Friday, May 20, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
The rest of these pictures are from my trip to Syracuse last month. I learned next time do not go to Marshall Street during Spring Break and expect things to be open. I never really did the Spring Break thing so I don't always think of it as a big deal. I also had no choice as that was the weekend I had to go back up and take my grandmother home.
And of course, my trip to Tully's.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
This is not about complaining how things were handled in the past. This is not about my being disappointed in the Syracuse administration or AD Dr. Daryl Gross. This piece is simply about why I think the time has come to bring back a Syracuse tradition and restore the #44 on the field.
I love Syracuse football. I was raised on Syracuse football and it is the biggest reason I bleed Orange. I remember hearing stories as a kid about the greats who wore #44 and it made me appreciate the program even more. Mr. Jim Brown, Mr. Ernie Davis and Mr. Floyd Little are legends and nobody will ever replace them in our hearts no matter who wears the jersey. I don’t need to see the next Brown, Davis or Little on the field; I just want to see the next Syracuse player who chooses to embrace the fans and our tradition. I have watched footage of the great ones (or as I like to refer to them as the #44 Founding Fathers) and grew up listening to stories about these men and I would NEVER disrespect them or their place in history. I simply feel that the number 44 being retired does not honor the program or these player but simply appeals to a tradition that every sports program in this country adheres to.
However at Syracuse we had a different tradition and we loved it. We showed our loved by talking about who wore it and watching someone else carry on the torch. I sincerely doubt the majority of the fans would have watched this past season and if Bailey or Carter wore the jersey, tried to compare them to the #44 Founding Fathers. Most fans would have just enjoyed watching them play while also listening to stories like I did as a kid about the legacy of this number. My grandfather was not even born in this country but when his family settled in the Syracuse area, he grew up appreciating their history and loved Ernie Davis as he told me often. If my grandfather were alive today, he would be rejoicing in the reviving of Syracuse football and encouraging me to keep those memories alive.
Check the stands in the Carrier Dome on Saturdays and count all the #44 jerseys that show up every week as a symbol of their love for this program. For that matter, check out the fans who attend lacrosse, basketball or any event (even walk around the Syracuse area on your average day) just out of respect and love for the program and school. We don’t hang it up in trophy cases with someone telling them not to touch it; we wear it proudly as a badge of honor to show that we are Syracuse and we are proud of our history. We also love seeing the players wear it on the field and for many, part of the excitement that surrounded the program had something to do with wondering who would wear the #44 this season.
I have been told that this is no longer a recruiting tool. These kids these days would not know anything about those who wore it before them. I beg to differ and think that with Syracuse Head Football Coach Doug Marrone in charge of our program right now, he is recruiting the type of players who would appreciate this honor. And even if some of them may not know about it, I promise you that the current upperclassmen understand it and appreciate it. Coach Marrone is bringing back an environment that many of us longer for when times got tough and what a better way to show Syracuse football is back than by bringing back the jersey and allowing the fans the thrill of seeing #44 back on the field.
I will end this piece by bringing up the film “The Express.” I have watched this movie several times and though there may be factual errors, it is a movie about a great man who was not only important in Syracuse history but also college football history as well since he was the first African-American to win the Heisman (though we all know Jim Brown should have won it as well). If you watch the movie, you will see the players recruiting each other (Brown to Davis and Davis to Little) and also see a discussion between “Coach Schwartzwalder and Ernie Davis” about wearing the jersey. I was not born when these interactions took place so therefore I was not present for any of the actual conversations however if passing down these traditions were so important then, why can’t these still be our traditions?
I love showing appreciation for the legends and that is why so many people took offense to the Ernie Davis statue when they found errors. We love these men and what they accomplished for our program and college football in general and take offense when others try to muddy their memories. I have no problems with statues or buildings named after them to remember them fondly. I think though that in haste to show our love and respect for these men, a tradition was ignored that this program and its fans considered sacred. Many fans were disappointed because they thought Syracuse football was being hijacked and their voices were being ignored. Coach Marrone is here now and fans feel like he is embracing Syracuse football and restoring it back to the glory days that made many of us wait in anticipation for the fall season in Syracuse. I ask you, why not help promote that by recognizing what many of Syracuse’s most passionate fans have been calling for over the past few years and RESTORE 44?
