Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

Extraneous YouTube! Moment

Adam Morrison: Prototypical Spelling Bee Moustache

Redefining "Dome Foam"

The beer hard hat: technological dinosaur.

Have you ever found yourself in the third tier of the Carrier Dome, yearning for a fresh Budweiser, yet unable to pull yourself away from the mesmerizing Orange action occurring on the field below?

Well, there is now a solution to your tale of woe: The Beerbelly.

The Beerbelly is the ingenious creation of Under Development, Inc. As the website states, The Beerbelly is more than just "a removable spare tire that serves a stealth beverage":

The Beerbelly brings Freedom to the Beverage! Now you can drink WHAT you want, WHEN you want, WHERE you want, with no hassles and for less money! What more could you ask for—now you can drink your favorite beverage at the movies, the ballgame, on the plane, you decide.

The Beerbelly: Is made up of a neoprene “sling” and a polyurethane “bladder” with a tube for dispensing. The bladder is held in an insulated pouch in the sling which is worn under your clothing for concealment. When worn, it looks just like a beerbelly.

And it’s high-quality!

Just think of the possibilities: Your favorite brew at the ball game instead of what they happened to be serving at seven bucks a pop. The savings at just one game will pay for your Beerbelly:

The Beerbelly ..$34.95

Compared to six beers at the game at $7.00 each = $42.00* (plus the hassle of standing in line at least 3 times, not to mention missing the game etc.)

If you are willing to share, you never know what other fringe benefits may result from your Beerbelly!

*This is just an example, you can fill it with whatever you like and use it wherever you decide so your savings, and enjoyment could be much more than the example provided.

When properly attached, The Beerbelly looks like this:

The Beerbelly without a T-shirt = Not stealth.

As an added bonus to providing the sporting public with a means of clandestine alcohol consumption, Under Development, Inc. has even provided The Beerbelly Nation with some helpful tips and tricks. The most helpful are those tips concerning stadium personnel asking about your new appearance:

9. If by chance your Beerbelly is questioned by someone in a position to ruin your fun, we suggest one of the following responses:

  • This is a medical device that I think we’d both prefer not discussing or viewing in public.
  • My wife is pregnant and, as part of our maternity class, I have to develop empathy by wearing this thing around in order to look fat and give myself backaches.
  • Department of Homeland Security. We’re testing a new stealth form of body armor to protect our undercover agents overseas in the Global War on Terror. Don’t make me shut this place down.
  • It’s full of urine, so step back or you’re gonna be sorry.
  • It’s part of my religion to wear this…non-Muslim, of course.
  • Want a beer?
The Beerbelly, of course, can be purchased right here.

(Hat Tip: Deadspin)

NBA Draft Liveblog!

More fun than stealing computers.
Eds. Note: I am not Matt Glaude. If you think this will be as funny as the National Spelling Bee Live Blog you are going to be horrifically disappointed. This is a comprehensive recap of the 2006 NBA Draft that will cover the top ten picks, Big East selections, and random entertaining bits. It's long, but if you like the Draft, the NBA, or Big East Basketball in general you will probalby enjoy this article.

The draft coverage is about to start. I have to say I don’t normally watch the draft, but I find myself interested this year because of the many stories coming to light in the draft. Such stories as Sheldon Williams’s massive forehead, JJ Redick drinking and driving, will Gerry get drafted, and Adam Morrison’s Richard Kiel like mustache. If you don’t know who that is, look it up. It makes sense.

Toronto is deciding and the drama begins. It appears that they will pick Andrea Bargnani from Rome, but the announcement will occur once we start. Also, it should be interesting because there are no high schoolers this year.

Jay Billis still sounds like an ass.

Fran Fraschilla said “Put some ice cubes in my Kook-Aid Dan.” What?!?

They are talking about Adam Morrison going to the Charlotte Bobcats with the #3 pick. He looks even more disheveled then he did all season with the Zags.

They talk to JJ Reddick. Talking about his resume, Dan Patrick says “also on that resume a DUI a couple of weeks back”. Excellent.

Here we go. First pick. Toronto now has 5 minutes and is on the clock.

