A Hawk Hill Love Affair
The biggest St. Joe's Fan LittyHoops has yet to find tells it how it is.
By Jack Hartman
Of the nineteen years I’ve been alive, I have never seen my father cry. He’s like a Rambo really; a man’s man. At age 48 he still pumps iron every other day in our basement. He has a construction job, drives a huge pickup truck and loves to barbeque. He also is an alumnus of Saint Joseph’s University. I never really knew when or how I caught St. Joe’s fever, but I am pretty sure my first words were “dad”, then “mom” followed by “the hawk will never die.”
It wasn’t until I was ten that I finally realized that I could never be anything but a Hawks fan. My aunt had sent me a Duke basketball hat for my birthday. Not knowing very much at the time about basketball, I was sucked in by the handsome team colors and deceiving blue devil. My father had not yet gotten home from work and I decided to wear it to the table for dinner. When he finally walked in and saw me sporting the blasphemous headgear he took it from me. I never saw that hat again.
Growing up a Hawks fan was an interesting experience for me. Normal families went to a movie or played a board game on Saturday nights. My family went to the St. Joe’s games. The Field House became a second home for me. Seeing how excited my father would get at these games only fueled my increasing love for St. Joe’s. Win or lose they were still my team. Whether they were playing St. Bonaventure or Gonzaga I wanted to be at the game.
It didn’t matter that the Hawks never really matched up with ACC or Big East teams when I was young. They always played for pride. I can vividly remember my father running figure eights around the living room, flapping his arms, trying his best to imitate the esteemed mascot. I always thought he was just weird, but the other night I found myself doing the exact same as St. Joe’s held on to beat Texas Tech.
This season has been out of control. I constantly received messages on my dorm phone from what seemed like a raving lunatic, only to decipher the words “St. Joe’s” and “won.” Returning the call I would only be greeting my mother voice, “Hello, Hawk Hill..” It has been too much for my dad to handle. He practically had a mild stroke when it was announced that St. Joseph’s was ranked number one in the country.
Thursday night the family gathered around the TV to watch St. Joe’s take on Wake Forest. Every point my father would stand up pumping his fist. Every rebound he would scream for the Hawks. And, when Pat Carroll hits his clutch 3-pointers my dad runs around the room yelling ‘THE PAT!!!! THE PAT!!!!!!!!!” When it was all said and done, St. Joe’s was victorious. They had proven their critics wrong and that asshole Billy Packer could finally stop making love to Wake Forest’s freshman guard Chris Paul and dumping on the A-10. I looked over at my father only to see tears welling up in his eyes. I am pretty sure they were red and grey.
The Hawk in him will never die.