Syracuse Football Attendance – Needs Moar Fan(nie)s

For now, the Syracuse Orange sits atop the ACC football standings (2-0 overall, 1-0 in conference play), but based on the attendance at the Dome during yesterday’s victory over Wake Forest you would think that the Greg Robinson and Frank Maloney teamed up to coach this year’s team. Not surprisingly, Bud Poliquin was quick to point out that there was “a lack of fannies in the seats” as a mere 26.5k fans trudged-up to the dome to watch the game. To put that in context, last January approximately 23.5k fans took over half of the dome to watch the Syracuse basketball team (sans McCullough) defeat Wake Forest – and that basketball attendance number was without the benefit of free tickets to the frosh students.  Continue reading

Olympic Sports that I’d like to see…

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reformed their rules and are permitting host cities to propose the addition of one or more sports for their game. Currently, the IOC is evaluating a list of 26 sports that have applied to be included in the 2020 summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo, and the list of sports is quite varied; ranging from chess to Sumo to tug-of-war.

The vague criteria for the new sport(s) are that it/they must be popular with young people, give momentum to Tokyo 2020 and meet IOC standards.

That can mean only one thing: video games in the Olympics.

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Conference Realignment: A League of their Own

The Confidential has had some fun recently exploring different topics for hypothetical realignment scenarios such as relegation and team trading. While the tectonic shifts of conference realignment have settled since the ACC added a Grant-of-Rights, and the Big XII seems to have resolved their Conference Championship Game dilemma, there has been chatter among some of the private schools that changes could still be on the horizon.

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Orange You Glad: Famous 44’s that (thankfully) never were

There has been a lot of chatter over the past few weeks about the grass roots efforts by Syracuse fans to “Restore 44” with the hope that a new AD may turn around what they view as the terrible decision to retire the famous jersey number.

Growing-up in Syracuse during the 80’s and 90’s, the son (and grandson) of die-hard Syracuse fans, I have a deep understanding and appreciation for what Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little did for the football program, and in the case of Brown and Davis, what they did to advance Civil Rights in this country. I also vividly recall the excitement over the local radio programs when NY product, Rob Konrad, chose Syracuse over Notre Dame, in large part because of his ability to wear #44. I also remember when Konrad’s bar, (44’s) opened on Marshall Street and quickly became infamous for underage drinking and rowdy crowds. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to associate with the legendary #44.

So, I had no issues when Dr. Gross became the new Athletic Director at Syracuse and decided to honor the history and legacy of the jersey, and those who wore it, by retiring it in perpetuity. In fact, I applaud the decision because of how much more respect players have for the number, and the preservation of its iconic status.

I’ve been on record many, many times over at the various blogs and message boards saying that the idea to unretire #44 is a very dangerous one, especially since they see it as a recruiting gimmick to land one player in particular.

However I am very much on board with the idea re-popularized by Brent Axe to return the number to the playing field only if there is a player that is absolutely worthy of wearing it, that has earned the respect of the coaches, administration, community, and has transcended college football. These are incredibly high expectations and large shoes to fill, but that would only make it that much more meaningful if/when a day comes that a player can earn the right to wear the number.

I have nothing against Robert Washington, a high profile recruit that has Syracuse as one of his top schools, and appreciate that he holds the Syracuse’s football history in such high regards (courtesy of the movie the Express). I hope that he comes to Syracuse, I hope that he is the player we all expect him to be, and I hope that one day he’ll be able to earn the number 44. But with all due respect to those who want to use this jersey number as a recruiting gimmick, we’ve seen this act before and the idea of handing over what has become an iconic number to an untested and (as of yet) undeserving recruit/player seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Imagine how the legacy of the #44 and those that wore it, could have been irreparably damaged if some of these former Syracuse athletes had worn the number 44: Continue reading

Syracuse’s Chris McCullough Declares for the NBA: Twitter Reacts – UPDATED

Syracuse freshman Chris McCullough has announced his decision to declare for the draft. Five months ago that would not have surprised anyone, but given his season-ending ACL tear, many optimistic ‘Cuse fans thought that he would return for some Unfinished Business and help to anchor a formidable front-court.
McCullough certainly has the size/skillset that NBA teams value, but because of his injury and shortened-season at Syracuse (plus his limitations for when he could return in December) many see this decision as risky at best. His draft stock is projected anywhere in the late 1st round to early 2nd round, whereas staying in college for another year and improving his game could have him finish in the Lottery next year. Unfortunately for McCullough, the NCAA’s rules are prohibitive for allowing 18/19-year olds to make life-changing decisions, but that is an argument for another day.
There was much ado on the interwebs as people used this opportunity to voice their displeasure on Twitter, causing a mini-debate on whether this is acceptable behavior.

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Syracuse Shake-up: Is McDonald a Stubborn Goat or a Scape Goat?

There are many great debates in Syracuse football history: Should the #44 have been retired? Was Paul Pasqualoni unfairly fired? Should SU play games in NYC? (Answers: yes, no, yes).

OrangeFizz adds a new one to the mix: Was Head Coach Scott Shafer acting as a leader, or out of desperation? I will go another step further: Was George McDonald just a scapegoat to save Shafer’s ass?  Continue reading