With the first pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors select Andrea Bargnani from Italy. Woo. I’ve never heard of this guy before really. And every NCAA baller feels dissed I’m sure. I just don’t think anyone that usually plays with a trapezoidal paint should be a number one pick. Chicago is on the clock.

The Bulls have 40 seconds left and the NY fans are booing uncontrollably.

The Bulls select LaMarcus Aldridge from Texas. However, there is a reported deal that Chicago and Portland have made a deal to send Aldridge to the Blazers, and the 4th pick will go to Chicago, trading Khryapa and giving future considerations.

Gerry McNamara hasn’t been seen on any video, nor has his name been mentioned. I wonder if he is even in MSG right now. Answer: NO.

Third pick: Charlotte selected Mr. Mustache himself, Adam Morrison from Gonzaga. Mr. Jordan made a nice pick I think. He led the nation in scoring, a nice scorer, and gives gutsy performances. He can’t guard, but I guess you can still be a big time player if you can score.

Portland selects Tyrus Thomas from LSU, the leading scorer from the SEC. He will be heading to Chicago. This guy is a pretty spectacular athlete. Also, Jay Billis’ best available list includes a lot of Big East players with names like Mike Gansey from West Virginia, Randy Foye from Villanova, Rudy Gay and Marcus Williams from Connecticut, and Quincy Douby from Rutgers.

Atlanta picks Sheldon Williams from Duke. This was a given, as they basically already had a deal with him that he would be drafted if he was still available. Nothing really exciting to report here. I still want to know how the hell he got that forehead though. The hat he’s wearing barely fits him. Plus, he sounds like he has had a brain injury. And much like many college basketball fans, I hate everything out of Duke.

Minnesota picks Brandon Roy, the Pac-10 player of the year. The first guard selected. Boston has the next pick. They just made a deal to get Sebastian Telfair so they are basically picking for Portand. Matt Glaude was upset at this trade. I’m sure you’ll hear from him about this.

Rudy Gay is still sitting there and he is nervous saying “it ain’t looking good”. Boston has the next pick, so he could be heading to Portland, Houston, or Orlando.

Boston (Portland) selected Randy Foye from Villanova, the Big East player of the year. This is a great player and probably the most talented Big East player in the draft. I don’t think I would want Sebastian Telfair over Foye any day. Jay Wright, the coach of ‘Nova is on hand looking very dapper as he always does. If he’s not connected to the mob, he sure dresses like he is.

With the 8th pick in the draft, Houston selects Rudy Gay of Connecticut. The rumor is that he will be headed to Memphis in a proposed trade. Rudy Gay playing with Hakim Warrick could be very excited and an excellent show of Big East talent. While showing highlights of Rudy Gay I saw my fiancé playing in the UConn Pep Band. I’m wierded out that my fiancé was on the NBA Draft.

With the 9th pick, Golden State selects Patrick O’Bryant from Bradley. He’s a sophomore and I have never heard of this player. Do I suck for not hearing of this guy, or does he suck and this is a crazy pick. With very quality players still remaining I am going with the second choice.

Big trade news. Minnesota and Portland trade the 6 and 7 picks. They swap Brandon Roy and Randy Foye, Foye actually heading to Minnesota. Seattle also selects as the number 10 pick Saer Sene from Senegal. This guy is tall. This guy is black. This guy has a huge wingspan. This guy will suck for about 2 years before he’s any good. With the 10th pick in the first round I don’t think I would have picked this guy until free agency. Now that the top ten are done, I’m just going to report on Big East picks, major trades, and interesting things going on.

I spoke too soon. Something interesting happened. JJ Redick goes to the Orlando Magic with the 11th pick. The NCAA Player of the Year and resident Ted Kennedy impersonator will no longer be taking abuse in Krzyzewskiville.

New Orleans selects Hilton Armstrong from Connecticut, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. I personally didn’t expect him to go this high, however he vastly improved his game this year at UConn. He used to suck hardcore, but this year he decided to get his head out of his ass or listen to Jim Calhoun finally. This is the second pick from Connecticut in the draft, and probably not the last.

