Some Notes

hoyas scarlet knights

Question of the day:

Somehow our ESPN got switched to Spanish. Should we call the cable company to fix it? …Or should we just save time and learn Spanish?

…I must say “Downton Abbey” offered the viewer a rare pleasure when Phoebe Nicholls appeared in the Christmas special as the Marchioness of Flintshire. She has aged very gracefully since portraying young Cordelia in Brideshead Revisited in the 80’s and Elizabeth Elliot in Persuasion in the 90’s.

Phoebe NichollsHowever: I do think this Christmas special ran roughshod over peoples’ nerves. Ending the season with arbitrary death? I cry foul. Especially since last years’ special inspired so many consoling reflections on God’s grace.

…The most important thing we need to discuss, though, is of course the Georgetown Hoyas.

Beating Cincinnati on Friday night meant the end of a two-year Bearcats curse. The sky is now the limit. A truly epic Big-East regular-season finale lies before us.

First, we must beat DePaul. Then…the ‘cuse. Two games against the Orange in two weeks.

What? Yes.

Will we lose them both? Probably. Could we win them both? Is the Pope Catholic? (at least until February 28th at 8:00 pm Rome time?)

Of course, smack dab in the middle of all this super-high-level intensity: a Saturday-night contest (March 2nd) against the venerable, the respectable, the eye-of-the-tiger-flashing Rutgers Scarlet Knights. (Just because they are called the Scarlet Knights does not mean they are not tough.)

And who, pray tell, will be present at the sure-to-be-mega-epic Saturday-night Verizon-Center contest? A game that could set the stage for a Hoyas Big-East championship and Final-Four run?

Yes! That’s right! The parish cluster of Frank’n’Hank Counties, Virginny, represented by a busload of young people and their unworthy pastor! Bring on the noise, peeps. We are stepping into some serious Big-East-basketball drama.

Downton Abbey Jubilee

In honor of the Triumph of the Cross, I thought I might offer a thought or two on a provocative subject.

This subject solely interests Downton Abbey enthusiasts. But, after all, isn’t that everybody?

The situation in late autumn 1919: Matthew and Mary could not wed. Too much misunderstanding, outside interference, and even death, had flown under the bridge. Both had lived through the death of another very attractive young person in their respective arms.

In other words, Matthew and Mary were doomed, their love consummately star-crossed. Hopeless. Tragic. Swallowed up by the merciless vagaries of cruel Fate. Nothing to look forward to but the long, slow, solitary march toward death and nothingness. Black suits and dresses forever.

But here’s the question: What happened? Something changed. Before we knew it, the snow was falling, they took the air on the veranda, and Crikey! they’re engaged.

What changed? How do you go from doomed to vavoomed like that? The fundamental nature of time, reality, justice, and love seems to shifted. Death no longer holds a viselike grip over this couple.

What happened?

Simple. Christmas. Christmas came, and the black clouds over the cemetery blew away.

Anna falling in love with Bates has never made sense to me. Bates bores me beyond tears. But Matthew and Mary have offered something genuinely interesting. And the jubilee their romance experienced makes perfect sense, when we remember that the Savior had been born in the meantime. The Christian faith allows mankind to start fresh every year. Death doesn’t win. Love and life win.