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Mets’ Jay Horwitz relishing alma mater FDU’s historic upset over Purdue


HE LEFT Fairleigh Dickinson 43 years in the past this April 1 to develop into a legendary public relations director for the Mets, however FDU by no means left him.

“Once I was in school, it was Fairleigh Ridiculous this, Fairleigh Ridiculous that … the place is Fairleigh Dickinson? The place is Rutherford? The place is Teaneck?” Jay Horwitz instructed The Put up on Saturday. “In my eight years there, we misplaced in 34 totally different states. Al LoBalbo, who was the coach after I was there, he was attempting to unfold the title of FDU basketball. So we might be the primary recreation on all people’s schedule — like Texas, and Florida State, we performed in Brigham Younger and Utah.

“We misplaced more often than not, and after some time, you’re sick of all of the title calls and mock stuff.

“It was a superb feeling to see what they did final night time. Hopefully, the jokes will cease for at the very least a day now.”

Horwitz was stuffed with satisfaction watching FDU develop into the second 16-seed to shock a 1-seed (Purdue) on Friday night time and seize the creativeness of the nation, the way in which UMBC did 5 years in the past in opposition to Virginia.

“God relaxation his soul, I’m positive Al’s wanting down in heaven, I’m positive he’s very happy with what the FDU group did final night time,” Horwitz stated.

LoBalbo was a defensive genius who left FDU to be Lou Carnesecca’s longtime assistant at St. John’s in 1980. LoBalbo (128-142 from 1969-79) performed 62 p.c of his video games on the street. He’s within the FDU Corridor of Fame. He died in 2002.

Mets PR Director Jay Horwitz is feeling satisfaction for his alma mater, FDU, for pulling off a large upset.
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“What occurred [Friday] he actually set in movement a very long time in the past,” Horwitz stated. “As a result of it was his dream for Fairleigh to be a participant on the nationwide scene. So we scheduled all these unwinnable video games to try to increase cash for a subject home. We performed in a small fitness center in Rutherford. Al’s dream was to sacrifice wins and losses to get recruits, to go to Georgia, to go to Utah, to go Florida to play.

“We have been at all times form of just like the sacrificial lambs. And Al knew that entering into. However he did it with a goal.

“What occurred final night time was actually in my thoughts what Al was attempting to do virtually 40 years in the past, 45 years in the past. He wished to have the home-and-home.

“That was his dream, to get return residence video games from these big-time faculties to return to Jersey to play Fairleigh in a brand new enviornment which Fairleigh would have, which we now have. And sadly throughout his time there it by no means got here to fruition.”

Horwitz got here to FDU from NYU and developed a friendship with LoBalbo. Simply not on the very starting on Dec. 1, 1972.

“We performed College of Maine in Orono, Maine,” Horwitz stated. “And I wrote the names down incorrect within the scorebook, and we began the sport with two technical fouls, and we wound up shedding the sport, 68-67 in time beyond regulation. In that day, the SIDs preserve the scorebook. Gamers on the court docket didn’t have the proper numbers.

“He walked by the scorer’s desk, he stated, ‘Now I do know why NYU dropped friggin’ basketball ’reason behind idiots such as you.’ Our relationship did enhance after that first recreation.”

The excessive level was a 59-55 upset of Georgia in Athens early within the 1975-76 season that left the house crowd in surprised disbelief.

“We simply shocked the s–t out of a big-time group,” Horwitz stated.

Horwitz was wooed by new Mets homeowners Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday due to the numerous human curiosity tales he engineered at FDU in an effort to attract consideration to the varsity.

“We had an Arab and Israeli goalie on the identical soccer group,” Horwitz stated. “We had a 43-year-old freshman soccer participant [Mal Dixon]. We had a priest [John Piece] that performed hockey. We had a [5-foot-5] baseball participant [Steve Dembowski] who was hit by a pitch 128 occasions in 4 years. We had a wrestler with six youngsters. We had a soccer participant who overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Fairleigh Dickinson Knights forward Jo'el Emanuel celebrates defeating the Purdue Boilermakers at Nationwide Arena.
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights ahead Jo’el Emanuel celebrates defeating the Purdue Boilermakers at Nationwide Area.
USA TODAY Sports activities

“We had a fencer, and I used to jot down these articles for the native paper, and the headline was — I don’t wish to provide the man’s title — ‘Tom Smith beats Rutgers single-handedly.’ And the man had one arm. The fencer had one arm. So I acquired known as into the president’s workplace.”

Franklin Jacobs was a world-class FDU excessive jumper who gained the Millrose Video games and jumped two toes over his head and set a world indoor document in 1978.

“I did have an All-American at Fairleigh Dickinson after I was there,” Horwitz stated. “A man named Redonia Duck Jr. made the first-team All-America Identify Crew. He glided by Crimson Duck. He was like a 6-6 middle, he was a fairly good participant.

“On the Teaneck campus, they’d a duck pond in entrance of the campus, so I sat there with Crimson and I used to be throwing geese into the water to get the geese emigrate in the direction of him. The duvet of the press information was Crimson Duck Jr. feeding geese.”

ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg performed at FDU. Horwitz talked about a street recreation at Texas.

“We had a few Jewish guys on the beginning group,” he stated. “So I’d put a Bob and a Ray after they have been launched. So ‘beginning at guard for Fairleigh Dickinson, Seth Ray Greenberg.’ And ‘beginning at a small ahead, Bob Lee Smith.’ So I attempted to make it southern.”

Besides the general public handle announcer wasn’t offered.

“Are you making these names up?”

“No, we’re not,” Horwitz assured him, “we’ve a really southern group in New Jersey.”

Then there was his radio interview earlier than a recreation in opposition to Georgia Southern.

“Inform me a bit of about Fairleigh Dickinson.”

“You already know the actress Angie Dickinson?” Horwitz stated. “Fairleigh was her husband. Fairleigh Dickinson is definitely owned by Angie Dickinson and her husband Fairleigh.”

Horwitz provides: “Which was not true.”

One time he grew bored with answering, “The place is Fairleigh Dickinson situated?”

“Midway between Whippany Park and Ho-Ho-Kus,” Horwitz stated.

Horwitz helped put FDU on the map. Hopefully now will probably be plastered on the map.

“I simply really feel actually proud, I’m actually comfortable for the varsity, comfortable for them they acquired the nationwide recognition,” Horwitz stated. “Hopefully gained’t be laughing at Fairleigh Dickinson any extra.”

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