Dan Patrick and Commissioner David Stern have a lovers quarrel before announcing the 14th pick. Just precious.

They are talking about how Marcus Williams is the best Point Guard prospect in the draft and how he hasn’t been drafted because of “character issues”. Its delicious. Guys like this who are suspended and do things like steal shouldn’t be rewarded in my opinion. Who knows when he will get picked though? It could be anytime really.

The Pacers make their pick, and Dan Patrick tries to talk to Larry Bird about it, but the video conferencing technology doesn’t cooperate. We could hear him, but not see him. Therefore, what does Dan Patrick do? Put Larry Bird on hold. Dan Patrick put Larry Fucking Bird on hold. Un-fucking-believable.

They finally throw to Larry. This is after the 18th pick was taken by Washington. It was Oleksiy Pecherov from the Ukraine, who I think looks exactly like Craig Forth. Check out the picture.

The Sacramento Kings selected Quincy Douby from Rutgers with the 19th pick. This guy can shoot and will probably be a pretty great 2 guard in the NBA. As many would agree, a steal this high in the draft.

Spike Lee looks drunk. Dan Patrick keeps refering to trades they put up on the screen as “paperwork”. No Dan.

Marcus Williams is finally picked by the New Jersey Nets with the 22nd pick. He is the 3rd Connecticut player picked, and is only the second point guard picked. East Rutherford better buy some locks to secure your laptops. He’s on the prowl

Son of a bitch if NJ just picked Josh Boone with the next pick. They will be playing together in Jersey. Boone is taken pretty high here. It’s not a bad pick, but I’m not sure his game is polished enough to be taken this high. Will he be a good fit? Probably. But he’s still going to miss more free throws then Shaq will in his lifetime. This is the 4th player from UConn drafted this year and yet another Big East player.

The Memphis Grizzlies with the 24th pick select Kyle Lowry from Villanova. Another guard from the Big East selected, and he will be playing with Syracuse alumnus Hakim Warrick. He should be a nice fit, and if his shooting improves even more, he will be excellent for that team.

Portland is rumored to be in a 4th trade, this being for Phoenix’s 27th overall pick for cash. Portland is all up in that trade situation tonight. Is your game MVP like Steve Nash? Obviously not enough Sergio Rodriguez.

Syracuse Assistant Coach Rob Murphy is sighted hugging Michigan State player and Dallas Mavs pick Maurice Ager at number 28. Apparently he coached him in high school.

The first round is over. The Commish is done. The second round begins. The New York fans are still extremely rowdy.

Portland selects James White from Cincinnati with the 31st pick. This guy is a great, dominating player who did very well in Big East league play. I saw him in person twice last season and he is very impressive. Portland is making some great moves tonight.

With the next pick, Houston picks Steve Novak from Marquette. To that I say… who? I really don’t know this guy, nor did Marquette do much this year except perhaps beat Georgetown during league play.

The Atlanta Hawks selected Solomon Jones from South Florida next. He played well against Connecticut this year, however he’s small and who knows how he will shake out in the NBA. He will probably improve Atlanta however, and be a good fit because they need that position it Hotlanta. It’s possible he will complement Sheldon Williams nicely as well.

Denham Brown from Connecticut is selected 40th overall by the Sonics. This is the 5th UConn player in the draft selected and another Big East selection. Doo Doo Brown headed to the west coast, a long way from Storrs, and a long way from Toronto where he is from.

It is reported Randy Foye is headed to Boston in a trade. Probably a great move for Boston after the trade they made early on in the night.

Israel gets a pick for the first time ever. Lior Eliahu is the 44th pick from Orlando. He won’t play in the NBA for a while, plus he still has an army commitment. Bad pick by Orlando I think.

James White is traded to the Pacers in another trade by Portland. I’m not sure I agree with this trade as I like the athleticism of James White from Cincinnati. Denver picks 49th and they select not Gerry McNamara. My hopes and dreams of a 2003 Reunion of Gerry and Melo are dashed. Hopefully he will be picked later in the round.

We are on the 53rd pick and I’m getting nervous for Gerry. Also, Portland completes its sixth trade of the night. Ridiculous, but smart in the end I think.

