Well of course he does. Providence Friars head coach Ed Cooley made some curious comments following PC’s 72-57 win over Rhode Island last night. From GoLocalProv:
“Next year we have to go down to whatever that gym is. But the Dunk is where this game should be played every year.”
Oh Ed, you seem like a nice enough guy. But to say something like that is just foolish. When he was pressed as to why, he responded “Because I’m greedy!”, so perhaps he was kidding. Either than or he was indicating that he’s actually Jamine Peterson in disguise. In any event, there are several huge flaws in this elitist sort of thinking, which is shared by many Friar fans. And after stomping our feet and screaming “No fair!” a bunch of times, we thought about it rationally.
And it still makes no sense. Look, first of all, point to a situation anywhere in any sport where two teams match up annually, and the match-up is held at one of the team’s home facility EVERY SINGLE TIME. You can’t find one because it’s completely unheard of. If he suggested playing the game annually at a neutral location (Mohegan Sun is a good example), then that would have merit.
Secondly, the notion that there are more URI fans at the Dunk than there are PC fans at the Ryan is probably true, but to cite that as justification for moving games away from Kingston is insane. Here’s an idea, Friar Nation: SELL MORE TICKETS! Especially season tickets, which will effectively eliminate the number of available seats for any given game! And the “There are too many Rhody fans at the Ryan Center!” complaint isn’t even worth addressing. That’s what a road game is.
And finally, who does PC think they are? It’s not like they’re a national powerhouse that Rhody should be on their knees thanking the Friars for playing them. The “We want to continue this annual tradition, but on our terms” dialogue is getting tiresome. This isn’t a buy game. If PC wants to pay Rhody to come to The Dunk every year, then maybe they’ll start listening.
Conferences aside, these schools are on the same level, despite what some fans (from either school, mind you) will tell you. And that’s what makes this game so fun. So please, Ed, shut your mouth and enjoy the rivalry. Because it’s not changing.