The temptation is great, in the wake of St John’s improbable defeat of number one Villanova on Wednesday night, to say I told you so. To all the chubby balding middle aged clerks and middle managers who demanded that the great Chris Mullin resign from his job to prove his manhood. To all the gym teachers and CYO coaches who bemoaned the staff’s lack of experience and basketball acumen: Mitch Richmond is a lazy bum, and St Jean is young and dumb and for god sake can’t we hire a true basketball mind like Mike Rice (that’d be the Mike Rice who’s 16–38 lifetime in the Big East). To the utter shit for brains who continue to lament the loss of that chowderhead Steve Lavin and wondered aloud where the program might have been had he been retained. (Hint: it’d be taking incremental or baby steps up the hill or mountain to playing its best ball in February as a prelude to a magic carpet ride to Costco where they could share the bulk priced sugar. Except Rysheed Jordan obviously, he’d still be getting raped in the prison shower.) To all the chronic malcontents who contributed to the cacophony of glothering that has polluted SJU fan forums lo these many months, the ones who figured St John’s should move down to the MAAC or Division 2 where they’d be competitive and the ones who sold their season tickets to some privileged white piece of shit dewk fan for 30 pieces of silver and the ones who impugned the staff’s commitment and character and the players heart, talent and loyalty. In short to the whole conga line of mutts and losers that comprise the worst fan base in all of sports, it’s quite tempting to say I told you so, and then what the hell call them a bunch of cunts for good measure. But I’m not going to do that. Because I’m bigger than that. Besides, they wouldn’t hear me over the racket their claws are making as they this morning scuttle back up the gangplank of the ship that they had for months been assuring the rest of us be sinking. Which none of that is to say that this season hasn’t been a complete disappointment or that the corner has been turned and happy days are here again. Because the season has been disappointing and the only happy days I believe in is rerunning on Nickelodeon. It is though to say: I told you so you cunts … I was trying to recollect a more satisfying moment or more accurately, moments, in St John’s history. (One fan board genyious said this morning something like yeah they were great wins, but “let’s not get too excited.” Hey stupid, if not now when.) Obviously Mullin and company beating number one Georgetown in Landover, a game I watched with the late Dr S_________ while draining a bottle of Lochan Ora, a diabolical Chivas blend that like Dr S____ is no longer available in the states. Marcus Hatten standing at the free throw line with no time left on the clock at Madison Square Garden in front of a weeping dook bench. Elijah Ingram remembering to turn on his cell phone camera that fateful day in Pittsburgh. The great Norm Roberts defeating UMass to become the first coach to win back-to-back Holiday Festival titles since Louie did it 20 years earlier. And if you’re as old as dirt there was Black Sunday – March 10, 1979, I was just a rosy cheeked optimistic tad then – when on the first weekend of the NCAA tournament last-in St John’s and lowly Penn beat the number one and two seeds UNC and Dook in a game conveniently sited in Durham North Carolina. But honestly these two might be sweeter. Not only because of how horribly things have gone wrong this season but because the victims were the two
whitest most lauded programs in college basketball and their repulsive coaches, rat face Mike Schrewshrenky and Schrewshrenky light, Jay Wright. Anyone who didn’t feel last night a shiver of excitement seeing classy Jay Wright red faced and bleating piteously to the referees as he watched his number one ranking swirl slowly down the toilet has no soul and is dead inside. Because fuck Villanova and fuck Jay Wright and he still should get that mole under his eye looked at, because I’m pretty sure it’s starting to grow legs … I’m not going to rehash the box score but a couple of things stand out. St John’s, which has been getting hosed by the referees for months now, shot 24 free throws to Nova’s 12 and 11 of those were by Jay Brunson. Only stupid Donte DiVincenzo – the Moors did so much fucking with Sicilian women – shot one; DiVincenzo , much beloved by Iona fans, who usually kills St John’s, beclowned himself for 38 minutes before fouling out. Sweet! St John’s, 321st of 351 teams in team total rebounding percentage – behind such powerhouses as Nicolls State, High Point, and NJIT – outrebounded Nova, led by Justin Simon, who was a couple of assists short of triple double. (Just a week or so ago I was assured by a knowledgeable fan board poster who “understands math” that Justin Simon wasn’t good enough to start on Rhode Island, which ridiculous assertion he justified based upon “advanced analytics” that were too complicated for your humble author to comprehend. Question: if there were advanced analytics that proved that Lena Dunham was a more desirable female than Charlotte McKinney would you start jerking off during Girls or would you throw your statistics in the garbage?). And Shamorie Ponds – who 10 days ago scored two points on oh for 12 shooting versus Butler – continued a remarkable run – 31 versus Xavier, 33 versus Duke and 26 versus Nova – that saw him named the Naismith National Player of the Week. As a sophomore. Hopefully he cools off a bit, I’d hate it if he were a lottery pick. This year at least … So where do we go from here. Certain fans are this morning parsing their way to an NCAA tournament bid, which that’d be nice, but oh and eleven’s a lot to overcome and frankly that reeks just a bit of wishful thinking, of Hitler in April 1945 hunkered down in his bunker pushing nonexistent Panzer divisions across a map of Europe. What isn’t too far fetched is that SJU wins four of their next six games, all of them winnable – it’s okay, I don’t believe in jinxes, if you do go light a candle – and gets an NIT invite. Which all things considered would be a remarkable outcome and one anyone would have signed up for – I would have signed up for an NIT bid at the beginning of the season, but that’s me, I’m a bit of a pessimist – considering the state of the roster. The optimistic Mullin haterz among you can still hope that this week was a brief respite from his inevitable failure, an oasis in the desert of suck that is Saint Johns basketball, and that you were right all along. In which case you can say I told you so and call me a cunt. But not this morning. This morning the sun is shining and me, I’m going to Carl Junior’s for a burger and maybe a bit of the hair of the dog.