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Seeman: Blue & Gold Auction features dinner with Cheer Squad, game day with Father Wild, among others

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As I’m slowly learning in my research for an article that will appear in an upcoming issue of the Tribune (yes, that’s a shameless plug and you all should keep an eye out for it in coming weeks), it takes a lot of money to keep the athletics program afloat here at Marquette.

Shockingly, sales from the overpriced beers and hot dogs at the Bradley Center don’t cover all those expenses, so the athletic department relies on the Blue & Gold Scholarship Fund, which helps pay for scholarships for more than 175 student-athletes in all sports, Jamie Hays-Szelc, assistant director of development for Marquette Athletics, said in an email.

The fund, which also takes donations, has provided over $20 million in scholarship aid over the last decade, she said.

The athletic department held the Blue Gold Fund Auction, which ended last Friday, is the single largest fundraising effort the department makes every year, Hays-Szelc said.

If I had been present and if I had the money to make serious bids, here are the top five items I would’ve been scoping out:

5. Cookie Basket from Edible Impressions

Nothing says Marquette athletics quite like a big platter of sugar cookies shaped like sports equipment. I’d be down for the count after my seventh tennis ball, but I’d make sure to take the leftovers around to my professors and ask for extensions on assignments shortly thereafter.

My price: $60

4. Spaghetti Dinner with the Marquette Cheer Squad

Question: What’s better than an overflowing plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Answer: An overflowing plate of spaghetti and meatballs shared with a group of Marquette cheerleaders who will do the dishes for me afterward! The only problem I see with this arrangement is not having them around to help with dinner the next night.

Honestly, though, the Marquette cheerleaders could make any experience at least tolerable. Maybe instead of having them cook dinner for me and my roommate, I could persuade them to be my moral support the next time I go in for a filling at the Dental School.

My price: $85

3. Engraved Granite Basketball

The best thing about this item isn’t its value as a collectible and it isn’t that it’s another way for the university to squeeze money out of Dwyane Wade and the rest of the 2002-2003 Final Four squad. The best thing about it is its versatility.

Do you have a drafty office where the wind wreaks havoc on your desktop papers? Plop this baby down on the whole stack and those papers aren’t going anywhere.

Are the kids unable to protect themselves from bullies on the playground? Throw them the granite basketball and have them start a regimen of squat-thrusts, bicep curls and overhead presses and wait for those phone calls from the school principal to start rolling in.

Did the wife break her rolling pin between batches of Christmas cookies that need to be done for Sunday Mass? Granite basketball to the rescue. There’s nothing your Catholic friends would appreciate more than Steve Novak’s name imprinted on their post-service refreshments.

My price: $115

2. Game Day with University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild

Of all the people on campus with whom to watch a men’s home basketball game, Wild might be the most interesting of all. To spend an informal evening with him and three friends talking hoops and celebrating a Golden Eagles’ victory would be a special opportunity for any student or alumnus who attended Marquette during his tenure, especially considering this is his last year as university president.

I would most be looking forward to Wild’s sonorous rendition of the “Goooo Marquette” chant and his participation in “jump around.”

My price: $825

1. Replica trophy from the 2006 CBE Tournament

Out of all the items up for bid in this year’s auction, this is the only one that truly triggered my “nuh uh!” response.

Four years ago, the Golden Eagles, led by sophomores Dominic James, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews and freshman Lazar Hayward, beat the national powerhouse Duke Blue Devils in Kansas City, 73-62, to claim this particular piece of hardware.

Evidently, the athletic department needed to make room on the shelf for this year’s CBE trophy, and the easiest way to do that was to sell off the old one in the Blue & Gold Fund Auction. Selling the trophy in the auction probably raised more money than would’ve been raised by taking it to a recycling center somewhere, that’s for sure.

My price: $1,150

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