With the 59th pick, San Antonio selects Damir Markota from Serbia. He actually waited in the green room to get drafted. He was there when he got picked and went to the stage. Ridiculous.

The 60th and final pick in the draft to Detroit is Will Blalock from Iowa State. Gerry McNamara remains undrafted. 6 out of the last 10 picks in the draft were foreigners. After 5 hours of coverage, the draft is done. Let’s break it down by numbers:

Conference Picks:
Big East – 11
ACC – 7
Pac-10 – 7
Big Ten – 5
Big XII – 4
SEC – 4
CUSA – 2
Atlantic 10 – 2
Missouri Valley Conference - 1

Big East:
Connecticut – 5 (Rudy Gay, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams, Josh Boone, Denham Brown)
Villanova – 2 (Randy Foye, Kyle Lowry)
Cincinnati – 1 (James White)
Marquette – 1 (Sean Novak)
Rutgers – 1 (Quincy Douby)
South Florida – 1 (Solemon Jones)

First Round – 4 (Gay, Armstrong, Williams, Boone)
Second Round – 1 (Brown)

All said and done, the Big East clearly demonstrated it has the most NBA ready talent and is a true power conference. Obviously, Connecticut had the strongest showing, and an unexpected showing I would say. Josh Boone taken at 23 seems early and surprising, along with the drafting of Denham Brown in the second round. Where was Reshad Anderson though?

The big losers of the Big East are Gerry McNamara for Syracuse, but really it’s West Virginia’s Mike Gansey and Kevin Pittsnogle, and Louisville with Tequan Dean.

Memphis picks up Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry, which is interesting because Hakim Warrick is also there, making it a nice mix of Big East talent. The New Jersey Nets also pick up Williams and Boone, along with Hassan Adams from Arizona, which should help pick up that franchise with some talent out of UConn. Marcus Williams needs some polish and guidance from Jason Kidd before I’m convinced he’ll be great. Also, he needs to keep his nose clean and away from laptops. Boone I feel will under perform in the NBA but we shall see.

Also, what is the deal with all these foreign players getting picked when they suck and won't be NBA talent for 2 to 3 years. There was plenty of domestic talent fairly ready to tackle the rigors of the NBA that went undrafted. 6 out of 10 of the last picks of the draft were foreign. Too many wasted picks if you ask me.

That’s pretty much the goods from the NBA Draft regarding the Big East and everything relating to Syracuse. The full draft board can be found here. If you read this you must really care about the NBA, the Big East, Syracuse, or you were so bored that you had nothing else to do. Or maybe you just needed a diversion from studying for the bar exam.

A Nod to History

Definitely better than Otto the Orange.
As any reader can plainly see, this notebook has received a mild face-lift following some unintended consequences occurring yesterday afternoon. After brief deliberation weighing the pros and cons of changing the format of the blog, I have decided to leave things as they are currently.

If you should happen to notice any problems with the appearance of the material (tables are misaligned, links are broken, etc.), please leave a note either in the comments or in a brief email message.

As for some of the specific changes, I am leaving the new header graphic as is. It is an interesting reminder that Syracuse did, at one time, have a kickass mascot, even if the mascot was unredeemingly hostile and derogatory.

The story of the Saltine Warrior is an interesting one and probably requires a background briefing to the uninitiated:
In 1931, a Native American warrior known as the "Saltine Warrior" became the athletic mascot. The name derived from an article describing an archaeological dig on campus uncovering the artifacts of a Native American warrior. The warrior was called the "Saltine Warrior" because of the abundant salt deposits in the Syracuse, New York area. The article was later revealed to be a hoax in The Syracuse Orange Peel, but the mascot remained until 1978 when banned by the University.

In the mid-1950's, the father of a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother owned a cheerleading camp. He made a Saltine Warrior costume for his son to wear at SU football games. Thus began a nearly forty-year tradition of Lambda Chi brothers serving as SU's mascot. In 1990 however the University opened up the mascot traditions to the entire student body (Daily Orange, February 22, 1990).

