Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I spent some time in Binghamton New York when I was in graduate school. Known then, primarily (and mistakenly) as Harpur College or just Harpur, SUNY Binghamton is in what is called the Southern tier of New York State, just north of the Pennsylvania border about an hour up I-81 from Scranton.

I was there in the early seventies. Since then the school has built a beautiful athletic center. Years ago I blogged on this site about attending the AmericaEast conference tournament in Binghamton as a member of the press corp. The building is impressive, very nice seats, good sight lines, and room for noisy student fans.

Tough to believe there would have been many noisy fans at the convocation center last night, but indeed there were. The Bearcats began last night's basketball game against first place University of Vermont with an unenviable record. The SUNY Binghamton Bearcats (now called Binghamton University Bearcats) were, prior to the game with the first place team, 0-26. That is not a typo. The Bearcats (called the Colonials when I was in school there) had not won a single game. And they had played some teams that are not burning up other opponents.

So, what are the chances that an 0-26 team will beat a first place team?

This is why they play the games. The Bearcats won last night. They were up by ten at halftime. Vermont got it to within two with about seven seconds left and launched a three. It missed. Binghamton was fouled and hit both foul shots, making it a four point game with 4.3 seconds left. The desperation heave from Vermont at the buzzer was insignificant.

You would have thought the Bearcats had won the national championship. The fans raced onto the court, the players jumped and hugged each other.

If you want to understand the appeal of sport, go to the web and check out the video from a handheld device of the last seconds of that game. 0-26, now 1-26, reacting as if they were going to the final four.

The coach after the game said, "You've heard of a monkey on your back. We had a zoo on our backs." The zoo is gone. The appeal of sport is in evidence.

No comments:

Post a Comment