Thursday, December 15, 2005

Undead rivalry

No, I'm not talking about how George Romero didn't like the Zack Snyder remake of his original Dawn of the Dead film. I'm talking about the attempted resurrection of the long expired Maryland Georgetown "rivalry". It's not alive, yet it won't die either. It seems to be all over the media these days, especially around the BB&T tournament last week, and everyone seems to want to see it resume. Everyone except the two programs that is. Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports is the latest to pimp this idea in his recent column. Davis is a local guy from Montgomery County so he has more interest in this game than the average national journalist. Frankly, I can't think of any national sports writer who would care about this matchup. It was never much of a rivalry even before it ended in the Lefty Driesell days. The one-time game at the old US Air Arena in 1993 didn't really change anything. After losing John Thompson decided that he had no interest in playing the return game he had promised Gary Williams at Cole Field House. And that was that.

This "rivalry" isn't based on what occurred on the court, unlike all worthwhile rivalries, it is based on the grudge of a promise broken. The 2001 meeting between the two schools in the NCAAs, when the game really mattered, didn't generate much excitement beyond the fact that Maryland advanced to the Sweet 16. Read between the lines of the quotes from Gary Williams and John Thompson III and there is about zero enthusiasm from either program to see this series revived. It is as dead as Jimmy Hoffa.

I grew up in the Washington area and never quite understood the infatuation with this "rivalry" among some of the locals. I'm not sure what the point is for Maryland to play this game anyway. In the last 15 years there is no comparison between the programs and Georgetown hasn't done much of note to change that in recent years. Short of a Georgetown alum who now writes for the Washington Times no one seriously believes that the Hoyas will overtake Maryland on the local sports scene anytime soon either.

As long as Gary Williams is the coach at Maryland this game will never happen, regardless of Ted Leonsis or anyone else.

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