Friday, January 28, 2011
It has come to my attention recently that Ring Of Honor Wrestling’s deal with HDNet is ending. As someone with Time Warner Cable, I will admit that this channel was not available to me and so I did not watch their shows but I did check out internet videos from time to time. I may not know every wrestler on their roster but there is one thing I know, they have a great in ring product that many fans do not have access to on a regular basis. This made me wonder, why shouldn’t Showtime or HBO consider offering professional wrestling programming and if they do, wouldn’t ROH be the best fit?
Showtime and HBO feature boxing and MMA on their channels as well as a wide variety of shows and movies and I think this would be a great addition. I would not have an issue if TNA or WWE made such a jump but with ROH providing more in ring product than those two and less soap opera drama, ROH could appeal more to the same demographics who enjoy MMA and boxing. ROH has a very passionate fan base and offer great in ring talent/matches that would attract even the most casual of fans if they had access to the product. And no need to go out and sign big names just to make a splash, do what ROH does best and offer some of the best and hungriest wrestlers in the world and feature great matches.
Just think about how this could benefit ROH, the premium network that made the deal with them and wrestling fans for just a minute. ROH would get a channel that every cable or satellite service carries and thus get more exposure to their product. This would also benefit Showtime/HBO because I believe passionate wrestling fans would look into adding their channel to their cable/satellite packages and with the proper advertising/push, those numbers could grow in time. Showtime is a CBS company and both sides may benefit from cross promotion as well to build interest from those who are not already watching but might enjoy action packed shows. Fans would benefit because for less than the cost of a monthly pay per view, you not only get the ROH shows but you have access to the programming they already offer which in most cases includes multiple channels as well as movies, series and sports.
This would not hurt any credibility on either side and I feel as though it could be a great way to change the way wrestling is viewed by many. If ROH wanted to run pay per views, they now have a partner to do so but my hope is they would appreciate that fans paid for the premium channel and keep it to a limited amount per year if they get such a deal (this also makes the pay per views have more of a special feel when they do). I do not work for either party so I am not sure what it would take to make such a deal or what changes would have to be made to the product/company but I definitely see nothing but a bright side to this as a fan.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I am not sure if I have ever told this story but I thought I would share it either way. Many may not know this but I am not a Syracuse alum but someone who wishes I were. I love Syracuse so much that I love everything orange in life. I drive an orange car, my favorite candy is orange slices, 70% of my wardrobe is orange and my family has learned that if you want to get me a cheap gift, lean towards something orange.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
10- Other towns complaining about the snow when anyone who has spent a winter in Syracuse knows snow in Syracuse is like earthquakes in California or finding a pub in Ireland, it’s a way of life. Snow hits NYC and people panic and roads close for a week whereas when it snows in Syracuse, the plows have already been on the road for hours and everyone is ready to go. I grew up in the area and half the neighborhood had snowmobiles and part of a young person’s driving was dad taking you to the store parking lot that had not been plowed yet and grabbing your steering wheel to teach you how to handle a spin out. We got snow and we loved it.
#9- Anything Hoyas, Huskies or Scarlet Knights related unless it involves Syracuse beating them. If this needs to be explained further, I will post a tutorial on teams Syracuse fans dislike the most at a later date.
#8- Can we please end this preposterous myth that Dino’s BBQ is better than Tully’s? OK, this may not be a huge issue amongst SU fans and I know many enjoy both but I had to fit in a Tully’s mention somehow per my deal with the Tully the Turtle on a cold Syracuse winter night when beer was involved. It’s not like I was trying to debate Chuck’s verses whatever new bar is opening on the Hill this week.
#7- The Big East is the worst conference in the BCS. Really, is the ACC that much better? The Big 10 went 0-5 in bowl games on ONE DAY while the Big East only bowl loses were WVU and UConn (First EVER Pinstripe Bowl champions’ baby, heck yes).
#6- Any mentions of Greg Robinson. The best thing Syracuse football coach has done for this program is winning so that we can try to move past those horrible years. I didn’t shave my head; I pulled the hairs out individually watching those years he coached with the sole purpose of making Syracuse “the USC of the east coast.” Can we please not have to hear this every football game as though we the fans forgot about him and the bad football played during his time here?
