An Experience Like No Other

Photo: RedZone
Photo: RedZone

Sundays during the St. John’s basketball season are special for sophomore Brendan Hogan. Before the game he meets with the Johnnies Club, where they provide transportation from school to Manhattan. Post drop-off the Red Storm fans head to Rose’s, a pizzeria in Penn Station, where they eat and chant to get ready for the game. Afterwards, they walk to Madison Square Garden, and continue the excitement throughout the game.

It’s a tradition that Hogan became part of after joining RedZone, and he enjoys it every step of the way.

Hogan is one of the many students involved in Redzone, the biggest function of the School Spirit Committee of the Student Government and they also work closely with the department of athletics. According to Hogan, when he thinks about school spirit he automatically associates it with RedZone.

“I came to St. John’s not knowing anything about the school,” Hogan said. “These kids (RedZone) knew the school song and everything about the school, and I wanted to be like that.”

Hogan is a homeland and corporate security major who is also involved in ROTC. He said that he became part of Red Zone “by accident” after one game. That’s when he decided to join and participate as much as he could.  Hogan tries to “fit” as many sporting events as he can in his schedule, and his favorite one would be the Basketball games.

He recalled a time when he was watching St. John’s play against Creighton. It was one of the first games he watched.Hogan had no idea about the rivalry that these two universities shared. And now, Hogan had a front row seat to experience this rivalry.

“It was insane,” Hogan said. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. We beat a top-ranked team, and I didn’t even know.”

He added that the energy from the St. John’s crowd yelling “We won!” was one of the biggest factors that inspired him to be part of RedZone and cheer along, as many games as he could.

Hogan said that being a part of RedZone is more than just free gear, t-shirts and basketball games.

According to him, not only is it a big network where you get to meet so many people, but also a place where you have to participate and help, even if you are unable to attend a game.

“They want to see people be active,” Hogan said. He also stated that the people are coming to support because they actually care are the foundation of the true school spirit.

Hogan reminisced about the time when he was chosen to be part of the half-time show during one of the Madison Square Garden basketball games. He was picked to do sit-ups, push-ups and run in front of the crowd.

When Hogan was there, he realized he was standing on the ground that hosted so many historical and incredible events, from basketball immortality playing to transcendent fights and historical concerts.

“My heart started pumping,” Hogan said with excitement. “We don’t understand how big this is, we got MSG!”

Hogan is grateful for all the opportunities and events that he was able to participate in and experience through RedZone.

He also said that after any game, win or lose, RedZone sticks together and go back to campus together, however long the trip back might be.

“People take it to heart,” Hogan said. “We try not to leave anyone behind. It’s like a family, really.”