Xavier head basketball coach Travis Steele called his shot during the postgame press conference after his Musketeers beat Cincinnati 77-69 in one of the nastiest rivalries in college basketball. Steele told the media he was heading to dive bar Dana Gardens and that he was going to drop $2,000 on drinks for Xavier fans. That’s $1,000 for each of his wins in the rivalry.
Then Steele made good on his promise by walking into the Gardens, sauntering up to the bar and plunking down $2,000. “We own this city for the next year,” Steele said as he walked out the door. Xavier fans went nuts.
Unless you grew up within range of 700 WLW, Cincinnati TV stations or have enough understanding of the Queen City sports scene, it’s hard to know what it means to win the Crosstown Shootout. It’s the Iron Bowl of Cincinnati. It’s Michigan-Ohio State. The schools hate each other. The fans hate each other. There is legitimate hatred for each other, and it’s gotten ugly over the years.
Daytonians have no choice but to follow college basketball. It’s born into their blood. Xavier, who doesn’t have a football team, come north on I-75, and there will be an all-out war with the Flyers. Crank it up to full-blast war, and that’s what it’s like between X and UC.
That’s the background here. Enjoy some semi-normal college content, a rarity in 2020.
What Pete Gillen did after his first Crosstown Shootout win as Xavier's coach in 1986: pic.twitter.com/9JPTPQw2BA
— Shannon Russell (@slrussell) December 6, 2019