This one is for you, Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles became the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 this week, and in doing so, they gave hope to all the boys who were beat up in middle school and had their lunch money stolen that better things do come.
You cannot make a story like this up. Cinderella may have lived in a chimney (or at least near one – your On Fire correspondent is not exactly sure of the details, but Cinderella was definitely near some cinders), but Florida Gulf Coast is from Dump City, Fla.
That sounds like something you would say in the middle of a street-ball game – your On Fire correspondent can hear the memories from his (or her) youth on the streets of a white upper-middle class neighborhood. “Hey man, you play frisbee (your On Fire correspondent played a very different sort of street-ball than the players for Florida Gulf Coast presumably did, but the principle remains constant) so badly. Where are you from, Dump City?”
Your On Fire correspondent appears to have misinformed by his friend at dinner Saturday night. In doing some cursory research to corroborate the statements made in the previous paragraph, your intrepid On Fire correspondent discovered that Florida Gulf Coast is actually located in Fort Myers, Fla. Furthermore, they dunk a lot and are thus sometimes referred to as Dunk City. An innocent mistake.
A lesser journalist would be tempted to go back and remove the previous paragraph. But your On Fire correspondent is made of stronger stuff. As someone once said, beneath the thought, there is the afterthought. And even if the thought of the above paragraph is no longer correct, the fact that Florida Gulf Coast has previously been such a joke that your On Fire correspondent would believe this story is very telling. And the fact that he (or she) would take the two seconds to verify this story is very telling as to the journalistic integrity of your On Fire correspondent.
Still, we must take back our earlier statement. It appears that you can make a story like this up (or at least part of it).
Here is a short list of things your On Fire correspondent came up with when he (or she) could not sleep last night that were more likely than Florida Gulf Coast making the Sweet 16:
The DUC is more likely to serve a delicious meal than Florida Gulf Coast was to make the Sweet 16. This is no light statement. Over his (or her) Emory career, the standards of deliciousness of your On Fire correspondent have changed dramatically. We are not talking about closing your eyes and shoving it down your throat. We are not talking about holding your nose and gingerly sticking out your tongue. We are not talking about taking a bite and saying, in surprise, “Wow, that was not so bad.” We are talking about something you would be willing to choose over, say, Chili’s. We were going to say Waffle House but decided that would be an impossible standard.
Florida Gulf Coast made it to the Sweet 16. So the ball is in your court now, DUC.
Students at Emory are more likely to have spirit than Florida Gulf Coast was to make the Sweet 16. Every year, we see prospective student government officers say that they have figured out what is wrong with Emory – it has no spirit. But never fear!
They have a plan to fix it, and if you vote for them, you will not be able to tell the difference between here and UGA. And every year students at Emory yawn and say that they do not care what their student leaders have to say, because they have a B-School meeting to attend and then they are hitting up Mags.
Florida Gulf Coast made it to the Sweet 16. The ball is in our court, Emory students.
The Emory football team is more likely to make the Sweet 16 than Florida Gulf Coast was. This would require Emory first getting a football team. Thirty-two teams play in the NCAA Division III Football Tournament, but there is not much literature on the subject, and your On Fire correspondent was unable to determine if the second round is called the Sweet 16. If it is not, then that would have to start happening too.
And then maybe the students would find some spirit in the football team. And good food would be served at the game. Or maybe not. We would think about it more, but we are hungry and want to go to Waffle House before Maggie’s.