All-Time Syracuse Orange Villains
Every fan base has its enemies, often far more perceived than real. Sometimes the enemy is from within–a person that betrays the trust provided by the school. More often, the enemy is a player or coach of a rival. So who are Syracuse’s enemies (let’s just call them villains)?
It’s hard to argue with John Thompson II. The Syracuse-Georgetown rivalry began with Thompson’s boastful “Manley Field House is officially closed” comment in 1980. Thereafter, the Orange
men and Hoyas would battle throughout the 1980’s, helping generate success for both programs, legitimacy for the Big East, and dollars for ESPN. But Thompson became the quintessential example of a villain for Syracuse faithful.
Greg Robinson–an example of a villain from within. Paul Pasqualoni was treading water at the end–with his firing following a bowl loss after yet another .500 season. Greg Robinson followed “Coach P” going 10-37. Doug Marrone replaced Greg Robinson and went 23-25–again, right around .500. Marrone was replaced by Scott Shafer, who has 10 wins in two seasons and is considered to be on the proverbial “hot seat” for such futility. The outlier is Robinson, who turned Syracuse from a declining program into an embarrassment.
Joe Paterno, former head coach Penn State. No, not for his issues with child abuse in his locker room. Instead, Paterno’s team dominated Syracuse for years… and then when Syracuse surged in competitiveness in the 1980’s, Paterno abandoned the series. Paterno also unfairly blamed Syracuse for keeping Penn State out of the Big East, even though that is simply untrue.
These are just three examples. Surely, other football and basketball coaches/players belong the list. Many fans are over-sensitive to media reporting and would add some of those folks.
Who would you add to this list? And why…