Fordham vs. Dayton is a must for New York fans


I will not do that. It was never a thing I do. Sports fans are squeezed every day of the year and most don’t have an endless supply of resources. It costs to be a sports fan. It costs a lot: tickets, parking, concessions, merch.

I never believed it was my job to tell you how to spend your money.

I’ll make an exception this time:

If you’re a Fordham student, hop on the tube, buy a ticket and go to the Barclays Center on Saturday afternoon. If you’re one of the Fordham alumni who populate our counties and neighboring suburbs? Get in the car. Park it under the mall across from Barclays. Buy a ticket. And if you are only very interested in local tires? Go to Barclays. Buy a ticket.

do yourself a favor To be there. Be there as the Rams take on Dayton in the second semi-final of the Atlantic 10 tournament, which was scheduled to start around 3:30 p.m. or so. Damn, get there early, get to the VCU Saint Louis semifinals. Call it a reconnaissance mission. Just head to Brooklyn. Go to Barclays. If you have something in maroon and white, dig it out of your drawers or our closet. Let’s see if it still fits.

Be ready to stand. Be ready to roar.

The Fordham people did just that in the Rams’ tournament opener against La Salle on Thursday night. There were almost 2,000 students there. There were a lot of older people wearing F-caps and sweatshirts and windbreakers and sweaters.

Kyle Rose and Fordham's fans celebrate after their 69-61 win over LaSalle in an Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals game.
Kyle Rose and Fordham’s fans celebrate after their 69-61 win over LaSalle in an Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals game.
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“The fans brought Rose Thrill to the Barclays Center,” said Fordham star Darius Quisenberry after the Rams sacked the Explorers 69-61. “Nothing like that. Of course you can see the alumni, the whole community, and of course our students did a great job and energized the whole game. That’s what fed us.”

They came early. They called La Salle back to Philadelphia. They raised the Rams on a night when they weren’t at their best. And even when it was over, they weren’t done with the game or the night.

“As we entered the subway, we could hear hundreds of Fordham students chanting, ‘Let’s go Fordham!’ sang. A Fordham graduate named Robert Birge, who attended the game with his non-alum brother, reported feeling dizzy on Friday morning. “I didn’t think I would see a scene like this happen again. I might have thought I was in the stadium or in the garden.”

Darius Quisenberry celebrates after making a bucket during Fordham's win.
Darius Quisenberry celebrates after making a bucket during Fordham’s win.
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That’s good. That’s how it should be. It’s important to recognize seasons like these and savor every second, every bite, because they’re not guaranteed, especially in places like Fordham. Maybe this is the beginning of something special, something lasting. That would be a wonderful development.

Or maybe that’s as good as it will be for a few more years. No idea. No way to tell. So maximize the moment. Enjoy the opportunity. I’ve always felt connected to Fordham fans, Duquesne fans and Saint Joe fans. As a St. Bonaventure guy, we belong to one faction in the A-10 and the Forces Eternal – like the other three teams deployed on Saturday – belong to another.

I was lucky. My team has had a few seasons like this one for the Rams lately, seasons where you just can’t wait for the next tip and adventures to follow. My boys have declined this season. It happens. So you appreciate the good days all the more.

Antrell Charlton celebrates with Fordham fans after her win.
Antrell Charlton celebrates with Fordham fans after her win.
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These are the good days at Fordham. Saturday will be a great day. On Saturday it will be the Rams and the Flyers and Dayton is a school that travels very well. It will take a strong contingent of Fordham fans to make it feel and sound like Rose Hill South. So don’t rely on your roommate. Don’t leave it to your classmate.

Got a few free hours? Go to Barclays. Buy a ticket. Buy a frothy pre-game drink to better quiet your whistles for two hours of thunder. And enjoy every minute. Maybe this will become routine at some point. For this day?

Do as the boy, Quisenberry, said. Let them feed you.

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