Monday, September 12, 2011

John Thompson, Jr, was supposed to be on Flight 77

In one of the more unbelievable stories of college basketball's ties to 9/11, Georgetown's legendary head coach John Thompson, Jr, was supposed to be on American Airlines flight 77, the one that crashed into the Pentagon.

You can here the whole version here, but the gist of the story is that one of the bookers for Jim Rome's TV Show had been trying for a year to get Thompson on the air. Thompson finally agreed to come on, but he had an engagement in Vegas on September 13th. Danny Swartz, the show's booker, wanted to get him on air on the 12th, and while Thompson initially booked his flight for September 11th, Swartz was able to convince him not to come out until the 12th.

Seriously, give this a listen. Its incredible.

On the one hand, can you imagine if Thompson had actually gotten on that plane? He was one of the greatest coaches in the 80's, the guy that built Georgetown basketball and Hoya Paranoia. How much different would the climate of Georgetown hoops be right now? Would the younger Thompson still be the head coach? Yesterday's anniversary would have held a completely different meaning for that program, that's for sure.

Perhaps what is more amazing is that the stubborn Thompson, who isn't exactly known as a man that is willing to conform, allowed himself to be talked out of going on Rome's show on the 11th.

(h/t CBS)

1 comment:

Victor Page FTW said...

The elder Thompson is amongst the most stubborn coaches in CBball history. He has always been known as a guy who does it "his way or the highway". From his scheduling, to coaching tactics, recruiting, even to managing his current radio show, his stubbornness is one of his biggest character traits.

It's not necessarily a bad thing though, but it's certainly a defining trait. Because of this, you should take Big John's praise for the show producer for more than it's worth.

John doesn't offer glowing praise on the regular, so when he does, you know it means something, and this show producer essentially saved his life. That's big.