Since 1993, the Red Sox have called Fort Myers their spring training home. Over time, some have taken to calling it The Fort, for short. But after this past weekend, folks may be ready to rename it altogether.
Its new identity? Dunk City.
After its 15th-seeded basketball team stunned the hoops world by knocking off No. 2 Georgetown on Friday night, Florida Gulf Coast University's official Twitter account told its followers, "When people ask you where FGCU is, just tell them Dunk City, Florida!" -- and as the Eagles have become the biggest story of March Madness, their neighbors in Dunk City have hopped on the bandwagon with both feet.
The bandwagon needs even more room now, after Florida Gulf Coast beat San Diego State on Sunday to become the first 15 seed ever to reach the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16, though with JetBlue Park less than 10 miles from the Eagles' campus the Red Sox were among the first wave of excitement, and took to Twitter to voice their support.
In fact, if this Tweet between Brock Holt and Mike Napoli is true, Napoli was a believer in the Eagles even before they took out the Hoyas:
As Friday was unfolding, Will Middlebrooks was surprised at first. "FGCU is hangin with Georgetown!!!! This is crazy!!!" he wrote. But then he saw something that convinced him an upset was possible -- and he couldn't pull his eyes away.
FGCU just has that look in their eyes right now. #Confidence— Will Middlebrooks (@middlebrooks) March 23, 2013
Congrats FGCU!!! Huge Win... Ft. Myers will be celebrating tonight#MarchMadness— Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) March 23, 2013
If you're not watching Florida Gulf Coast you should be, classic basketball, out hustle and move the ball! @clarson5 would be proud— Joel Hanrahan (@hanrahan52) March 23, 2013
Been in fort Myers nice for my third spring training...hell yea I'm rooting for FGCU!!!— bryce brentz (@Bbrentz7) March 23, 2013
Then came Sunday.
Florida Gulf Coast isn't playing any games! They are for real. It is hype at every restaurant in Ft. Myers since we are in their backyard.— Jackie Bradley Jr. (@JackieBradleyJr) March 25, 2013
Soar with the Eagles! FGCU #Sweet16— Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) March 25, 2013
The Eagles next take the court Friday night, against Florida, at 9:57 p.m. Thankfully, the Red Sox and Twins play at 1 that afternoon -- so their ballparks will be empty by then, and all of Dunk City will have a chance to watch.
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