After spending six years at St. John’s (it’s ok I got both my undergraduate and graduate degrees), plus three years since and numerous years prior, to list the places I have watched a St. John’s game would be tough to do in one post. So when Volvo and the
BIG EAST Conference tasked me with this latest blog post, my mind started to race. Especially since this is the first year that every St. John’s game was on TV (Nicely done Fratto). So with blog post No. 6 of Volvo’s “Biggest Fan of the BIG EAST Conference” requiring me to write about “what are my favorite places to watch the Red Storm when I can’t be there,” I have decided to use six years of Fresh Meadows knowledge plus my college athletics experience to run down the Johnnies Guide to the Galaxy: A list of the best places to watch St. John’s Basketball.
. Now obviously if there was a game on campus at Carnesecca Arena or in the city at the world’s most famous arena and the mecca of college basketball, Madison Square Garden, we would be there
, but what about those pesky road games?
Shall we start with freshman year and move forward? Yea, I think that’s a good idea.
The easiest way to watch the game was to obviously stay in the dorms. Whether it was huddling around the 27-inch non-flatscreen in the common room (hey it was 2003, it was the best we had) or squeezing seven people into a bedroom to watch on someone’s 34-inch (ooo, ahhhhh), we were just excited to root on the Johnnies. Once we frosh worked up the courage to venture off campus, we found one of our favorite watering holes… Traditions. Ask any St. John’s student who lived on campus in the past decade and they will tell you it all started at Trads.
Sophomore year brought about another revelation: Last Call. Just a few minutes walk from campus, what has now become a Verizon store, was once one of the most popular St. John’s hangouts in my four years as an undergrad. My fraternity (SIGMA CHI BETA!) was always in there with a few others we were friendly with, as well as the sororities (wink, wink), to enjoy a cold beer and watch the Johnnies try and take down another BIG EAST foe. I even ended up working there my senior year as a doorman.
As we continued to branch out we found other St. John’s staples like the Sly Fox Inn and Iguanas Cantina, which to this day are still some of the best places to stop by and watch a game. Plus a smokehouse burger and a hoegarten, or a margarita and a burrito is never a bad thing to have with a good game.
As we got older (and legal) we found one of the greatest things about St. John’s is its proximity to New York City. We would often venture in, taking the Q46 bus to the E (thank God for the express) or F train into the “greatest city in the world.” The usual spots were the ones located closest to MSG, specifically Stout and F.A.T.S. (short for Fat Annie’s Truck Stop)
Once we graduated (and some of us though it would be a good idea to stick around for another two years for grad school) we finally upgraded to that flatscreen we had all been hoping for. And since we all were in the two-year plan for our master’s degree and had blown most of our money on said flatscreen, it became a usual hangout (yes, yes, boo-hoo, poor college student having the time of his life).
Now you would think once we had finished grad school, gotten real jobs and supposedly grown up a little bit, we might have upgraded to a nicer viewing atmosphere. In a way I guess I did. Two months ago when I went to visit my brother who is now a junior at St. John’s we headed straight to one of Fresh Meadows newer establishments known for it’s wings and er… service.
As much as we all do like to kick back and a restaurant, enjoy a nice draft beer with some buffalo wings, it isn’t always cost effective. That being said, the way I now watch the majority of my St. John’s games is on the very laptop I type this blog post. ESPN3 has become the go-to for any Red Storm game and is accesible anywhere you are (whether you should be working, or actually at work).
Thus completes this Hitchkickers.. uh, Johnnies Guide to the Galaxy (limited to my humble experiences).
For more info on all things St. John’s, visit RedStormSports.com.
O, and I know this from last year, but I just have to share this video proclaiming Coach Keady as the “Buddha of St. John’s Basketball.” Absolutely perfect. Coach Keady is the man!
Filed under: Uncategorized