Wednesday, March 4th, 2009...2:24 am
Johnnies Magic Rings In The Madness
Those familiar yet hollow, empty feelings of shame, humiliation and despair crept back into the pit of my stomach like that umpteenth glass of saki as the Johnnies started the second half by scoring just one single point in the first ten minutes. Why oh why do I spend so much of my precious time obsessing over St. John’s Basketball? As my technically-impaired dad has recently learned too text me — “they suck”.
I started blurting out from my squatted center court seats in the crowd for Norm to call a damn play one of these days (Last week I was incoherently taunting Wojo to get a new suit!). My grunts of aggravated anguish had the entire section looking down at me with some form of pity or perhaps even sympathy. Who could have such strong feelings for such a sub par team? It would be like a teenage boy with a crush on Star Jones. I began wondering if it was even possible for SJU to score another basket and found myself thinking ahead to how the media would report the story of a major college basketball team scoring just one point. I debated the merits if I too should bet against the Johnnies (my buddy Blake took G-town giving six just so he would have a reason to be interested in the battle for 12th place in the Big East). My logic being that I could offset the frustration of losing by padding my wallet with a few bucks. Basically pay myself for rooting for such a worthless squad of no-talent scrubs. A Jonzi scheme. But betting against your favorite team of all-time seems so very meegs and I’m no lechler.
Just as I was about to hit rock-bottom Paris Horne put back a lay-up to snap a streak of 14 missed shots and six turnovers. Somehow, some way, the Johnnies fought back from 15 down with ten minutes to go by hitting 6 of their next 8 shots and out rebounding and out hustling the Hoyas. All of a sudden a competitive ballgame broke out at the World’s Most Famous Arena. Four clutch Rob Thomas (whose claim to fame is once being illiterate due to severe dyslexia and having the most gruesome ACL injury of all time ) free throws later and we were going to overtime!
At this point I’m as severely bonkers as my simple-minded die-hard doppelganger sitting in the very next section. Blake was happy to still have a chance to win his bet. My phone was blowing up with congratulatory messages, the likes of which I haven’t received for such an irresolute event since I was wait-listed for admission to college.
In OT, the Johnnies did everything I least expected. They hit their free throws, made clutch shots, played stifling defense, overcame a bogus flagrant foul, and eeked out a legitimate victory. For goodness sake, Malik Booth’s reverse lay-up was second on Sportcenters plays of the day! I tried to rush the court as the buzzer sounded but nobody else in the arena seemed to think it appropriate or necessary.
With the loss, Georgetown’s quest for an at-large NCAA bid follows the fate of the Saturn sedan. Meanwhile, I plan to spend most of my morning fantasizing about a magical Big East tournament five-day run and educating myself as to the eligibility requirements for the NIT, Mikey Cohen College Basketball Invitational or the all new CollegeInsider.com tournament.
More importantly, the victory keeps me bleeding redmen blood and will give me something to think back to all off-season as I highly anticipate next year’s campaign when all five starters return, Mason JR. is back in the mix as a 5th year senior and a much needed outside threat and Omari Lawrence is the impact freshman all Johnnies fans have desperately craved. And to my boy Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson — join the party bro!!! We’re going to do some real damage next year!