The Dream Is Realized: Binghamton Goes Dancing For The First Time
At the beginning of the millennium they weren't a Division I team and were known as the Colonials. Their football team is undefeated year in and year out simply because they don't have one.
The New York Times recently ran an article questioning their recruiting practices since they made the move from Division III, citing professors and university personnel. Perhaps in response, their star player was left off the all-conference team while their coach was named coach of the year.
I attended basketball camp there one year at the urging of two of my friends and was quickly labeled the worst player at the camp (and this isn't self-pity. I wasn't good. My passion far outweighed my talent.) One of us would play for our high school team, the Chenago Valley Warriors. The other two would play CYO ball for St. Catherine's, where we finished 2-14 and once committed 32 turnovers in 28 minutes.
We would eat Pudgie's Pizza after camp each day while waiting for our ride to take us back to the suburb we called the "Bridge". The elementary school was a five-minute walk from my house. The high school wasn't much farther than that and we would have keg parties under the bridge next to the Chenango River.
We rooted hard for Syracuse and had to be consoled in 1987 thanks to Keith Smart and Indiana. We imitated Rony Seikaly, Pearl Washington, Sherman Douglas and countless others when we played pick-up games behind the church on River Road.
In 2003, I was finally happy to see Jim Boeheim shed the title of "best coach not to win a championship."
And today, my wife shook her head while I contorted, cajoled and finally raised my arms in triumph as the Binghamton Bearcats clinched an NCAA berth for the first time ever.
I hope they're dancing on Front Street, grilling some spiedies and drinking lots of Genny Cream.
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