Feb 21, 2011, 3:59 PM EDT
For sixty years, fans of the Saint Joseph’s basketball team have exalted over their hawk mascot, which spends most of its time incessantly flapping its wings because that’s what people found entertaining in the 1950′s and nobody bothered to tell the poor bird it’s allowed to stop. The bird’s inability to stop flapping became the genesis for the St. Joseph’s catch phrase, “The Hawk Will Never Die.” Temple students had different plans.
St. Joe’s basketball has fallen on some hard times as the Hawk has spent most of the past three years flapping for a losing squad, struggling to remember their glory days of Jameer Nelson, Delonte West and a bunch of guys playing basketball in Europe. Since 2008, St. Joe’s has lost nine straight games to a resurgent Temple basketball squad that kind of depresses me because one of my favorite things to do in all of the world is to make fun of Temple athletics. It’s just my luck they start getting good right in the midst of my four years there, but I guess I’ll just have to make do with 76ers basketball.
Because of the recent bout of St. Joseph’s basketball ineptitude, a group of Temple students decided to force-usher in a new era of Hawks basketball by holding a funeral for the Hawk that ‘never dies’, to add another brick in the wall of the storied rivalry between the two schools. Students printed t-shirts, drew up fake grave stones emblazoned with ‘Here Lies the Hawk 1955-2011′ and ‘He Flaps No More’ and even brought out a casket into which they presumably stuffed the St. Joseph’s mascot. Much fun was had by all, except for the poor student who gets to play the Hawk mascot. He was probably a little bit nervous.
Aside from the events on the floor in Sunday’s Big 5 match up, the Temple University student section held a public funeral for the St. Joseph’s Hawk. Having spent the past six decades proudly exclaiming “The Hawk Will Never Die,” the mere suggestion of such an event is no doubt reviled by SJU students and alums alike.
Those Temple mourners who failed to arrive in the appropriate attire were promptly delivered black t-shirts bearing the slogan “R.I.P. The Hawk” upon their entrance. Cardboard gravestones were a common sight, with most displaying the date and score of a recent Temple victory over Joe’s. The piece de resistance, however, came in the form a black casket marched into the building shortly before the tip. The coffin, adorned with flowers and a #14 Jameer Nelson jersey, was promptly placed behind the West basket and guarded by a student dressed as the Grim Reaper for the entirety of the game.
It’s good to see some passion from the Temple student section, which usually spends most of its time concocting lame cheers that revolve around people sucking. In fact, before last night’s game I regarded the student section at Temple basketball games to be one of the worst I’ve ever seen. A bastion for unoriginality. I guess sometimes even dumpsters turn up diamonds, you know?
Temple Students Hold “Funeral” for St. Joseph’s Hawk [700 Level]
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