A-Rod Visits Georgetown 

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Georgetown might be known for its incredible basketball program, but that didn’t stop one baseball great from swinging by this week for a tour. That phenom was none other than New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who spent about 90 minutes on the Hilltop on Tuesday touring the campus.

Rodriguez was accompanied by an assistant and by Mex Carey, the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at Georgetown. He also took time to meet Georgetown Basketball players L.J. Peak (COL ’18) and Bradley Hayes (COL ’16).

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A-Rod’s tour was given by Justin Kotwicki (COL ’17), who works at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (and also for The Hoya)

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“Yesterday morning my boss, Berkley Braden, comes and tells me that Alex Rodriguez is going to be on campus and he needs a tour guide. She asked if I would do it and without hesitation I said yes. Perks of working 9-5 over the summer, I suppose,” Kotwicki said.

It’s no secret that the Yankees slugger has an affinity for college campus tours, and according to Kotwicki, A-Rod expressed an interest in Georgetown’s legacy and “all of the random historical fun facts” it holds. 

“The conversation was focused on the history of the school, the countless legends that students have come up with over the years, student life and most importantly, our mutual love of the show Homeland,” Kotwicki said. 

And of course, no tour with A-Rod could be complete without a little talk about baseball. 

“We immediately bonded over our baseball backgrounds,” Kotwicki said, “he being the 14-time All Star with the fourth most homeruns in the history of the game and myself having been the 2nd string left fielder on the 2008 Crofton Cardinals Little League baseball team that scored a grand total of three runs during my tenure. We had a lot in common.”

All jokes aside, A-Rod went largely unnoticed on his campus tour. “Some people would give us that ‘I know I know that face’ look, but not once did we get stopped for a picture or autograph at any point throughout the tour,” Kotwicki said.

Photos/Gifs: Washingtonpost.com; instagram.com

Surviving Senior Week (If You Aren’t Actually a Senior)

SENIOR WEEK

So, you’re still here.

Finals are over. Most of your friends have moved out. Your room is a shadow of its former self, your Pulp Fiction/Animal House/Bob Marley posters and big-screen TV packed away in a Corp Storage box somewhere.

It’s Senior Week, the aptly named period at the end of the year when the soon-to-graduate class gets campus mostly to itself, with no classes to worry about and a plethora of university-sponsored activities to enjoy.

But whether you’re trying to make some extra cash at an on-campus job or helping a club finish its end-of-year projects, you’re just one of many underclassmen sticking around for the week. With classes done and club commitments pretty relaxed in most cases, chances are you’ve got a ton of free time and next to no idea what to do with it.

Don’t be too jealous of the seniors: Just because you don’t get a keg party at Leo’s or a black-tie ball at Union Station doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome week. Follow a few simple rules and you’ll find yourself wondering why everyone doesn’t stay late:

FIND A HOUSE
If you’re here for a club or work, chances are you know a few co-workers still on campus. Find one that has a townhouse, or at least a big apartment.

This serves two purposes:

1. With Leo’s closed until summer school starts, this week provides a prime opportunity to work on your culinary skills. Cooking is much more fun with a bunch of friends in a house than it is in your common room.
2. It’s not fun (or legal) to fit 25 people and a keg in a Southwest Quad dorm room.

Even if you aren’t into big parties, it’s important to have a home base for people to convene at nights, whether it’s for a potluck dinner or a movie showing (The Georgetown Retaliation, anyone?) University townhouses are best, but a Henle or Village B will work in a pinch.

PACK YOUR STUFF
Seriously, do it. No matter how many times you tell your friends that you’re better at packing when you’re drunk anyway, frantically attempting to shove all your belongings into a suitcase at 4 a.m. the morning of your flight is really, really not fun. Try to pack some of your belongings every day, so by the end of the week all that’s left is this week’s laundry.

When you inevitably figure out that you can’t fit all your clothes and other accumulated crap into two suitcases and a backpack, be sure to donate your unwanted possessions to a move-out drive rather than the dumpster.

BREAKING THE BUBBLE, PART 1
This is where we’d normally tell you to go see a Washington Nationals game. Unfortunately, D.C.’s boys of summer are on a West Coast road swing until NEXT WEDNESDAY. While Nats games are a blast, we don’t recommend flying to San Diego this week to see one.

