogance of their fans" thing. Maybe there are a few who troll around on other boards. But on GUBoards the vast majority of fans are classy. Nothing like what I've seen on boards of teams such as UCLA, North Carolina, etc.

Agree to disagree. Going to the HS that produced Calvary I've pretty much had the Zags shoved down my throat for the last 10 years... I had a HS teacher actually threaten to give me a C in the class after I said I refused to root for them.... And every time I say, I'm not a fan, and never will be, most Zag fans look at me like I strung up Spike and beat him like a pinata. It's not the nastiness of the fans persay, its the pompous, overbearing self-worth that gets my goat. Well, that and Adam Morrison tongue

Haha that said 2 of my best HS friends went there, and objectively I respect and appreciate what their program has accomplished and admittedly cringe every time someone on TV gives it the old GonZAHga, but honestly my first reaction whenever I hear the word "Zag" definitely isn't a desire to smile and give someone a hug....


Last edited by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:04 am

Haha fair enough. FWIW I never liked Morrison either. Great skills but I didn't like his attitude.

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Re: Gonzaga, Rev, and other thoughts

Post by up7587 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:33 pm

DaTruRochin wrote:But all silliness aside, i think the combination of good coaching across the board, and honestly a very strong basketball pool to dip from on the West Coast, I see all 4 of those programs with the potential to be solid for years to come... I think there is something to be said for building a solid program... Not just relying on a few big recruits which take the program for a ride, but when they leave, the team languishes.

I don't see this limited to four teams. SCU and USF have great basketball tradition, and LMU and Pepperdine are surrounded by talented players. I think this conference could become like the Big East is today, with multiple strong programs. Unfortunately, we would all tend to beat each other up, but I'd rather have that than one program that dominates over all the others. No

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