Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Making Martelli mad

A message from Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli to a GW fan sitting behind his bench: the things said about Mrs. Martelli were completely out of line.

Karl Hobbs, GW’s head coach, also has a message for that fan: stop, because those kinds of insults are disgustingly inappropriate.

“I would prefer not to comment on some of the things you hear here,” Martelli said after his Hawks lost 74-65 to GW Wednesday night. “There was a guy out there today that would be arrested on the street. He had a lot to say about my wife. I don’t think (GW Director of Athletics) Jack (Kvancz) or Karl (Hobbs) would be proud about that. Nor his mother.”

Martelli didn’t specify the nature of comments about his wife, but said it was lucky she wasn’t there. Comments about his wife were just part of the heckling that the coach commonly endures in the Smith Center.

Fans spent the entire game screaming at Martelli and mimicking his every move during a passionate contest that gave the Colonials its 24th consecutive home victory. Insults about anyone’s family are just plain wrong, Hobbs said.

“That’s not right and our students need to know that,” Hobbs said after the game. “What we’ve built here is special and that’s just not right.”

The animosity between GW fans and Martelli seems decades long, but by most fans’ accounts, it goes back to March 5, 2005, during GW’s last home loss. Fans recalled Martelli making a yawning gesture toward the student section when the Hawks were beginning to close out the victory.

Colonials fans fired back later when he came to Foggy Bottom. Fans held up a picture of Frankenstein next to a photo of Martelli, trying to show a perceived likeness to the character from the Mary Shelly novel.

Senior Carl Elliott said students shouldn’t be making comments about his wife, but added that he remembers the “yawn” well.

“Fans are dedicated to our program and that’s good,” Elliott said. “But the yawn is when the rivalry took off. If I were the fans, I would be mad too.”

Though many Colonials fans give Martelli a hard time, he is considered a pleasant guy by many accounts. Martelli called Elliott the “most valuable player in the league” after last night’s game.

“For him to say that about me is very nice,” Elliott said. “He has NBA guys, so that is great.”

But there was even a moment Wednesday night when Elliott thought Martelli was giving him some attitude. When Elliott reached for Martelli’s hand after the contest, Martelli brushed past him and bumped shoulders with him. Afterwards, Martelli approached the senior guard and gave him several compliments.

“Yeah, he walked by me and I was kind of wondering what happened,” Elliott said. “But then after he said he didn’t mean it.”

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