Monday, December 8, 2008

Two rivals: Out you two pixies go through the door or through the window!

Apparently, it is rivalry week in Friar Country, an event so momentous that it nearly escaped by attention. As I intimated about a month ago, PC really lacks a truly consistent rival in ice hockey. The same is not true in basketball. The Dribbling Friars (which just sounds wrong, doesn't it?) have the University of Rhode Island Rams, a team that not only plays the Friars even, but who has a fan base that intensely dislikes PC and everything about it! Awesome! It also helps that - unlike with BC, BU, Brown, and UNH in ice hockey, PC has a winning record against Rhody and thus is the obstacle - a nice change from the hockey team.

It helps that PC fans actually acknowledge Rhody as a rival. This comment might be disputed by some Rams fans, I do get the impression that PC fans legitimately care about winning this game. While some arrogantly assume that PC should "always" win this contest, in reality I think most of us realize that this is going to be a tough contest (especially at the Ryan Center where URI never misses a 3 point shot). I don't think anyone really looks down on the Atlantic Ten to the extent where they think URI is a "gimme" - there are too many upsets in this series. Still no one at PC "hates" Rhody the same way they dislike UCONN, Georgetown, BC or Syracuse. And a quick trip to the Providence Journal message board (I wouldn't recommend it) will convince you that a sizable subset of Rhody fans are obsessed with PC and the renovation of the Dunkin Donuts Center to a level that makes the "Yankees Suck" phenomenon look entirely rational.

And on the opposite side of the coin, we have Brown hockey. Not only does no one at Brown seem to seriously hate PC hockey (which these days is like having a personal grudge against the Clippers), they don't seem to care about hockey, period. It's easy to see why. Brown has had precious little success since going to the Frozen Four in 1976. PC fans really don't hate Brown. In fact, I root for Brown when they aren't playing PC. So much for hate.

So we go from the irrational feelings on both sides of the PC/URI rivalry to the feeling of "meh" in ice hockey. So far, irrational wins over meh with PC taking out URI by one free throw on Saturday and the worst season in PC ice hockey continuing on Tuesday.

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