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Bottum: McCain and the Hoyas

10:55 AM, Feb 8, 2008 • By JOSEPH BOTTUM
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I'd missed it earlier in the week, but over at Salon on Tuesday, Mike Madden noted that after the Georgetown-West Virginia game on January 26, John McCain called Mark Salter, his "longtime speechwriter/Senate chief of staff/intellectual alter ego," to describe the goaltend (er, block, I mean; yes, block) by which Patrick Ewing Jr. had won the game.

"A Georgetown alum," Madden notes, "Salter has season tickets in the front row at the Verizon Center; about the only thing that gets him more fired up than Mitt Romney is Big East basketball. (At the bar after the Super Bowl Sunday night, he cursed at the TV when the Boston Fox affiliate compared the Giants' win to Villanova's 1985 NCAA tournament upset win over Georgetown)."

Seems pretty newsworthy to me, but Madden pushes it into the mystical territory of the true Georgetown fanatic where my daughter and I dwell when he adds: "The Hoyas have been a near-perfect predictor of McCain's fortunes this year. The last time Georgetown lost a game was the night before the Michigan primary, when Pitt beat them 69-60; the next day, Romney beat McCain. The day of the South Carolina primary, where McCain narrowly beat Mike Huckabee to avenge his 2000 loss to George W. Bush, the Hoyas crushed Notre Dame."

Good thing McCain has pretty much locked up the nomination, because even some of Georgetown's die-hard fans are worried about Saturday night's game against Louisville. Personally, I think the McCain boost puts it away for the Hoyas.

Hail, oh Georgetown, Alma Mater,
Swift Potomac's lovely daughter,
Ever watching by the water,
Smiles on us today.
Now her children gather 'round her,
Lo, with garlands they have crowned her,
Reverent hands and fond enwound her,
With the Blue and Gray.