For the first time since most of us have attended St. John’s, Red Storm basketball is relevant again, and it feels good.
While students in their first or second year may not notice much of a difference, for many of us upperclassmen, this March is a very cathartic experience. For so long, we’ve heard tales of Lou Carnesecca and Chris Mullin, but we’ve never experienced the taste of the postseason.
This season, everything changed. With a new coach and a new attitude, St. John’s was born again. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes the Red Storm have become a national sensation. While all that publicity is nice, the true story lies with the fans that have waited for so long to cheer for the Red Storm in March.
As much as this season was one for the team, it was also a season for the fans, the University, and the legions of students who have been bleeding red for years, even during the lean years.
While we’ve all been proud to attend St. John’s, a winning basketball team was always the one jewel missing from the crown. Now that the team is successful and the hype for a run through the tournament is growing, being at St. John’s feels like a step back in time. While Bob Dylan once wrote “The times, they are a-changing,” it would seem that for the Red Storm we’ve resumed our rightful place where we should have been all along.
While the rest of the world may seem out of control, from the devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan to the sheer craziness of Charlie Sheen, at least one thing feels right. Political and social differences may separate students, faculty, or community members, When the Red Storm take the court in March, we’ll all be cheering together. No matter what differences reside amongst fans, the love of the game and the love of the team bring us together.
The University has been touting the slogan “We Are St. John’s,” for the past few years, but now that attitude has been reverberated by the students. Plenty of people have criticized the school and the team, often with good reason, but that doesn’t mean they won’t cheer as hard as everyone else. The rebirth of the basketball program has resulted in a rebirth of attitude for the St. John’s community.
Basketball doesn’t solve all of the world’s problems, and it won’t change any of the bad things that have happened recently. But basketball can offer people a way to blow off steam, and can give them a cause to rally behind. The world cannot always be seen through rose-colored glasses, but every bit of positive news helps.
St. John’s may not win a championship this year. In fact, they might even be out after the first round of the tournament. With March Madness, anything is possible. However, the success of this team is not measured just by wins and losses, but by what they’ve meant to everyone here at St. John’s. A championship would be ideal, but the thrill of being relevant is just as real. Red Storm basketball is back, and the entire University is rallying behind it.