In this instance -- or really in any instance, I suppose -- the word “viral” is relative. We’re not talking Cousin Terio or Elan Gale or (heaven forbid) Justine Sacco-level viral here. A gaggle of reporters will not be standing outside Sad Georgetown Fan’s apartment by the end of the day today. Let’s hope not, anyway.
But within college basketball, and especially within the Georgetown fandom, Sad Georgetown Fan’s newfound minor fame is real -- and basically tells you everything you need to know about the 2013-14 Hoyas to date.
First, the origin story: On Monday night, when Georgetown squandered a three-point lead with six seconds left in regulation only to lose 80-72 in overtime to Marquette at home, Fox Sports 1 cameras cut to a shot of the Hoyas' student section. There, standing front and center, was a Georgetown fan whose deeply sad puppy-dog eyes moved from the scoreboard to the camera. While other Hoyas fans cheered encouragement, Sad Georgetown Fan was unmoved -- even by the prospect of being on TV. And so he communicated his depression with an extended look into the lens. Then he sat down and buried his head in his hands.
Naturally, the hard-hitting journalists at Casual Hoya tracked down Sad Georgetown Fan. His name is Scott McCallum. In an interview, McCallum revealed that his cameo has earned him a nickname around campus: “Sad Scott.” (Casual Hoya had been calling him “Sadface,” which is just as good.) Run a bath, cue up some Blood Orange and let Sad Scott’s melancholia wash over you:
Let's go back to the moment that the camera captured. Walk me through precisely what you were feeling.
It was pure disappointment on two fronts. First, there was the game. After leading by 3 with 6 seconds to go, here were the Hoyas down by 7 in OT, another blown lead for Georgetown and another loss to a Big East opponent. To make matters worse, I, and the rest of the student body, had just received a text from Hoya Alert saying that classes weren't canceled for Tuesday. Talk about pouring salt on an open wound.
Has there been another time in your life when you felt so dejected?
The night of FGCU. End of story.
What was the coolest thing you had ever done in your life prior to being the star of this epic moment?
Not really sure, but I lit my coffee table on fire once.
Sad Georgetown Fan, or Sad Scott if you’re nasty, isn’t your average sad fan meme. Those are a dime a dozen; there's always some cute little kid up past his bedtime caught crying on TV when his team is losing. No, Sad Scott is, as Casual Hoya writes, the “student whose face has become the singular symbol of the 2013-14 Georgetown Hoyas basketball season.”
The Hoyas have been decimated by injuries and absences. Forward Jabril Trawick has missed the last three games with a jaw injury. Forward Joshua Smith, the frustrating former UCLA center John Thompson III took a chance on this summer (who paid immediate individual dividends in Georgetown’s season-opening loss to Oregon in Seoul, South Korea), has missed the last four games thanks to academic issues. As a result, Georgetown has begun the Big East season 3-4, with three straight losses at Xavier and at home to Seton Hall and Marquette.
RealGM.com’s Dan Hanner dug into the Hoyas numbers from both before and after the Trawick and Smith losses. What he found was a team whose already short rotation has been “decimated”: Georgetown went from scoring 1.13 points per possession and allowing 0.94 to scoring 1.02 and giving up 1.04. That level of play is, as Hanner writes, “not even that of an NIT team.”
Whatever Smith’s inherent drawbacks, Thompson desperately needs him on the floor, if only because he doesn’t have anyone else. But academic issues can linger, particularly in the same semester, and Trawick’s recovery is indefinite. Which means, save some minor adjustments here and there, there’s no reason to expect Georgetown to start playing better basketball anytime soon.
In other words, “flaming coffee table” is actually a pretty apt metaphor. Sad Scott’s poetry isn’t limited to his face.