Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Villanova Life Validated

"Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays"

Monday is a dreary day of the week. Every Monday go back to work, or school, airports and highways are crowded with jerkoffs, the Squan Tavern is closed, and your fat, lasagna loving cartoon cat with no job or hobbies is extremely surly. 

For those of us who are Villanova fans  though, Monday April 4, 2016 was different. Oh, boy was it different. 

A Villanova Son (and grandson, and nephew)

For all of my memory, I have been a Villanova fan. If my grandfather had gone to Seton Hall, St. John's, or Fordham instead of Villanova, I doubt that I would have been born. If my father hadn't gone to Villanova, I would be a Seton Hall fan (a fate less than nonexistence). If my uncle hadn't taken my six year old self to a Villanova game turned Kerry Kittles aerial exhibition on a cold January day in 1995, I wouldn't be writing these words on a fifth-tier Villanova blog that I somehow found the motivation to update regularly for five and a half years. If I hadn't gone to Villanova myself, I wouldn't have almost all of my friends. 

There is a scene near the end of the movie Field of Dreams, when Ray Kinsella, (Kevin Costner) is being pressured by his dickhead brother-in-law (Timothy Busfield) to sell the farm that he has turned into a baseball field or face eviction, Terrance Mann (James Early Jones), an iconic author turned recluse that Kinsella has befriended tells him:
"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again."
Swap baseball with Villanova basketball, and change the context to simply my life and you have something. During the most difficult times of my life, Villanova has provided me an escape, a source of joy, a way to put things in context. Even when the season is over, I know that another season will be there right around the corner, and with that new season will bring new joys. Villanova is a part of my identity, far more than whatever setback I may have to deal with. Unlike an ex-girlfriend, Villanova basketball will be there.

That Villanova plays such an part role in my life and my own personal identity is why Monday night was so special. In so many ways, Villanova is responsible for who I am, how I think of myself, and the way that I spend two and a half hours of my time on 30-40 days of the year. It doesn't matter to me if they go under .500 and are maddening to watch or if something magical like Monday happens, because either way, it is something that happens, something that is a part of who I am, and something that will always be there.

Moving Forward

There is no doubt after Monday, some people, most of whom only care about Villanova when they are nationally ranked will become loud with their outsized expectations and expect a national championship every few years, hopefully realistic people will keep things in perspective.

Villanova men's Track and Field/Cross Country coach once shared advice that his mentor, Villanova alum and Irish Olympian Donal Walsh gave him when he was about to leave Ireland to go to Villanova. It is far more relevant for track than it is for basketball, but it is relevant nonetheless.
"Don't be discouraged, but they have nothing ... and everything you need."
Compared to its peer schools, Villanova has plenty, but compared to Kentucky and their 24,000 seat home arena and insane players-only dormitory, Villanova has nothing. Villanova offers players a first rate basketball program, an elite education, a great practice facility, very good coaching and athletic training, and a freshman year in the cramped confines of Stanford Hall. Villanova basketball players go to orientation as freshmen with regular students, and take more than six credit hours in the fall semester of their freshman years. These are athletes, but Villanova has an expectation that they will graduate.

Villanova is not the easy path to the NBA for a recruit. Therefore, they will not always get the perfect storm of circumstances that led to Monday. In a way though, that might just make something like Monday even sweeter than it would how it would feel if we were fans of Big State U.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


As you may have noticed, Fact on Villanova Sports Theater has gone dark over the last 15 months due to the editor growing tired of mailing it in. Sometimes though, an opportunity is just too good to pass up. So, in anticipation of the Villanova-Penn basketball game, real estate mogul, reality television superstar, current republican presidential candidate, and University of Pennsylvania alumnus (class of 1968) Donald Trump offered his services to our blog, so we decided to come out of retirement for this most unique of occasions.

I'm a smart guy. I graduated from the best business school in the world, the Wharton School of Finance. I built a phenomenal company, made many billions of dollars in the real estate market, built a brand so valuable that companies literally pay me to put my name on their buildings that I didn't even invest in, became a best selling author and reality television juggernaut, and now, I'm currently leading all of the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. I know a lot about winning. I win all the time. I learned a lot about winning from my father Fred Trump, but also from my time at Penn.

