Thursday, May 7, 2015

Reasons For Other CAA Fans To Vote For #MillionDollarDragons

CAA Fans, former CAA fans, Children of all ages.  Yesterday I called on Drexel fans to vote for our alumni team, The Blue and Gold Club, so that they can play in The Basketball Tournament, a nationwide tourney for players who have revoked their amateur status (so that's post collegiate, Kentucky players, and Marcus Camby).  As many of you know, Drexel Athletics is a leader in gender equity on the playing field, alongside "percentage of funds invested in squash" nationally, and are good citizens of the CAA regionally.  Each year we fight out of conference to ensure that your teams get the best seed possible in the NCAA tournament.  So today, I ask fans around the league to join the Drexel fans in helping our alumni play on, and I've provided reasons to get behind the effort for each and every one of you:

College of Charleston  - This one is easy.  After a week of rest the Drexel players were fatigued in the first half of the DU/ C of C CAA Tournament game.  Clearly, Drexel coaches ran the players all week in an attempt to end their abysmal season as quickly as possible, and Charleston profited with their first ever CAA Tournament win.  You're welcome, now it's time to return the favor.

Delaware Blue Hens - Up 1, going to the free throw line with the shot clock off, UD misses the first shot of a 1 and 1.  Except the referees called it a 2 shot foul.  They figure this out after the first shot, and while the percentages are very high that Drexel would have gotten the rebound, the referees have to go to the possession arrow which points towards Delaware.  UD inbounds and DU has to foul again, this time it's a true two shot foul.  Game over.  You're welcome.

Elon Phoenix - In two games, Bru left Tanner Samson virtually unguarded en route to 19 three point attempts.  The guy shot 35% from 3 this year and we just sat there and let him back up the truck.  You don't think that was intentional?  It led to your first ever CAA win!  Now it's your turn to return the favor.

Hofstra Pride - Antoine Agudio gave the DAC Pack the bird.  Often.

James Madison Dukes - 14 years under Bruiser.  Zero wins against JMU in the CAA Tournament.  He makes Matt Brady look like a certified genius, which takes talent, or a lack thereof.  We've had your back for 14 years, couldn't you have ours just this once?

Northeastern Huskies - Defending CAA Champion Coach Coen said Bru runs bad offense  and our Athletics Departments reaction to that was to let him keep running it.  We had Damion Lee, but because of that offensive offense, you had the Championship.  Isn't that worth kicking your brother program in co-op some votes?

Towson Tigers -    Every time he played a road game at Drexel during a snowstorm (and there was a few) Pat Kennedy returned to Towson with just as many jackets as he left with.

UNCW Seahawks - We have, for the moment, stopped promoting Athletics personnel who previously carried a "Blizzard's Mom is a MILF" sign at the CAA Tournament.

William and Mary Tribe - At times, our mascot goes pantsless too.

Bonus teams!!

Georgia State Panthers - Not only did Ron Hunter learn how to cope with injuries from watching Drexel film, his now infamous chair was probably designed by a Drexel engineer.

George Mason Patriots - The Patriots were the epitome of class in the CAA, and surely their fans wish to continue in that tradition.

Old Domion Monarchs - We honestly put Bruiser Flint out there against Blaine Taylor.  For years.  That's the biggest mismatch since Shaka Smart against Bruiser Flint, which brings us to...

Virginia Commonwealth Rams - With no time on the clock, we put our last man off the bench on Jamie Skeen with no double team.  Up until that moment, there were crazy VCU fans talking about firing Shaka Smart.  There should be more votes for this Drexel team from Richmond than from Philadelphia.

The CAA Staff:  You didn't help get DU into the tournament in 07 or 12.  Both of those teams lost to VCU in the CAA Tournament - in Richmond.  You had the author of this piece thrown out of the Richmond Coliseum.  And we didn't march of the league office once.  Not once.  Given that these losses cost the Dragons six figures in cash, maybe tossing in a vote or two or thirty would be good and responsible business.

So please, take two minutes of your day, and register to support team The Blue and Gold Club.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Million to One Shot

If you went to college in Philadelphia, you either had the poster or knew someone who did:

So lets blast through all of the cliche warnings and use it anyway.  I'll use it because the movie is about supporting the underdog, loyalty, hope, and second chances.  And praise the Lord does the Drexel Dragons basketball program need all of that right now.  Let it be the lack of new facility, burned bridges, the disappointments in Richmond and Baltimore or the loss of Damion Lee, there's plenty of reasons why the ticket sales show this fanbase is a collective walking wounded right now.  

