'Twas the Night Before Cusemas

USA TODAY Sports

A Syracuse Basketball Christmas poem from Orange fan Joe Bufano

'Twas the night before Cusemas and all through the Dome,
Every fan was watching. In fact, none of them were home.
The stands were filled by the court with many a chair.
No Duke fan would attend. Would they even dare?
The players were dressed all snug in their threads,
While visions of victory danced in their heads.
Best friend and I in jerseys, wearing our 'Cuse caps,
Had just settled cheers during a long scoring lapse.
When out on the court there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.
Down to the court I flew with a dash,
pulled out my camera and took a big flash.
The tune to the rest of our ears did we know
gave the muster of a scoring drive twenty to zero!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a re-energized Jim Boeheim and five starters to his rear.
With a snicker and a yell, so lively and quick,
Coach K called "Timeout!" in one second's tick.
More rapid than eagles, SU’s field goals they came.
The fans whistled and shouted, and called them by name:
"Go Cooney! Go Coleman!
Now, Baye, Ennis and Fair!
On, Gbinije! On, Grant!
On Rakeem, to the air!
"To the top of the key!
To the three-point line!
Now, shoot away! Shoot away!
Shoot away fine!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
when they meet with an obstacle and mount to the sky,
So up to the hoop their courses they flew,
with their minds full of a win . . . and Jim Boeheim, too!
And then, in a twinkling, I watched with a poof:
Cooney’s three-pointer sent the fans to the roof!
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the court C.J. Fair came with a bound!
His jersey was white, from his head to his foot,
and his headband was covered in sweat and some soot.
A bundle of energy, Ennis passed the ball back,
and C.J. dunked it with authority. A potent attack!
Boeheim’s eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the light on his face was as bright as the snow.
The grin of a lead he held tight in his teeth,
and the fans cheered crazily as Duke fell beneath!
He had a happy face and a firm little belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was tall and didn’t slump, a right jolly old elf.
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, he signaled timeout.
"We want walk-ons!" the SU fans did shout!
And pointing his finger, up in the air it rose,
signaling "We’re No. 1!" Now everyone knows!
He sprang to his feet, as the ref blew the final whistle,
and away they all flew to the locker room like a missile!
But I heard him exclaim
as he ran out of sight:
"Merry Cusemas to all!
And to all, a good night!"

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