Battle Tested: Flyers Still Fighting For Respect

AlbatrossContributor IMarch 21, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - MARCH 20:  Chris Wright #33 of the Dayton Flyers dunks against the West Virginia Moutaineers during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on March 20, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

As a Dayton Flyers fan, I'm sure you could imagine the excitement that I felt in the moments following the Flyers' victory over sixth seeded West Virginia Friday afternoon.

It was the Flyers' first tournament win in almost 20 years.  

Finally, the Dayton fans can celebrate. For the city of Dayton, it's about time! It was a year where auto plants closed and the unemployment level continued to rise. Forbes magazine even named Dayton one of its 10 fastest dying cities.  

Finally, a bright spot. Finally, another reason to yell out..."WE are U.D!"  

In the midst of all my joy, I then made the mistake of tuning into ESPN's Sportscenter, where instead of congratulating the Flyers on a tough win, the analyst proceeded to both downgrade West Virginia, while simultaneously kissing the overrated asses of the higher-ranked Big East Teams.  

Talk about a buzz-kill.  

Instead of hearing about Dayton's Chris Wright soaring over the Mountaineers for thunderous dunks, Digger Phelps just wanted to talk about how West Virginia beat themselves. He also wanted to talk about how Dayton needs to continuously beat Big East opponents if they want to be taken seriously.  

You're right Digger, all Dayton's done against Big East competition the last three years is beat Louisville (twice), beat Pitt (by 25), beat Marquette(by 14) and now West Virginia (by eight, in THE BIG DANCE)!

So, feeling a bit robbed of my special Sportscenter moment, I turn to Dick Vitale to stick up for the little guy. His response, "Let's face reality here, West Virginia's just the seventh seed in the Big East conference!"

Well, thank you Dick! 

Oh well.

Don't worry about a thing, Flyers fans. Simply enjoy the journey of the tourney, and let those so-called professionals continue to argue over their favorite overrated seeds. 

As for the Dayton Flyers themselves, just remember you've got the whole city of Dayton rooting for you. Who knows, maybe along the way you'll make Digger & Dick proud, and beat a few Big East teams...again.