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Exacting a small bit of revenge on an old Syracuse basketball nemesis

This was for you Hak!

Syracuse Orange v Vermont Catamounts Photo By Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Be warned Syracuse Orange fans. I am going to bring up a traumatic basketball memory in this story but I don’t do this to open old wounds. No, I’m doing this to show you all a path forward to exorcise demons and do your part to get payback.

TJ Sorrentine. You probably snarled your lip or curled your fist seeing his photo above or reading his name....and if it didn’t well

To many of you TJ is on a short list of Syracuse villains for that shot. A shot that knocked out the Orange and ended the collegiate career of Hakim Warrick. To me, TJ’s the son of my former high school phys ed teacher and coach. He was the little kid hanging around practices who starred for his father at St. Raphael’s in Pawtucket, RI and wound up as a Vermont Catamount Hall of Fame selection.

When the 2005 Orange drew that experienced Vermont squad it was concerning. Sorrentine and Taylor Coppenrath were making their third straight NCAA appearance and they faced a Syracuse squad in turmoil. We don’t need to rehash the ending but unlike most Syracuse fans I was conflicted because of that connection to man who ripped out the hearts of the Orange. Maybe this was the beginning of my #disloyalidiot status but as much as it hurt to watch a talented Syracuse team go out in the first round I felt a small amount of happiness for Sorrentine to get that moment.

Fast forward to this weekend and I’m back in Rhode Island and running a 5k to raise money for my alma mater. The race is small but I get to run a familiar course with some familiar faces in my old stomping grounds. After driving back and checking the results to note my 18th place finish, I’m scrolling through to look for other and notice this...

Fitting that he was 44 isn’t it? So while I didn’t notice TJ before the race I was able to take a small bit of revenge for Syracuse and I think this is something all of us can do. No, I don’t expect you to spend summer weekends stalking former college athletes at local 5ks and we aren’t condoning any sort of harassment of individuals. We’re just saying that if you notice Spike Albrecht approaching an elevator, don’t feel like it’s wrong to close the door on him and make him wait. Let’s say Charlotte North ends up opposite you at a traffic light- you aren’t obligated to let her turn left before you go. What if one day Aaron Craft shows up behind you on the golf course one afternoon and seems to suggest his group is faster than yours- don’t make a scene by calling him a “flopper”, just tell him there’s no playing through today while you point to your Otto ball marker.

Bit by bit you can take these small silvers of revenge and while they won’t change the results, you’ll be able to enjoy the small satisfaction that YOU are doing your part to right some wrongs that Syracuse has suffered. If we all do what we can we can take away the pain these individuals have caused. We can take the power back if we all do our part.