In 1978, the members of a Native American student organization headed a protest against using the Saltine Warrior as an athletic mascot. Onondagan Chief Oren Lyons, a 1958 alumnus and former SU lacrosse star, explained that it's "all in the presentation . . . The thing that offended me when I was there was that guy running around like a nut. That's derogatory" (Daily Orange, March 23, 1976, p.5). The Saltine Warrior was subsequently sidelined and a contest for a successor ensued (Daily Orange, February 12, 1978).
Out of respect for Chief Bill Orange, the Class of 1951 commissioned the erection of a statute commemorating the fake Onondagan:
In 1951, the Senior Class commissioned a statue of the Saltine Warrior to be placed near the "discovery site." The students of the famous Croatian sculptor and SU faculty member, Ivan Mestrovic, competed for the honor. The winner was Louise Kaisch who arranged for a member of the Onondaga Nation to pose for her statue. The Saltine Warrior, cast in bronze, was moved several times, at last finding a resting place on the south-east corner of the quadrangle, next to the Shaffer Art Building.
And now there is Otto, the laughingstock of the college football planet.

In addition to the mascot proper, there have been a couple of songs dedicated to Bill Orange and the Saltine Warrior. They are currently exitinct, but are badass nonetheless:

Bill Orange

Bill Orange is upon the sidelines
With a megaphone and flag in hand.
He leads the crowd to cheer like demons,
All up and down the old grandstand;
And as the ball is moving goal-ward
Each yard that's gained he's marking well
It's worth while to play for Old Bill Orange
For win or lose you'll always hear him yell:
"Get in the game to win, boys,
Ev'ry blessed mother's son of you;
Stand firm along the line,boys,
Watch the ball, this time it's going through.
Last night the sun set orange,
Omen ever sure and true,
Get in the game and win , boys,
Old Syracuse, she calls to you!"

The Saltine Warrior

In the days of old, when knights were bold
Every city had its warrior man.
In the days of new, when fights are few
You will view them from a big grandstand.
In our college town one has great renown
If the game of football he should play.
With his pig-skin ball he is cheered by all,
He's the Saltine Warrior of today.

The Saltine Warrior is a bold, bad man,
And his weapon is a pigskin ball,
When on the field he takes a good, firm stand,
He's the hero of large and small.
He will rush toward the goal with might and main
His opponents all fight, but they fight in vain,
Because the Saltine Warrior is a bold, bad man,
And victorious over all.

BlogPoll Offseason Roundtable 2.4

"Knowledge crowns those who seek her."
Eds. Note: For those that are unaware, the BlogPoll Roundtable is a somewhat regular discussion of issues concerning college football. Those participating are members of MGoBlog's BlogPoll, a collection of college football bloggers spanning the nation, populized (albeit begrudingly) by mostly Big Ten and Georgia writers.

Orson Swindle and Stranko Montana, the dynamic duo of college football tomfoolery, moderate this edition of the BlogPoll Roundtable. As Stranko puts it so elegantly, this edition of the Roundtable:
. . . is designed to either refresh everyone’s recollection about our fellow participants or give us a greater insight into the deep dark psyche of each of us.
1. Education
List the region of the country you were born in, what universities you attended and at least one other you would have attended if your alma mater didn’t exist.

Oh, man. This question absolutely merits a quote from the Steve Martin classic The Jerk:

Huh? I am not a bum.

I'm a jerk.

I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends, and . . . uh . . . my thermos.

Huh? My story? Okay.

It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi.

Anyway, I was born and raised in southeastern Connecticut. There is not a lot to do in southeastern Connecticut except plot and plan to leave southeastern Connecticut when you graduate from high school.

Thus, upon receiving my diploma, I enrolled at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. I received a bachelor of arts in political science from Syracuse in May of 2002. Upon realization that a degree in that particular field of study is pretty much worthless, I enrolled at Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut. In May I received my juris doctor, cum laude, from Quinnipiac with honors in taxation. In the fall, I plan on enrolling at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. as an L.L.M in Taxation candidate.

If Syracuse did not exist, I probably would have attempted to enroll at a preppy New England liberal arts school like Wesleyan or Middlebury. I am not particularly sure why, but it just seems to fit my personality.