#5- Mentions of Greg Paulus or legacy players every game. I understand Andy was Leo’s son and Brandon is Howard’s nephew and also understand there are casual fans who may not understand this fact as well as SU fans but do you truly think Rutgers or sports fans not of the Orange persuasion care about their blood lines. Though the Paulus conversation has calmed some and we no longer have to see his basketball clips (and we thank him for his year to help give Nassib time to learn the system), seeing Nassib have a great game in the Pinstripe hopefully solidified his position as the starting QB without meriting comparisons to his former teammate.
#4- I know some of you may tire of it but songs like Cotton Eyed Joe are part of the fun when you bring a family. I personally hate the Kiss Cam (as well as most forms of public displays of affection) but I do not go on a rampage every they do one at a game. Cotton Eyed Joe is a fun song that kids enjoy dancing to and I think it is a good idea to occasionally cater a song towards that demographic so that they enjoy their experience more. Ever take a kid to most sporting events and ask them to sit still the entire game? You will either upset them so that they throw a fit or just are so bored, they do not look forward to going back. Would you prefer the theme song to Hannah Montana or Barney? Admit it, if they played “Who Let The Dogs Out” knowing the kids liked it, you would be equally disappointed. And yes, I am not ashamed to admit I am probably defending this one because I actually think it’s an amusing song (oh please, I didn’t have any street credibility to lose anyway so admitting it won’t hurt me much).
#3- Do we really need to have the debate after each game about people leaving early? REALLY! Is the Dome traffic that bad? REALLY! Unless there is an emergency at home or the kids have just finally pushed your last button and you are taking them home to lay the smack down on them, stick around and enjoy the game (possibly the post game as well). You have no idea how terrible it looks when there is a mass exodus at the Carrier Dome when the clock is still running and occasionally the announcers even mention it and show those leaving questioning their motives. I have been to games with several thousand people in attendance at the old Charlotte Coliseum and I assure you, you have not seen awful parking situations until you had to leave that place and I never left a game early (and that was not even Syracuse whom we should support more). OK granted one of the exits from a WWE event during the “attitude era” allowed my, at the time, 11 year old nephew to witness two women taking turns displaying their nurturing devices for the whole parking lot to witness so that helped but still. I do understand that occasionally games end late on weekdays or there may be circumstances at home that require your attention but for the most part, you should stick around and show your support and love for these teams and plan accordingly when attending a game. Applaud the players or find out who is going to Chucks for post game drinks and make new friends.
#2- Restore 44. Do I really have to do my own top 10 reasons why retiring this number retired a Syracuse tradition? We all know Delone Carter is not Jim Brown or Ernie Davis or Floyd Little but it was about more than just three legends who I love and admire. I have nothing against when schools or teams retire jerseys as I find it a great tribute but 44 was more than a number, it represented Syracuse. It was our way of essentially naming an offensive captain to lead the charge. Watch The Express when Ernie discusses how it was Jim Brown’s number and is basically told that now it is his. It is about embracing a young running back and allowing him to grow in our hearts and minds. Look in the stands of the Carrier Dome and you will see a flock of 44’s that I assure you will outnumber Jeter jerseys in Yankees stadium because 44 IS Syracuse. Syracuse fans love this program and we loved seeing who would get the coveted jersey with anticipation. It was never about living up to those who wore it before them, it was a chance to recognize a special player and a recruiting tool for those who wanted to share in the honor or wearing that number. I promise you that as long as there is breath in my body, I will fight to have this tradition restored and see it on the field again. And if I die before it is done, I hope my tombstone contains the words “Live, Breathed and Loved His Orange. Restore 44.”
