17 August 2009
12 Sep 2008. A walk through this religious-founded school - most likely Jesuit - yielded a rock gray tumbler. May be used to tumble rocks, if that's how you get your jollies. No demons were spotted anywhere. :(
Admiral George shouted through his mustache.
Now granted permission, the three young men in gray jerseys and short pants jogged onto the basketball court. The crowd yelled. They cheered. They jumped. They clapped.
They were getting desperate.
Georgetown was trailing Syracuse by twelve points halfway through the second half. If Georgetown was to advance through the playoffs, they had to cut the deficit now.
George McDonough, the PA announcer given the honorary title Admiral for his frequent kayaking trips on the Potomac and thus began introducing players with an 'ahoy', was sweating too. Fortunately the sound system was too rough to pick up any subtle vocal tremblings.
Every fan's nervousness came from one missing piece. Noticeably absent from the court was strong forward and debate team captain Carlton Sax. He had broken his hand several days prior with an emphatic slam of his fist on the podium. He was arguing for sturdier tariff laws to stall the introduction of the federal income tax, a cause he sincerely believed in.
His unavailability on the roster was the sole reason Georgetown was down by a dozen. He was also the reason the team had made it this far. Coach can make all the triple switch substitutions he wanted, but without Sax it was just hatching rocks.
Sax and Coach were not worried.
Sax and Coach had other plans.
They staged the whole shebang: the fist slam, Sax's hand in a cast, Sax reporting to the game in 'street clothes'. Only Sax and Coach were in on it. They clearly valued the element of surprise, not to mention theatricality.
And now it was time for the big reveal.
Coach nodded at Sax. Sax quietly slipped off the bench and into the locker room to change. He returned in his fresh gray uniform and took his seat. The arena turned its attention from the court to the sidelines. Animated, inebriated whispers reverberated through the bleachers. Admiral George was slackjawed. Why was Sax in uniform with a casted hand? Was he going to play with one hand behind his back?
The answer came when Sax walked to the substitution area in front of the announcer's table. He unwrapped his bandage and tossed it over his shoulder. The crowd - and Syracuse's coaches - were stunned in disbelief. Coach called in a 30-second timeout. As Sax walked onto the court giving the players slaps on the backside, Admiral George had to make the call official. He stumbled over his words:
Now some contend that the Georgetown Hoyas' battle cry is a pseudo-Latin translation of 'hey, check out these rocks' or 'today, the saxophone'. Decades pass, stories get warped, so the different theories are understandable. But how could you forget the legendary flub of Admiral George and the come-from-behind win sparked by the dribblin' debater, Carlton Sax?