2. Sports Affiliations
List your top 10 favorite teams in all of sports in decending order. For instance, your alma mater’s football team may be number 1, but perhaps there is a professional team that squeezes in before you get to your alma mater’s lacrosse team.

10. Takeru Kobayashi - IFOCE Competitor
9. USA Curling
8. Quinnipiac University Men's Ice Hockey
7. Joe Gibbs Racing
6. Boston Bruins
5. New York Giants
4. Syracuse Men's Basketball
3. Boston Red Sox
2. Syracuse Men's Lacrosse
1. Syracuse Football

3. Movies
List the movie you’ve watched the most, your favorite sports related movie, the movie you secretly love but don’t like to admit it (possibly a chick flick or b film), and the movie you were (or still are) most looking forward to from this summer’s season.

Movie Watched the Most
I am not a real big movie guy, but I do believe the movie I have watched the most is probably The Natural starring Robert Redford. It is classic cinema.

My favorite movie, however, is probably A Few Good Men. Written by Syracuse graduate Aaron Sorkin, it is a masterpiece. Plus, Demi Moore is smoking hot.

Favorite Sports Related Movie

Movie I Secretly Love
I am obsessed with teen movies. In no particular order, I love: Ten Things I Hate About You, Can't Hardly Wait, She's All That, and, of course, The Breakfast Club.

Movie I'm Looking Forward To
Since I am a displaced redneck, I am dying to see Will Ferrell's new movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

4. Music
List your favorite band from middle school, high school, college and today. Also, as with the movies, include the song you secretly love but don’t like to admit. If Nickleback is involved in any of these responses, please give a detailed explanation as to why, god, why.

There is one band that fits all four categories: The Presidents of the United States of America. Reel Big Fish, while debuting when I was in high school, is a close second place. Also, Suburban Legends is a supremely underrated band.

A song I secretly love, eh? I guess that would have to be anything by Elton John.

5. Books
Favorite book you’ve finished, worst book you’ve finished and the book you really should read but haven’t gotten around to it.

Favorite Book Finished
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

And no, I am not a serial killer.

Worst Book Finished
Anything by Shakespeare. It is just not my cup of tea.

Book I Should Read
Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald. As arguably America's finest novelist, Fitzgerald is required reading for every literate American.

6. Travel
Favorite city you’ve every been to and the one place you still must visit before you shuffle off this mortal coil.

Favorite City
Austin, Texas. That place is some sort of awesome. New York City is an obvious second place finisher.

Must Visit City
Vancouver, British Columbia.

7. Extraneous
What do you love most about college football in 20 words or less?

The fact that my favorite university sucks at it, and I still can't get enough.

I Went Nuclear on the Blog

Yes, the notebook looks like shit right now.

No, the redesign did not happen on purpose.

Yes, I am doing something about it.

Yes, this blog will still suck balls.

Monday YouTube! Moment

USA Basketball announced today that two Syracuse University recruits -- Johnny Flynn and Donte Greene -- have made the roster for the 2006 Men's U18 National Team. Running the floor with Greene and Flynn this summer will be two future future Big East opponents: Stanley Robinson (Connecticut) and DaJuan Summers ([Hate]Georgetown).

Lorenzo Romar, the excitable coach at the University of Washington, will guide the team through a field consisting of: Puerto Rico, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Bahamas, and Canada.

With this terrific news in hand, it is officially time for another presentation of YouTube! Theatre. Today's installation carries forward the basketball theme, highlighting former Syracuse Orange and current St. Francis (NY) assistant coach Allen Griffin.

While Griffin's exploits on the hardwood would be a delicious viewing delicacy, the video below instead highlights Griffin's conducting expertise following Syracuse's miraculous run to the Big East title four months ago.

Stalking Teenagers

The downfall of mankind . . . .
Chas, the legend behind the indomitable blog Pitt Sports Blather, sent me an interesting email late last week:

Hey, while trolling the Ohio papers for my other blogging duties, I came across this article out of Akron featuring a guy being recruited by 'Cuse. It concerns the rapidly growing tired story on text messaging. It includes links to his home page and such.

Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson has stated on numerous occasions that he is a new participant to the text messaging phenomenon. His staff, however, appears to have figured out the technology:

David Arnold recently flipped open his Motorola cell phone to retrieve a text message.

U're the guy we need David! Our facilities, tradition and academics are so incredible! You fit our profile and could make a huge impact! Go Orange! Coach Russ

This raises a couple of interesting issues. First, the target of the text message is Syracuse recruit David Arnold. Arnold is a 6'1", 190-pound safety out of Copley, Ohio. Syracuse will be enrolling Arnold's former teammate -- Delone Carter -- this September. Currently, Arnold is fielding offers from Akron, Illinois, Syracuse, Eastern Michigan, and Indiana.

A highlight film of the rising junior may be found on his webpage. Arnold is also keeping a diary on the Akron Beacon-Journal website. As the recruiting process is often shrouded in secrecy and message board gossip, Arnold's diary serves as an interesting expose of how Syracuse attacks the recruiting trail.

The second, non-football related issue deals with coach Russ' deplorable use of the English language. As an initial matter, the word "U're" does not exist. Its closest relative is "ure," which is defied as either:

  • A very large, powerful, and savage extinct bovine animal anciently abundant in Europe. It appears to have still existed in the time of Julius Caesar. It had very large horns, and was hardly capable of domestication; or

  • To use; to exercise; to inure; to accustom by practice.

While my retreat to the Merriam-Webster is harsh considering the grammar-allergic ways of text messaging, it does strike me as curious that Russ touts Syracuse's outstanding academic tradition while simultaneously failing to grasp the rudimentary concepts of English.

Finally, is it just me, or are there an inordinate number of exclamation points in Russ' message? This, of course, lays the perfect groundwork for a tenuously applicable Seinfeld reference:

Lippman: And, anyway I was just reading your final edit, um, there seems to be an inordinate number of exclamation points.

Elaine: Well, I felt that the writing lacked certain emotion and intensity.

Lippman: Oh, "It was damp and chilly afternoon, so I decided to put on my sweatshirt!"

Elaine: Right, well...

Lippman: You put exclamation point after sweatshirt?

Elaine: That's that's correct, I-I felt that the character doesn't like to be ch-ch-chilly...

Lippman: I see, "I pulled the lever on the machine, but the Clark bar didn't come out!" Exclamation point?

Elaine: Well, yeah, you know how frustrating that can be when you keep putting quarters and quarters in to machine and then *prrt* nothing comes out...

Lippman: Get rid of the exclamation points...

Elaine: Ok, ok ok ...

Lippman: I hate exclamation points...

Elaine: ...ok I'll just....

Welcome to the Fulmer Cup, Syracuse!

Coaching Perry Patterson will drive even the most educated man to drink.
Donnie Webb, crack staff writer for the indomitable Syracuse Post-Standard, reports in his blog this afternoon that new Orange offensive coordinator Brian White got pinched Saturday night by Town of DeWitt police:
Brian White

Offensive coordinator Brian White of the Syracuse University football team was ticketed for driving while intoxicated Saturday night by Town of DeWitt police. White, 41, of Manlius, was issued a ticket on Woodchuck Hill Road at 9:30 p.m., according to a Town of DeWitt spokesperson.

Syracuse athletics director Daryl Gross and head football coach Greg Robinson each issued statements through the office of athletic communication.

“We take this situation very seriously and are taking appropriate action to address the matter,” Gross said.

“Coaches and student-athletes are held accountable for their actions," Robinson said. "We all understand that there are consequences for the choices that we make.”
News Channel 9, Syracuse's local ABC affiliate, has a little bit more on the White's early evening excursion:
Syracuse/DeWitt (WSYR-TV) - Syracuse University Football’s Offensive Coordinator Brian White was arrested on Saturday night for driving while intoxicated. DeWitt Police say a citizen called 911 to report that White was driving erratically, and that the citizen used their car to block White at the corner of Woodchuck Hill Road and Jamesville Road, until police could arrive.

DeWitt Police say once they arrived, White registered a blood alcohol level of .17, and was arrested.

