October 6th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Duke vs. UNC, St. Joe’s vs. Villanova, the tortoise vs. the hare. History has proven these to be fantastic rivalries, but there is just something about Maree vs. Titans. Since I have arrived in Galway, all I have been reminded of is how big of a heated rivalry Titans vs the crosstown rivals from Oranmore. To quote one local lad, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t win a game all season, as long as you beat Maree!”
Last week I was invited by some friends to go to play bingo (I know I’m developing into an 80 year old man over here). They played it up to be really fun and you could win some serious money, so I figured why not. We walked into the place about 10 minutes late and immediately everyones heads turned and stared at me. I thought to myself, relax everyone I thought 10 minutes late in Ireland meant I was on time! But then it hit me, I was at a Maree bingo fundraiser event. The girls I was with didn’t realize what they had done, but nonetheless we stayed and boy would it have been great to win some money from them. (Spoiler Alert: Bingo is not as exciting as these girls made it out to be)
Flash forward to this past Saturday and our first game of the new season is against none other than the lads from Oranmore. Our gym is brand new, but doesn’t have any stands like most gyms in Ireland, so the crowd is literally right on top of you and they packed the place to capacity. I started off the game hotter than a summers day in Galway*, hitting three 3 pointers in a row to start. We held a 15 point lead in the second quarter but they just kept chipping away and made it a one point game at the half. By the fourth quarter, the body heat in the gym caused the floor to become like an ice rink and the ball near impossible to hold onto. We were down by 3 with five seconds to go and my teammate missed a shot at the buzzer to send it into overtime.Tremendous game and it was really amazing how much passion both the players and fans from both sides. We get to play them again in a few weeks in the first round of the National Cup Tournament, so revenge will certainly be on all our minds. It felt great to be back in a competitive environment again but that loss stung a little more than usual because there’s just something about Maree.