I need a new t-shirt! No matter how over-priced and garish the shirt below is, I’m happy to have it…and happier to grab the Final Four shirts that will be available later today celebrating VCU’s stunning run from the first four (really the last four into the NCAA tournament) to the Final Four under the stellar and mature leadership of 33 year-old Coach Shaka Smart. The last shall be first…

So sweet that it's obsolete!

The Rams’ run has been so impressive and so fun to watch. They didn’t even play all that well against #1 seeded Kansas yesterday, so watch out world!  And as happy as Jamie Skeen, Joey Rodriguez, Brandon Burgess, Brandon Rozzell and the rest of the guys look, they have never looked awestruck or over-the-top can you believe it?!  on the sidelines during their victories. They really have believed. Very cool. Richmond could learn a thing or two from them.

The team effort is an over-used metaphor and under-utilized practice in the world at large and on the basketball court, but this VCU team shows the power and beauty of teamwork every game. They are easy to love.  Larry Sanders could have stayed in school for his senior year this year, instead of going into the NBA, but had he, I don’t think the Rams would have been as good because they would have relied too much on him. This tournament they have relied on everyone on the floor to do what needs doing.

I happen to love basketball, so this crazy focus on guys running up and down a court trying to get a ball through a net makes complete sense to me. I am enough of a complete person to know that there are other more important things going on in the world, but here in Richmond it’s already evident how much good this sports nuttiness is doing for the city, university, and region. It is strange that it takes something like this for a city and region to pull together, but I’ll take it.

Oh and by the way, all you writers and commentators coming to Richmond for the first time ever, or writing about us without knowing one true thing, we are not a sleepy southern town, we are the capital of Virginia (and have been since 1780), a capital of culture with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and universities such as UR and VCU here. And fyi, VCU is a vibrant and varied blockbuster of a university with #1 sculpture and nurse anesthesia programs in the country, both emblematic of its acclaimed arts and medical schools. You might want to pick up a copy of Insiders\’ Guide to Richmond to get a sense of the city and region before stereotyping us to death.

All the way!