The 'Nova Student Section was as good as it's ever been. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Okay, let’s start off by clearing the elephant out of the room. Yes, I am a girl. No, I do not know anything about sports. I was asked to participate in a trial run as a Nova Blog Blogger by Chris Lane and Andrew Trask while at the Villanova GameWatch at Copper Door Tavern in Manhattan. Why you ask? Well, because I’m a journalist…and I’m awesome. So let’s give this a shot shall we?
I headed into Manhattan Saturday night mostly to see my friends who I had not seen in months (I work a lot). I had never been to the Cooper Door Tavern before, however I was amused by the Maloney’s-esque atmosphere. There is nothing more Nova than hundreds of people sweating their asses off in a packed bar without air conditioning. I found myself irritated however, by one very confused fan in Green Bay Packers attire starting "Let’s Go Nova" chants that never really caught on. I mean let’s be honest, if you don’t root for the Jets, Giants or Eagles, then you probably didn’t go to Villanova.
See you after The Jump.
I digress. The best part about the day in my opinion is the exposure that Villanova will gain as a result of College GameDay being hosted on campus. The sea of white shirts in the student section (which I am told was comprised of two-thirds of the student body) looked unbelievable. Really. I’ve never seen the student section, or the Pavillion as a whole look so good. Even the cheerleaders got the memo that they’d be on national television ALL DAY in high definition, and made sure they looked better than ever.
ESPN anchor Erin Andrews interviewing Coach Jay Wright may have been the most beautiful five minutes in the history of college basketball, or in sports television history as a whole for that matter. It almost hurt to look at them.
Speaking of Jay Wright, I am really glad that he broke this weird habit he’s developed of trading in his thousand dollar suits and ties for tracksuits. It’s almost like someone reminded him that he’s Jay Wright, not Jay Pritchett on Modern Family. All I can say is thank God. The tie, the pocket square, the perfectly coiffed hair, the seasonally inappropriate tan…He looked good. I wonder if he has a stylist.
As far as the game goes, it seemed to me like a typical February for Villanova basketball. How does the number one free throw team in the Big East miss so many foul shots? Better yet, how does Armwood throw a punch and NOT get ejected from the game?
Now for me, the last 30 seconds of the game were incredibly disappointing, not necessarily because Villanova lost, but because all of us drunk alumni in the Copper Door Tavern apparently can’t read the countdown clock and erupted in cheers when Maalik Wayns sunk that three point shot. Everyone was having flashbacks to March 2009 when we beat Pitt at the buzzer. I thought we did it again, only to see the ref’s wave the basket off and see final score appear on the screen. Totally heartbreaking.
All and all, regardless of the loss, College Game Day was a game changer for Villanova. It proved that the school is big-time and not just a small scale team that made it to the final four two years ago. The exposure gained from the event is unmeasurable and hopefully the team will use some of the excitement and momentum from the student body and the day as a whole to propel them going forward into the Big East Tournament and March Madness. I highly suggest anyone who misses sweaty Maloney's take a trip into the city to Copper Door Tavern for the next Game Watch and some serious college nostalgia.