Seriously, though, there’s nothing like a baseball game on a warm summer night. A river taxi runs from the Georgetown Waterfront to Nationals Park most nights, so it’s easy to avoid the overstuffed Green Line. If you stay late in future years, be sure to catch at least one game.

BREAKING THE BUBBLE, PART 2
“Get out of the Georgetown bubble!” is one of the most repeated and least followed pieces of advice most Hoyas will encounter during the school year. It’s understandable, really — we all know D.C. has a lot to offer beyond the front gates, but we’re too tied up with homework, extracurricular commitments and friends to take advantage of it during the year.

Well, you’re in luck. Use your time this week in between work and partying (trust us, there’s time) to get out in the city.

-If by some absurd confluence of events you haven’t already walked to the monuments with your friends, do that. Seriously, they’re awesome.
-Rent a paddleboat or canoe and go out on the Potomac. We do not endorse the legally questionable practice known as “cabrewing” — in which participants bring beer to drink on the river — but its existence should be noted.
-Take the Blue Line to Alexandria’s Old Town district, where you can hang out with some beer and wings while watching Revolutionary War re-enactors march up and down the street, or check out the awe-inspiring George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
-Go visit a Smithsonian (they’re free) or the Newseum (not free, but 100 percent worth the price of admission).

If you’re not feeling especially adventurous, use your newfound free time to go out for a nice dinner with friends right here in Georgetown. Taj of India, Bangkok Joe’s and Thunder Burger are just a few of the spots you may have missed if you didn’t make it past Wisconsin Ave. this year.

GO TO LAU
*ducks to avoid barrage of textbook projectiles* KIDDING! I WAS KIDDING!

All jokes aside, enjoy your Senior Week, Hoyas!

Photo: Alexander Brown/The Hoya

Friday Fixat10ns: Baseball’s Back!

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Spring is finally here! I know we got snow this week, and it hasn’t really felt like springtime weather yet, but there is one surefire sign that points to the glorious return of the sun.  Nope, not the day marked “spring begins” on the calendar.  The cherry blossoms blooming would be a good guess, but still wrong.  The grand indicator is, of course, the Opening Day for the Major League Baseball season! I can already smell the freshly cut grass and stale beer, staples of any solid baseball experience.  While we get ready to watch the Nationals attempt to turn regular season dominance into post season success, and I watch (Wish? Pray? Shut my eyes so I don’t have to deal with more heartbreak?) my Red Sox try to get out of whatever funk they’ve been in, here is a playlist of songs to get you in the mood for baseball season (and spring in general).

Take Me Out to the Ballgame- Jimmy Buffett I feel like there really isn’t any explanation needed on this one.  But just in case, baseball’s classic anthem sung by the president of Margaritaville.  What better way to get started?

Dancing in the Dark- Bruce Springsteen I don’t know about you, but when I go to a game with a 7pm start time, I expect to do a lot of dancing in the dark.  Especially in April: it can get cold.

Beautiful Day- U2 A great song about enjoying the day, no matter where you are or what it’s like.  Perfect for cruising with the windows down on your way to a game, or while sitting inside waiting for it to stop raining.

All Star- Smash Mouth Where did Smash Mouth go? I mean really, there are very few artists with as much influence on my childhood as these guys.  You couldn’t go anywhere for at least all of 2000 without hearing that song.  More to the point, it talks about all-star athletes.  Doesn’t get much more baseball than that.

You Get What You Give- The New Radicals Just another great spring/summer song.  It just makes you feel good and want to move around. What else is there to say?

Walk of Life- Dire Straits I have great memories listening to this song on the way to tee-ball games, inspired by the player going through the “walk of life”.  Playing baseball, for me anyways, was all a part of that same walk.

The Boys of Summer- Don Henley While this one is about the end of the season, the boys of summer are about to come out for the next six months, so no need to be sad; just enjoy the song!

Dirty Water- The Standells Hopefully I’ll get to hear this song get played a few more times this year than last year. For those of you that don’t know, this song (about the Charles River in Boston) is blared over the loudspeakers at Fenway Park after every Red Sox victory.  It’s especially fitting for Georgetown, too, as we get to look out at our own dirty water every day.