#1- SYRACUSE IS NOT A DISTANT BOROUGH OF NEW YORK CITY OR THE CAPITAL OF NEW JERSEY AND ACTUALLY INVOLVES A PRETTY SUBSTANTIAL TRAVEL. THERE ARE NOT SUBWAY STOPS IN SYRACUSE SO FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY STOP MAKING IT SOUND AS THOUGH ALL GAMES IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK OR NEW JERSEY ARE “BASICALLY” HOME GAMES AND THIS TEAM DOES NOT TRAVEL. DOES THIS MEAN WHEN SU PLAYS ST. JOHNS OR RUTGERS THAT WE ARE STILL THE HOME TEAM? NO! SO STOP THIS FOOLISH BS ABOUT HOW THEY DO NOT TRAVEL. SYRACUSE USED TO BE LABELED AS THE TEAM WHO NEVER PLAYED ANYONE AND WHEN THE OUT OF CONFERENCE SCHEDULE GOT TOUGHER, THE “EXPERTS” FOUND SOMETHING ELSE TO BITCH ABOUT. SHAME ON YOU COACH B FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE COACHES VERSE CANCER TOURNAMENT, YOU SHOUL D HAVE GONE TO HAWAII FOR SELFISH REASONS ACCORDING TO SOME. SHAME ON COACH MARRONE AND THE UNIVERSITY FOR ACCEPTING A BOWL BID SOMEWHERE SENTIMENTAL AND NOT LEAVING THE STATE FOR A BOWL GAME JUST TO PLEASE SOME “JOURNALISTS” AND PARTICIPATE IN AN INAUGURAL BOWL GAME IN ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE CITIES IN THE WORLD. I WOULD BE WILLING TO BET A PAYCHECK THAT EVEN IF SYRACUSE PLAYED 95% OF THEIR GAMES ON THE ROAD, THEY WOULD FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT. WHY NOT JUST LET THIS TEAM PLAY THEIR SCHEDULE AND WE WILL SEE WHEN THE TOURNAMENT ARRIVES IF THEY ARE THAT GOOD OR NOT (TO THOSE THAT POINT OUT LAST YEAR’S POST SEASON, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT FORGET THAT AO WAS INJURED DURING THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT AND THE TEAM WAS NOT THE SAME WITHOUT HIM). I CAN TELL YOU THIS, IF THIS IS YORU COMPLAINT, I PROBABLY STOPPED READING YOUR COLUMN WHEN I SAW YOU NOTE IT.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Last night on Twitter, I noticed a movement that during this political environment, I can fully endorse. I am not sure who to credit first but noticed that @Live315, @asmcnama and @PJASchultz all were being RT'd in this matter so I will let them fight out out either in some mud or a steel cage, whichever they see fit. No matter who started it though, I think many should start to support their idea and that is, Syracuse Head Football Coach Doug Marrone should be a leading candidate for National Coach of the Year.
This is not just Syracuse Orange fans drinking the Kool-Aid or some hyperbole based on one big win. After reading Brent Axe's posts on syracuse.com(starting with this one http://www.syracuse.com/axeman/index.ssf/2010/10/su-cincinnati_recap_this_that.html ), I realized he had the stats to justify this contention. According to Brent, "Syracuse is 6-2 for the first time since 2001, when they finished 10-3.Syracuse is 3-1 in Big East play for the first time since 2004. Syracuse beat Cincinnati for the first time since 2004. Adding to a streak of beating South Florida for the first time ever and beating West Virginia for the first tine since 2001." And Sean at www.nunesmagician.com noted that Coach Marrone is now 10-10 as head coach at Syracuse and noted it took Coach Robinson 4 years to achieve that goal. Greg Robinson finished his 4 year tenure at Syracuse with a record of 10-37 overall and 3-25 in the Big East and yet, Coach Marrone has those 10 wins already in only his second season as head coach and matched those 3 BE wins this season alone with 4 more games to go (3 of them in the Big East) and the toughest part of their schedule in their rear view mirror and I do not foresee them sleeping on the rest of these games either with Coach Marrone at the helm.
How many of you have heard the little snide remarks from people when they talk about Syracuse being bowl eligible and having a shot at a BCS game should Pitt fall a bit and they win out? My first instinct is to boycott their sorry shows and write them a long email about it but then I remembered, they are finally talking about Syracuse being relevant again, even if it is while laughing. The fact that the fans and media are talking about this after how far this program fell is reason alone to mention Coach Marrone's name whenever someone wants to discuss who has done the best job coaching this year.
According to the experts, Syracuse has to win one more game in order to be bowl eligible, which hopefully they can do at home against Louisville this upcoming weekend. If this team goes from the obscurity to playing in a bowl game, to me that is more worthy of being coach of the year than those who were expected to win a BCS championship meeting expectations. Coach Marrone and this staff and players are above and beyond what most expected to see this year (I predicted 8 wins but expect now they could even surpass that and made my predictions from the heart, not my head).
