While I was hooting way through another Zags basketball win a few weeks ago, Gonzaga called. Alas, it wasn’t for me. It was my wife’s alma mater, making a saavy mid-game fundraising pitch.
Basketball has been very very good to Gonzaga. Enrollment jumped by 65 percent after six good runs in the NCAA Tournament, based on what is know as “the Flutie factor.” Admission inquiries more than doubled, raising the academic bar for incoming freshmen.
And the Zags built a beautiful $25 million basketball palace, the McCarthy Athletic Center, with donations.
As a Zag fan since the first run in 1997, it’s supreme fun watching the students in the Kennel Club bobbing, cheering, mocking. It’s the best fan scene in the Northwest. They had the “Brick House” tribute to Zag great Dan Dickau, the Ronny Turiaf monster ‘fro heads, and now this tribute, set to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop.”
I just wish Seattle had a good Zags bar to watch this year’s tournament. Know of one? Let me know, and I’ll buy you a beer there next week.