Thoughts on the Week Leading to the Game

For many of us, the shock of being the Big East Champions may not have worn off quite yet. For Ed Cooley, the whirlwind has just begun. It’s all good for the program and Cooley is so well liked in coaching and media circles that it makes total sense, but the media barrage that he has already begun has to be taking a toll. I’m exhausted and all I did was drink beer and cheer for 3 days/nights.

Yesterday, Cooley began the media frenzy early by appearing on the Tim Brando Show just after 10am. He followed that up by working with Nike to put together some clips for their Nike Pro Answers series. In the late afternoon, Cooley appeared on Katz Korner on ESPNU around 4:30pm with Andy Katz and former Friar HC, Tim Welsh, called in to “Bracket Busters” on CBS Sports Network and then capped off his media heavy day by appearing on WFAN in NYC with Mike Francesa just after 5pm (who will be moving to Fox Sports 1 simulcast on 3/24/14). He also apparently was over at his home to check on some last minute construction issues early this morning ahead of his family moving back in after the fire in January. There will also be countless calls from print reporters to get quotes for articles ahead of the first appearance by PC in the Big Dance since 2004.

For those who haven’t seen or heard much of what Cooley talks about on these national shows, get ready to hear a lot about the following all week:

  • Cooley’s inspirational weight loss – he’s down over 125 lbs since the summer
  • Cooley’s house fire that has caused his family to live in a hotel for the past 2+ months
  • Bryce Cotton’s amazing career and senior season and how he is still underappreciated.

We, as sports fans, tend to like to put together storylines and give everything a narrative to follow. Sometimes the narrative is accurate – like with Cooley and Cotton – and other times the narrative is just put on a situation to fit our hopes or to make sense of a situation. The narrative for this PC team is a very genuine one. They have had to overcome A LOT of adversity as a team and program over the last year and a half. They are led by a very humble and quiet kid in Cotton and they truly are all about “Heart & Soul” which appears to have been their motto for the Big East season.

Obviously I want them to win on Friday (and I think they have a legitimate chance to do just that) but at this point, they are playing with house money for me. I’m just so thrilled for Cotton, Batts and the rest of the seniors that they were the team that broke through and brought this program back onto that blue carpet. This is a team led by seniors who are playing to leave everything on the floor. This is a team who wasn’t even supposed to be in the NCAA Tournament. It’s a team that sounds pretty dangerous to me.

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