You know who doesn't win? The Pennsylvania Quakers men's basketball team. They have become a laughing stock in the Ivy League and the Big Five. When I was at school, we took great pride in the indomitable spirit of the Quaker basketball team as they pounded local schools for mostly homeless tramps like Temple, LaSalle, and St. Joseph's (PA). The only team that would give them a fair fight was Villanova. Now, they lose all the time. In fact, they haven't won an NCAA Tournament game since that wimpy loser Jimmy Carter was president.

We need to MAKE PENN BASKETBALL GREAT AGAIN and I, Donald J. Trump am just the man for the job.


  1. Build a wall- Has anyone seen our defense lately? You cannot be a basketball team if you do not play defense, and my plan is to make Penn the greatest defensive force that has ever been seen, and to do this, I plan on building a wall to prevent the ball from crossing half court. If any opposing player makes it to our side of the court, he will be immediately deported.
  2. Hire a great leader- Recently, all of our coaches have been terrible leaders. I am a great leader, but I don't think that I will have enough time to coach Penn basketball from the Oval Office. Let's run through the recent coaches: Fran Dunphy? He had a stupid mustache and was a big fan of giving amnesty to reprobates and accepting Muslim refugees onto campus without properly vetting them. Plus, he went to LaSalle. Glenn Miller? A really low energy guy. Jerome Allen? Like Obama, I had great hope for Jerome, but he was a massive disappointment and sunk our program into greater irrelevance. Steve Donahue is a nice guy, but he failed at Boston College and he'll fail here. My suggestion for the next Penn basketball coach? My daughter, Ivanka Trump. She went to Penn, plus she's very hot. If she wasn't my daughter, she'd be my type
  3. Bulldoze and replace the Palestra- The Palestra is a terrible building. It's ugly, it's dirty, the acoustics are atrocious, the bathrooms and concessions are terrible, and the seats make your ass hurt for a week. We need to replace the Palestra with the TRUMP PALESTRA. While named in honor of the old building TRUMP PALESTRA will be 50 stories tall with a gold plated lobby and the name TRUMP in bold letters across the front of the building. It will be very elegant, very classy. I build phenomenal buildings. On top of all that, I'll make Princeton pay for it. 
We just need to start winning again. When was the last time Penn won at anything? I'm a winner. I win all the time. Under my leadership, we will MAKE PENN BASKETBALL GREAT AGAIN 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jalen Brunson chooses Villanova over Illinois

In a recruiting story of some local intrigue given the fact that his father is a Temple legend, Adlai E. Stevenson High School (IL) guard Jalen Brunson chose Villanova over University of Illiinois. Brunson, who is regarded by many as the best point guard in the recruiting class of 2015 sounded a common refrain when said that Villanova's family atmosphere played a big part in his choice to go to the Main Line.

Brunson bolsters an already strong 2014 recruiting class that features guard Donte DiVincenzo from Delaware and forward Tim Delaney from New Jersey. 

Watch Live: Jalen Brunson announcement

Happening at 5 PM eastern.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Highlights of Villanova's win over Fordham

An absolute demolition. A well deserved week off this weekend, and then they'll be back against James Madison on the 20th of this month.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

UPDATED: Things looking bright for Villanova with Jalen Brunson

I normally only comment on recruiting when I have actionable intel on someone, like when Villanova was out of the Amile Jefferson sweepstakes, or when I'm talking about how stupid it is to cover recruiting. Well, today fits into the former category, as I was told yesterday by people who would know that after his visit to the school, Villanova is now a leading contender for Illinois point guard Jalen Brunson, the son of former Temple player Rick Brunson, and that he COULD commit by this week. The key word there is could.

Now is the time to temper your expectations and remind everyone that we are talking about a kid who only turned 18 a week ago, and 18-year-olds tend not to be the most decisive people on earth and that they are prone to changing their minds, but judging from the vibes coming from Team Brunson, it's looking pretty good at the moment. 

UPDATE: 9/8- Brunson will announce his decision between Villanova and Illinois at 5 PM Eastern this Wednesday.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What major change did Villanova make after Syracuse?

Based on the newest depth chart, which was released today, Chris Gough, who struggled in kicking field goals against Syracuse, has been replaced by true freshman Steve Weyler for this Saturday's game against Fordham at Villanova Stadium. Weyler, a local kid from Cardinal O'Hara was listed as second on the depth chart in the last game, and was involved in a camp battle with Gough and fellow freshman Preston Seiler.

