I used to read word up magazine… Those Juicy lyrics can be heard out of the mouths of any New Yorker from the late rapper Notorious BIG. It has been a dream this season. Before the season started I was approached to participate in a promotion involving the Big East Conference and Volvo Cars to compete against 15 other Big East Alumni to be honored as the “Biggest Fan of the Big East.”
In 2007, JohnnyJungle.com was born in an effort to rekindle and start new tradition for St. John’s students, alumni, and fans. Each and every year JohnnyJungle.com has seen more recognition from fans as well as basketball professionals. The effort to move St. John’s out of the “dark ages” and back to prominence was gradual.
Fast forward to 2011 and with the hire of Steve Lavin as the new head coach there was new hope and belief for the Red Storm faithful. Just like the 10 seniors on this St. John’s roster, I had everything to prove this season participating against 15 peers in the Volvo contest.
The contest would consist of 6 written challenges as well as fan voting to determine the winner. Each participant would attend Big East Media day and go back to their school to attend a game and have the new “naughty” VolvoS60 for the weekend.
Attending Big East Media day was a complete joy. I was fascinated seeing how various members of the media interacted with coaches and players and also to meet the 15 people who represented the other schools. I really had a great time bonding with my peers and talking some hoops with people from all over the country. It has been awesome tweeting with these people all season long and developing friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime. I’ve gone to basketball games with Brian (Villanova), I’ve done a UStream show with Jonathan (DePaul), and got DC traffic advice from Laurel (Georgetown). I would have never had the opportunity to meet such great people if it wasn’t for Volvo.
Kevin Clark was also very happy about the VolvoS60. You know #42? No seriously you know who he is because he was honored for his off the court excellence.
Volvo decided to send me back to school to see St. John’s take on the defending National Champions Duke University. Naturally I had some things I wanted to do heading back to my old stomping grounds. I was able to fly in my best friend and roommate from St. John’s to see the game with me too. St. John’s showed the country who the dukes of midtown really were beating the Blue Devils 93-78.
It was glorious! Not to forget I was able to take a road trip in the new naughty VolvoS60 from the Jersey Shore to un-plowed streets of New York City. I was thoroughly impressed with the VolvoS60 which I picked up from my local Volvo dealership, Garden State Volvo.
I obviously knew a great deal about Volvo being an owner of a 200k mile 1993 Volvo 240 wagon and from reading Volvo’s website but wow you don’t know what you’re missing until you get behind the wheel. I firmly believe this car is more sophisticated than the first space shuttle with it’s voice command controls to pedestrian and blind spot sensors (which was extremely helpful in Manhattan).
The car was extremely powerful yet never lost comfort while driving and turning. The handle on the car was as crisp as a Dwight Hardy jump shot. I loved syncing my phone to the bluetooth which enabled my entire ipod playlist, phonebook, and media to be played through the navigation system all via voice on control so my hands never had to leave the wheel. The built in navigation system received satellite updates for traffic which was God sent driving through the 5 boroughs of New York.
This has truly been a once and a lifetime opportunity that St. John’s fans, friends, family, and I will never forget. The out pour of support from the St. John’s fans and my local community has been outstanding. The entire Jersey Shore hospital nursing staff, my barber shop, deli owner, local banks, and Toms River post office have all been voting for me. Its amazing how all these offline connections have brought awareness online to the Volvo S60 and St. John’s Basketball.
I was disappointed in the weather and city parking because I wasn’t able to drive the Volvo as much as I wanted to over my weekend back at school. However I definitely got more experience behind the wheel than perhaps any of my peers. I hit a large pot hole at highway speed which blew my tire to pieces however I was easily able to keep steady control of the car to pull over to the side of the road in the New York traffic. So I can tell you first hand that all that safety talk isn’t a gimmick. Volvo’s roadside assistance program delivered me back to safety. So thanks Volvo again for saving yet another life!
Since that Duke game, St. John’s has been on an unbelievable run which has kept the St. John’s coaching staff wearing the same coaches vs cancer white sneakers on with their suits. While they have their superstitions, I have mine and it’s because of Volvo. Perhaps it’s destiny coming together as St. John’s gains national notoriety so does Volvo for their new “naughty” S60 line of cars. It’s St. John’s year! The missing piece is who is the Biggest Fan of the Big East? So far the people say it’s me. Hopefully Volvo does too.
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