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Rewriting The Script

Is it a coincidence that just as Donte Greene is leaving Syracuse, Wesley Johnson is arriving?

If it were a movie script, the protagonist would be Syracuse fans. In Act I, this tall, lanky kid from Baltimore walks into our lives. He comes bearing promise and potential. We're not kidding when we say to ourselves that we expect him to lead us back to glory. We root hard for the guy, push him to improve beyond his capabilities in a timeframe that's not possible. He gets off to a slow start and the seeds of disappointment are sown.

Act II is the season, one plagued with inconsistencies and growing resented. This kid was supposed to run roughshod over defenses, wasn't he? He was supposed to reign supreme on the basketball court and put us back in the limelight. We should be ranked. We should be at the top of our conference. We should be stars. And we're not. And it's his fault.

It's subtle at first but start to sour on the kid. His faults, all of which were there to see from the beginning but we chose not to, are now the only things we see. We resent him as our team falls further and further away from success. We end up in the one place we didn't expect to be again...on the outside looking in.

The point guard? He played his heart out. The shooters? They were injured. The big men? Had their moments but we weren't ultimately asking much of them. It was the kid's fault.

By the end of Act II, the kid thinks about moving on. It's the final straw. We turn on him. We call him names. We blame him for everything. We say we're better off without him. We know we're not right but we do it anyway. The kid, naturally, comes to resent us. But he moves on and makes something of himself. Deep down we're happy for him...but we're too proud.

Act III, a new guy shows up from out of town. Like the old one, he's got that same undefinable quality and talent. This guy's got potential. And just like the kid, he went somewhere he thought he could make something of it. But just like the kid, it didn't work out. So just like the kid, he decided to move on. And just like the kid, he was scolded for it. Badmouthed. Mocked. Told he won't be missed and not to let the door hit him in the ass on the way out.
And now he's ours.

And so we have our shot at redemption. To cheer for a kid who didn't live up to the unrealistic potential that was heaped on him and he was criticized for not attaining. Sounds familiar.

It's a second chance. For all of us.