Gough will continue to handle kickoffs, a job he has excelled in for going on three seasons now. He will also continue to serve as backup punter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Open Letter to Villanova Fans

Dear Villanova fans,

This is my semi-annual plea to you to attend Villanova football games. 

I know, Villanova football doesn't play "big time" college football, and it bothers me more than anyone that such a move did not happen in the late-90s when it was offered and subsequently discussed. This fact does not mean that Villanova football is an inferior product though. Andy Talley's program showcases the best quality football in the I-95 corridor, because Rutgers is a toilet, Temple perennially sucks, and Syracuse, as much as they would like to tell you that they are, is not in the I-95 corridor.

Judging by their all-around performance against Syracuse last Friday, this year's team has the potential to be a special one.  John Robertson has done things through his first two seasons that are unprecedented by any Villanova rusher or passer, he has a stud wide receiver in Poppy Livers, a capable offensive line, and the defense has arguably the deepest linebacker corps of the Andy Talley era. As demonstrated last Friday, the special teams are a bit of a work in progress, but that is the type of thing that will work itself out in time, especially with a team with a lot of kickers and that is generally well coached.

Go to games, and if you can't, and if financially feasible, buy season tickets anyways, the program deserves your support.



Monday, September 1, 2014

John Robertson passes another Villanova great

For more than 20 years after his graduation, Vince Thompson's 2,533 career rushing yards made him Villanova's all time leading rusher. Then came Brian Westbrook, and he was relegated to second. Then, Aaron Ball came along and Thompson was fell to third all time. Last Friday at Syracuse, with his 115 net rushing yards, John Robertson passed Thompson to move into third all time in school history, with 2,542 career net yards. What makes Robertson's numbers even more impressive is that every time he is sacked, he gets rushing yards taken away from him per college rules. If Robertson was in the NFL, the numbers would be even more impressive.

Through 25 career games, Robertson is averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game, which is around what Brian Westbrook averaged per game.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Villanova-Syracuse highlights

All in all a pretty encouraging performance, and a marked improvement on last season. John Robertson is special.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Villanova loses heartbreaker in overtime to Syracuse, 27-26

Harrass this man

John Robertson and Poppy Livers are American heroes. 

More to come.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 4 is for...

Matt Szczur

Wide Receiver, Running Back, Quarterback, Kick Returner, Messiah: 2007-2010

Prior to recently, when you would name the greatest players in Villanova history, names like Billy Joe, Al Atkinson, Mike Siani, Howie Long, Brian Finneran, Chris Boden, Brian Westbrook, Brett Gordon, and Raymond Ventrone would come up, but Matt Szczur did something that none of the previous players was able to do- lead The Wildcats to a National Championship.  Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 38th round out of Lower Cape May High School, and with several high level scholarship offers to play baseball under his belt, the fact that Matt Szczur came to Villanova in the first place is a bit of a blessing. 

Boy am I glad that he did come to Villanova.  In four years on the Main Line, Szczur finished his career with a stat line that doesn't adequately describe his true value to his team.  He holds few Villanova records, and he isn't even in the top ten in career receiving yards at the school.  One thing I do know about Matt Szczur: he is the single most versatile athlete that Villanova has ever had. 

He recently made his Major League debut for the Chicago Cubs. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 5 is for...

Antwon Young

Quarterback- 2005-2009

After seeing him start and play well at Maryland in 2007, I was convinced that Fort Lauderdale, Florida native Antwon Young was going to be a stud three year starter for Villanova.  A few weeks later against William & Mary, everything was thrown out the window.  In that game, Young suffered an ACL tear, Chris Whitney came into the game, and the rest is history.  Young was still able to make an impact, including replacing an ineffective Whitney in a game against Penn in 2009, and a ridiculous 82 yard touchdown run against Towson in that same year.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 6 is for...

Ronnie Akins 

Safety: 2009-2012

After establishing himself as a special teams missile in 2009, carved out a more defined role on defense in 2010 and then became one of the leaders on the defense in 2011 and 2012. Finished his career with 10 career interceptions.

Friday, August 22, 2014