If supporters could just see one good run from the basketball team next season it sure would help press the reset button, wouldn't it?  But the annual campaign that can bring this fanbase and administration together is months away.  And every day this situation grows a litle more darker, numbers dwindle and contrasts grow more stark.  So why wait until the season to make that magical run?  Lets start today.  Some noteable alumni are coming together to give us that chance.

Remember Chris Fouch's last game as a Dragon?  30 points on just 20 shots.  Only 2 turnovers while playing 39 minutes.  In the same game Frantz Massenat puts up 19 points on only 16 attempts.  What about Samme Givens going out the only way it could happen?  A double double in front of the fans at the DAC.  Those guys left it all on the floor in their final game.  They walked from this program to professional leagues leaving a legacy that every fan should be proud of.  But they also left the same way all of us have for so many years.  Hungry for more.  

So they came back to represent the Blue and Gold one more time.  

Fouch, Givens (and more Givens!), Massenat, Ruffin, and Rodgers are all back, and Coach Lerner (everyone see that?  Coach Lerner!) has hinted there may be more names to drop yet.  And with much respect to Coach Flint, it sounds like these guys might push the tempo a bit this time around.  It's all part of The Basketball Tournament, a summer tourney in which post-collegiate players form their own teams and play for a million dollar payday.  Rob Falcone is leading the effort to assemble a team that isn't just looking to qualify, but rather, looking to satisfy their (and our) appetite for a championship.

I'm not asking for you to go and vote for them.  Because I've heard too many times that "man, if Bruiser only ran uptempo at least it would be watchable", or "I want to root for these guys, but I just can't stand the administration" or even "if my team doesn't win, I hope the Dragons do."   This team can't maybe make this tournament.  There's no administration here.  I don't see a team from Richmond with homecourt advantage.  And I don't see a group of guys who want to play horrendous half court offense full of mid range jumpers.  All of those excuses behind "I'd support them if..." are all out the window.  These players are putting it in the fans hands.  It's our turn.  It's the fans opportunity.

These guys played their asses off for Drexel.  No one has ever questioned the effort that Bruiser got from them.  So it's time to remember that, to rise up and show President Fry that our fans want to support this program.  That the decline in ticket sales isn't a decline in supporters, but rather supporters talking with their wallets.  This is an opportunity to show that the Drexel supporters are alive and well, we just need that chance, that hope, of the good that we know can come from this program.

There's a catch:  In order to be guaranteed a spot in the tourney, the Blue and Gold team has to be in the top 18 in fan votes in their region as of June 1 and right now we are well behind that curve.  To vote, all that you need to do is follow this link, take to minutes and register as a fan of The Blue and Gold Team.  [Full disclosure, that was a link assigned to my account, as far as I'm concerned you can use anyone's as long as you vote for DU].  It's free, I haven't received any emails or spam from it, it's just two minutes of your time.

But I said that I wasn't asking you to vote for them.  That's fair.  It's because I'm asking for much more.

We want to talk about having the best fans in Philly?  We want to talk about showing President Fry what will happens if he invests in basketball?  Then we need to set an example.  Being 18th, scraping in, that's not good enough.  Get your family voting.  Get your friends and coworkers voting.  We need to show what this fanbase can do when it's motivated, and we need to show these players how much we respected their contributions to our community, how much we respected their working through injuries, and how we never forget them leaving it all on the floor in their final games, fighting to bring home a Championship.  This is our second chance, and a two minute vote isn't nearly equitable, not nearly enough to show appreciation for these players, and to show President Fry what we can do.  I'd like to see a 5 five vote minimum, go out there and vote, then get five more.

I'm not done yet.  Because anyone who knows me knows two things:

--I stand behind every word that I write on these pages.

--Our Philadelphia community is incredibly important, right there with our basketball community.  So I asked supporters of my favorite community non-profit, the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team to join with us.  In return for helping us surge to make a statement well beyond just victory, I've pledged $100 per game that the Blue and Gold team plays in to Red Paw, on behalf of the Dragons Speak blog.  In true Dragons fashion when we win, we take care of those who have taken care of us, and Red Paw is one of those groups who takes care of us in our local community.  As a matter of fact, if someone had a fire in their home and asked Red Paw to care for their Dragon, I bet they would, they're just that good.

So lets rise as one.  We know what we can have here at Drexel, we know how great our fellow fans are and how much we would embrace a winner.  And we have this one chance to show it.  Let's make it count.