Before Sunday afternoon turned into the big letdown, I had this blog entry all mapped out as part rant about The Denver Post’s uneven coverage of Metro’s assuredly title-bound men’s basketball team, part frustration with the Post’s season-long reluctance to include kmetradio.org in its radio/TV listings, plus a little praise for the university, which paid for Student Media’s five staff members to cover the team’s Final Four run from Louisville, Ky., to Atlanta.
Today, after Metro’s heartbreaking loss to Drury University, I’m sniffing humble pie and licking my wounds. Losing absolutely stinks, especially when the taste of victory was on the tip of my tongue. Now, what seemed important to write yesterday has been superseded by other topics.
I was greatly impressed with the Drury University students and fans. While Springfield, Mo., is much closer to Atlanta than Denver, there looked to be at least 200 jumping and screaming fanatics in the stands. And while the Roadrunners are used to playing before a half-full Auraria Event Center, the guys could have used a little more support to get over the hump and secure the trophy. Drury even canceled classes Monday to allow students to return to campus without academic penalty.
Every time the CBS cameras locked in on the Drury student section, I stared at the signs, which as you would expect displayed the school’s abbreviation, “DU.” The Panthers’ comeback victory became a metaphor for Metro’s battle with the local DU over Metro’s name change. My mood lifted a little Monday morning when I read Terry Frei’s column in the Post. Frei blasted the University of Denver for its arrogance in the recent firing of longtime hockey coach George Gwozdecky. He also criticized “whining from DU officials and school supporters” about Metro’s proposal to rename itself Denver State University.
My disposition further improved when I saw a couple of Facebook comments written by family and friends of Roadrunner sophomore Nicholas Kay. Unable to travel 9,000 miles from Australia to see the game, Kay’s aunt, Richelle Bond, and a couple of friends sent along their thanks to KMet Radio for its broadcast. I’m a disappointed fan, but their words made me refocus on the outstanding work of KMet’s dedicated team, headed by station GM Colton Denning, play-by-play announcer and sports director Justin Taylor, and assistant GM Mike Ingersoll. Bravo, guys, for a great game and season.
Student Media sent five staff members to Atlanta: Taylor; sports editor Angel Foster and photo editor Ryan Borthick from The Metropolitan; and The Met Report’s GM Peter Aragon and sports director Kevin Hall. Metropolitan photographer Trevor Davis made the trip to Louisville. I’m excited to see their fine work in the next paper, April 11, and on the season wrap-up during Friday’s Met Report, but I’m more pleased they had the opportunity for unlimited networking at the media hotel and Philips Arena. We’re grateful to MSU Denver Provost Vicki Golich for sending these students on an indescribably beneficial educational experience.
I hope Thursday’s rally at 12:15 p.m. in front of the Student Success Building will cheer up the basketball players. They deserve to see hundreds of students, staff and faculty roaring their approval.
To commemorate this remarkable season, Student Media is producing a 16-page, full-color magazine. Pick one up at the rally or in Tivoli 313.