Don’t Stop Believing- Journey Bottom of the ninth, two outs, all hope lost? Don’t fret, and play some Journey.  Seriously.  I’m pretty sure everything is possible with this song playing.

Centerfield- John Fogerty Is there a better baseball song than this one? I don’t think so.  It talks about baseball legends, playing baseball, baseball weather.  Everything’s baseball, and I can’t get enough of it.  Man, I’m glad the season is here.

Casual Thursdays: Spring (Training) Fever

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Happy Thursday, Hoyas! And welcome to this week’s installment of Casual Thursday, where we try and get you ready for the weekend ahead.

Since I’m from New England, I completely understand how the cold slowly wears away at your nerves, and around this time, I tend to realize that I’ve just had enough of the cold.  Midterm stress is weighing down on everybody, Valentine’s Day has passed and Spring Break is still one more week away.  What could I possibly get me excited for this weekend, you ask?  This weekend (today, actually) marks the beginning of Major League Baseball’s spring training game schedule, and while I’m not all that excited to watch any of the games (as fun as the Red Sox beating up on Boston College may be), it means that spring is just around the corner! So while the weather might not be warm yet, I still have hope, and I have a drink and game that go perfectly with the spring weather that is sure to be here soon.

The drink of the day is a twist off of the good ole screwdriver (get it?), and is bright and springy enough to enjoy out on the beach, or inside by the fire while you hope for the snow to melt. It’s official name is the Yellow Bird, (presumably) named after the brightly colored birds flying around as the weather gets nice.  While I haven’t actually been able to find a bird that goes by this name scientifically, I’m sure they are out there somewhere.  Without further ado, your cocktail:

Yellow Bird

  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1.25 oz of orange juice
  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1 0z dark rum
  • .25 oz Galliano
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

1. Squeeze the lime into a cocktail shaker with ice

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients

3. Shake well

4. Strain into a glass with crushed ice

5. Garnish with a cherry

Dizzy Bat

Of course, the fun can’t stop there.  Whether just trying to gear up for spring, or out having a good time with friends on spring break, we have a baseball themed drinking game for everyone to enjoy.  Allow me to introduce (or reintroduce) you to the game of Dizzy Bat.  This is a game that can be enjoyed by a big group for its entertainment value, but definitely requires a lot of space.  You will also need:

  • Whiffle ball bat
  • Beer (cans works best for the game, and serves as a perfect way to use up that oh-so-lovely Natty)

1. You will need to cut off the end of the bat handle, turning the bat into a drinking container.

2.  Then fill the bat with beer as the first brave contestant steps up.

3. They will chug the beer, while the rest of the group counts, or times, how long it takes them to finish.

4. The batter then leans over, puts their forehead on the bat, and spins around for the same length of time that it took them to drink.

5. Once finished spinning, another member of the group tosses up a crushed beer can for the participant to attempt to hit with the bat (really the only baseball element involved in this game).

6. You can either think of a point system, a penalty if they miss, or make them spin around three more times and try again.  Really, it will all be entertaining, regardless of how you want to finish the turn.

If you are still confused, check out this sterling example of a champion Dizzy Bat competitor.  Seriously though, you may want to avoid trying this on concrete, and maybe use a smaller bat.  Also, if you were too busy laughing to completely grasp the game, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that show just how you should play (kind of).

Photo: newschoolers.com, Finlandia Vodka Cup

Show Your Natitude Today

Today at 1:07 p.m., D.C. will see something it hasn’t seen since the Great Depression: postseason baseball.

It’s almost unbelievable. After languishing with mediocre baseball teams (or no team at all) the Washington Nationals were awesome this year. For those of you who aren’t sports fans, the Nats finished the regular season with the best record in baseball, clinched their first division pennant since 1981 (a full 24 years before they would move to D.C. from Montreal) and brought postseason baseball to Washington for the first time since 1933 — when the Washington Senators went to the World Series.

To get a sense of how big of a deal this season is for the Nationals, the franchise decided to Let Teddy Win during the mid-game Presidents’ Race — snapping a 538-race losing streak. (Because we at 4E love Teddy, we were ecstatic — but not quite as excited as these people, including John McCain.)