As you may have read in earlier posts, I personally campaigned and even almost started up a website with my support for Turner Gill when Robinson was fired. I sit before you humbled and ask Coach Marrone's forgiveness as he has demonstrated he deserved this job beyond a shadow of a doubt. He won me over with the speech posted on my blog yesterday but continues to amaze me every game even still with his coaching on the field and his demeanor off it. And now I think it's time he win over the rest of this country and be awarded this honor for restoring a program many buried only a few short years ago. So Syracuse fans, show your pride and let's spread the word that in this election year, we want to see one man who deserves our vote get it and that is "Doug Marrone For Coach Of The Year".
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Today, we are one win away from being bowl eligible. Today we are 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Big East conference. Today we celebrate our third Big East road victory this season(all of which were homecoming games for our opponents). Today we will head to Varsity and flip another banner. Today is another day for those who believed in this team and wore their Syracuse Orange with faith even when they were mocked for doing so. Today is a stepping stone on our way to rebuilding our program and regain the respect and dignity this program once had. Today is a day fans will look back on this team as more than a fluke or a lucky win but instead see into their hearts and determination and know they are worth your love. Today is for every fan who didn't leave early out of disgust or make negative comments publicly when times got rough(though at times were discouraged because they knew we could do better) knew that when SYRACUSE football was back, our faith would be justified. Today is the day Coach Marrone and his staff show those who doubted they could do it, thought they didn't have the resume to believe in, or doubted his emotion in leading this team were proven wrong (including myself who campaigned heavily for Turner Gill until Coach Marrone won me over with this halftime speech during basketball season).
Today, we the fans say thank you again for your blood, your sweat and your tears when many "experts" picked you to finish last or next to last in the standings. Today we hold our heads high, party like a rock star and know in our hearts that we bleed Orange and will enjoy our lives today because of you. I have said it before but you can never say it too much when you truly mean it and today I say to you Syracuse University, Coach Doug Marrone and the staff and players on this football team...THANK YOU!
And now today's party song:
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I was going to do my first video ever but have decided to put it off for now until I work out a few details. Instead, I will write here what I had planned to say.
Thank you to those of you Syracuse fans who have stuck by this team through thick and through thin. Those who did not look for every chance to bash them after a loss but understood sometimes a team loses a game and it's not always how we want it to be. Those who check out the blogs and Twitter and make being a Syracuse fan fun. And thank you to those who like me wore our Syracuse merchandise for the past few years and endured the abuse and ridicule who can now hold our heads high with a smile knowing we our headed in the right direction.
Thank you to the players on this team who work their butts off for us fans. You guys fight hard every game to bring two things back to this team many of us thought was missing, tradition and respect. I won't single out anyone or any side of the ball because I think it is a team sport and a team effort so thank you to all of you whether you start or not. I assure you that every single one of you is why I bleed Orange and I am grateful for your sacrifices and will support you with anything I possibly can.
Thank you to Coach Marrone and his staff who has brought honor and competitive football back to a once proud university that struggled over the past few years. Some might challenge your passion or your resume but the true fans know you are on of us and want this team to succeed even more than all of us. Anyone who watched this WVU game and still questions your passion was not a true fan to begin with because a true fan knew it that day you took off your jacket during the basketball game and spoke to us from your heart in the Carrier Dome.
I was raised in the Syracuse area. I have loved this team for as long as I can remember and over the years, done my best to support and defend them even when the times were tough. I bleed Orange to the point that surrounding myself with all things orange makes me feel more comfortable. When I die, it is my hope that I am buried Orange (preferably my 44 jersey my brother gave me years ago and I treasure every time I wear it).
I have experienced a lot of heartache in my life off and on for the past few years and even been fortunate in other things. The one constant is my enjoyment of all things Syracuse Orange. I believe all things happen for a reason and I believe we went through the pain to further appreciate the road we will begin to climb to restore this program into what we Syracuse fans know it to be. I believe that even when your team struggles, you stand beside them just as you do in victory. So on behalf of myself and hopefully many other Syracuse fans I say to Syracuse University and especially the current football players and staff, THANK YOU.