The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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The list of generic sports advice is long and full of gems.

There’s, “Always give 110 percent” – the most beautiful mathematical impossibility this side of squaring the circle.

And of course there’s, “just take it one game at a time,” – a brilliantly-scripted reminder that you can only be playing one game at any given moment.

Then, from sports’ softer side, comes the deeply spiritual statement, “believe in yourself even when no one else out there does.”

And the list goes on from, “you win as a team, you lose as a team,” all the way to, “a tie is like kissing your sister.” But perhaps the pinnacle of them all, the diamond among lesser clichéd gems, is “hit ’em where it hurts.”

Hit ’em where it hurts sounds dirty. It sounds like the last ditch effort of a moral-less boxer or a football team’s desperate attempt to steal victory from the jaws of deserved defeat. Hit ’em where it hurts isn’t classy, it isn’t sportsmanlike, but it is damn effective.

Well, St. John’s men’s basketball has been hit where it hurts more than any place else; not the gut, not the groin, but the wallet.

According to a Jan. 25 New York Post report, St. John’s basketball relationship with Duke University is officially over after the 2010 season. The Red Storm will take on the Blue Devils on Feb. 19 at Madison Square Garden and then one more time next year at Cameron Indoor Stadium, but Duke does intend to renew the series which started in 1999.

Though on the surface it seems as though all that will be removed from the Johnnies schedule is an assumed loss, it is really much more than that. When the Duke game is played at Madison Square Garden, it’s a huge draw for St. John’s and the revenue produced helps keep our administration satisfied with current state of the Storm.

Though, The Post article cites a source inside St. John’s as saying that several other major programs, including UCLA, have contacted the University about the possibility of a series, and that one of those programs would be an easy replacement of the Blue Devils.

Though the list of teams whose East Coast fanbase rivals that of Duke’s is very short, and UCLA simply ain’t on it.

As a fan, take this news as an insult. Take it as a statement by Duke that St. John’s has slipped so far below their caliber that the series has become a lose-lose for them.

A win over the Red Storm does nothing for their national ranking, while a loss is a tragedy that Shakespeare himself couldn’t have written.

But there may be some good that comes of this punch in the gut. Things must get worse before they get better and if the Red Storm have not hit rock bottom yet, maybe when they get there the administration will understand that they’re in need of some serious help.

Maybe when Madison Square Garden takes a page out of Duke’s book and tells the Johnnies to take a hike, someone will get it. Maybe when Harrington’s bank account gets low enough, he’ll try something to save himself and the Red Storm.

Because, though it may be dirty, sometimes “hit ’em where it hurts” is the only way to get something done.

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