No matter which baseball team you support, postseason baseball — especially in a city as starved as this one — is exciting. (If you aren’t excited, read these articles by Washington sports writers). And, if you don’t realize how big this is for the District, a city council meeting will be postponed until the end of the game. Offices will cease to function as people come up with excuses to watch the game. But what’s the best way to make the best of all of the sporting excitement without trekking down to Navy Yard and Nationals Park? We’ve got you covered.

1. Show your Natitude. The Nationals organization has made a big push to grow their fan base in the D.C. area this year through their #NATITUDE campaign. The idea was to improve attendance at games and TV ratings. It worked. And no matter where you’re from, you can get in on the Natitude as well. Wear a curly “W” hat. Follow the Nationals on Twitter (they’ll live tweet the game so you can follow it during class). Get excited that, for the first time in 79 years, this city is home to a great baseball team.

2. Watch a game. Tomorrow’s game (much to the ire of Nats fans) is at literally the least convenient time. And it’s not being shown on a major network. So, you’ll have to head to restaurants with nice TV’s to watch it (unless you have a premium cable package.) Clyde’s and Rhino on M Street are probably your closest safe bets, but these restaurants held specials on Monday for the last game, so might have a bit more excitement there.

3. Find a local fan. D.C. baseball fans have been deprived of legitimate teams for years, so any conversation with them is probably going to make you want to at least root for the Nationals in this series.

4. Familiarize yourself with Nationals history and fandom. Because the Nats had to start up a new fan base in 2005 when they moved to D.C., they made it fun to follow games. The best non-sports related Nationals blog is Let Teddy Win. And, even though Teddy won a week ago today, they still follow everything about the Nationals that isn’t sports.

5. Ditch your hometown team. Sorry, Boston fans. The Red Sox were subpar this year. Sorry, Braves fans — my St. Louis Cardinals (also known as the Nationals’ foes in this series) beat you at home last Friday. Yankees and Orioles fans — your team doesn’t play until tonight. Whoever you support, I’m sure you can take three hours out of your life to root for the Nationals beginning at 1:07 p.m. today. They deserve your support. This city deserves your support. D.C. has been starved of good baseball for such a long time, so this is exciting.

(Disclaimer: Ignore this whole post if you are like me and you’re a Cardinals fan. Show your STL pride tomorrow, more than ever. I certainly will. Just know that it’s not the worst thing if the Cards lose this series, since D.C. baseball has been so sad for so long until now — you have to feel just a little bad for D.C. that St. Louis has won two World Series in the seven seasons since baseball moved back to D.C., while the Nats have suffered two 100-loss seasons in that time and just got their first ever winning season. Let’s make it 12 in ’12!)

Photo Credit: The Washington Times

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Like many of us here in D.C., we neglected to note that baseball season has started, and given the Nats’ losing seasons, understandably so. The Nats have never had a winning season in D.C. and (let’s face it) we’d rather watch the Caps squeak into the playoffs and contend against Boston in this year’s opening round.

That said, the Nats are surprising many right now by romping through their first few games (largely thanks to their pitching staff) and having their best start since moving to D.C. in 2005. So it’s a good time to go to a Nats game. But they don’t have to win for their fans to enjoy their games. We wanted to share with you the best non-baseball reasons to head to a game soon.

1. The food. Nationals Park has great food (although you do have to contend with ballpark prices). Shake Shack has a location above right field behind the big scoreboard, so they’ve got some great frozen custard, milkshakes and burgers. Ben’s Chili Bowl has carts around the Park. The baseball food isn’t just your typical hot dog and funnel cake anymore. And, if you miss the food at your hometown park, head to Taste of the Majors for regional food from lots of other MLB cities.

2. The view. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat behind home plate or along the first base sideline, you get to see the Capitol Dome behind the field of play. If you’re along the right field side, you get to see the towers of the National Cathedral, and if you’re high enough, even Healy.

3. The Presidents’ Race. Modeled off of the Milwaukee sausage race, the Pittsburgh pierogi race (what’s a pierogi exactly?), and the Albuquerque (my hometown) chile pepper/taco/salsa race, the Nats’ mascots (the four Presidents on the face of Mt. Rushmore) race around the park every 4th inning. We hate to say it, though, but our favorite President, Teddy Roosevelt, has lost 453 consecutive races, according to our friends at Let Teddy Win, the preeminent authority on Presidents’ Races.

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