America has become enthralled with the latest Cinderella. The University of Dayton.
Well, I saw Cinderella first. As a University of Dayton graduate, I have been stressing to people since I first found out about the school how amazing it is. The word community is not just something we put on admission’s brochures or use in our commercials. It is real life. Our “riots” never turned violent at the end of the games, but rather were a celebration about how amazing it is to be a Dayton Flyer.
I got the unique opportunity to be a part of Sweet Sixteen watch party in DC. I rocked all my Dayton attire that is work appropriate-Dayton cuff links, Dayton bow tie, and Dayton socks. I walked in to class that night and mentioned to my professor the importance of the game. He said, no problem we will get out early. I booked it across town to get to the game watch.
Even 475 miles away, I felt like I was back in Dayton as I walked into the bar. The crowd was energetic, the excitement and nerves palpable, and the place…..rocking. It was so great to see Flyer grads reaching all the way back to the 60s in attendance. Never has a victory felt so sweet. What made it sweet was not the final score, it was not the upset, it was not the new recognition for UD, but it was the community that was present. Never once was a mean word uttered as you elbowed your way through the crowd. No one thought twice about buying the guy next to them a beer or a drink. The community feeling was there for sure. It was what made Dayton the school that I love and keeps me coming back to the community again and again. We had transformed this bar in the heart of DC into a house on Kiefaber.
I believe in a couple things in life-good whiskey, great conversations, deep thought, God, family, friends, Democratic politics, love, faith, optimism, the Chicago White Sox, that dogs are the best, snuggling, Harry and Ginny make a great couple, fortune cookies contain no wisdom, Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and the Dayton Flyers. I was so proud of the team on Saturday when the season slipped away from us. I knew that the community of Dayton would only be enhanced by this experience.
I wish people could understand the beauty and greatness of the school. It is an amazing place where one can live in the ghetto, order cousin vinny’s, walk up to a porch and get a beer from anyone, play catch in the street with their neighbors, and make friends for life. It is so much more than cliche slogans or chants. We live what we preach and if you don’t believe it ask someone wearing a Dayton sweatshirt/t-shirt/etc about the school. However, be careful…they won’t stop…
Until next time my friends, be safe and make good decisions….oh, and GOOOOOO DAYTON FLYERS!!!!