This all happened around 9:30 PM on Saturday night.
And, finally, if you are allergic to reading (much like White is allergic to reasonable behavior), News 10 Now has you covered with some video. Further, News 10 Now is reporting that White is due to appear in DeWitt Town Court on July 7th.

To say that White's behavior is a bit out of sorts may be an historic understatement. White holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, a masters degree from Fordham University, and a masters of business administration in finance from the University of Notre Dame.

I guess this goes to prove that nobody is immune from singing the world's greatest tune:
There's a garden, what a garden,
Only happy faces bloom there,
And there's never any room there,
For a worry or a gloom there
Oh there's music and there's dancing,
And a lot of sweet romancing
When they play the polka
They all get in the swing

Every time they hear that oom-pa-pa,
Everybody feels so tra-la-la
They want to throw their cares away,
They all go lah-de-ah-de-ay
Then they hear a rumble on the floor, the floor,
It's the big surprise they're waiting for
And all the couples form a ring,
For miles around you'll hear them sing...

Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun
Roll out the barrel, we've got the blues on the run
Zing boom tararrel, ring out a song of good cheer
Now's the time to roll the barrel, for the gang's all here

Awkward and Unusual Recruiting Essay

Delone Carter: Mr. Syracuse 2006?

Recruiting news and this notebook usually fail to mix. However, given the fact that Syracuse has actually received some good news in the "Future Orange" Department, some light notes are in order.

Delone Carter = Football Jesus?
This past weekend, the Big 33 Football Classic was held at Hershey Park Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The annual game pitting the finest 33 recruits from Ohio and Pennsylvania saw Copley High School superstar and incoming Syracuse freshman Delone Carter eat up his Keystone State competition. Even though Ohio lost the game 61-42, Carter put on quite the show.

As Donnie Webb reports in his blog, Carter set the tone early and ran like a banshee the rest of the way:

Big 33 update

Syracuse University freshman tailback Delone Carter of Copley High School rushed for more than 100 yards and scored two touchdowns for Ohio in its 61-42 loss to Pennsylvania in the 49th Big 33 Football Classic Saturday night in Hershey, Pa.

A couple of newspapers - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Cleveland Plain-Dealer - have Carter rushing for 115 years. The Harrisburg Patriot-News had him rushing for 194 yards. I called the Big 33 Office Monday to check and was told they had did not have the statistics broken down and wouldn't for another week.

A chocolate hangover, perhaps?

"Carter is stocky, strong, patient and fast enough to get by the secondary. Through three and a half quarters, he only had nine carries for 72 yards. He then ripped off a couple of long runs, including a 78 yard touchdown run that saw him stave off six tacklers throughout the entirety of his run. Syracuse got themselves a good one in Carter."
If Carter has half the talent he displayed in Saturday's high school showcase, there is no question that he will be given the opportunity to press both Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley and Paul Chiara for carries this season. The question is, therefore, how head coach Greg Robinson will deal with this development.

Ideally, providing Carter with a redshirt season will undoubtedly provide Syracuse will the opportunity to allow Carter to develop and learn behind two generally functional tailbacks. With an extra year of seasoning, Carter could mitigate many of the growing pains endured by true freshman and truly have the opportunity to flash his talents as the Orange's featured back.

However, the situation that I feared/anticipated appears to be playing out:

Should Carter show flashes of prodigal talent during the summer, there is going to be a lot of pressure on head coach Greg Robinson to throw Carter into the mix, especially if neither Brinkley nor Chiara secures the starting position without question. Ideally, either Chiara or Brinkley will establish themselves as viable first and second options, thus allowing Carter to redshirt this season and apply some weight and resilience to his frame. If Carter truly is the kind of game changing back that those in the business believe he can become, there is no reason to force him onto the field before he is ready.

This is not to say that Carter should not see playing time if he is truly the strongest rusher on the depth chart. Freshman running backs in recent history have had success on the gridiron. However, the Orange program made the mistake of playing a highly rated recruit in Johnnie Morant early in his career when he was not ready to step onto the field. He lost a year of eligibility and only late in his career began achieving his potential. Hopefully, Greg Robinson will not make the same mistake with Carter this year.
As a consequence, it appears as if Carter is going to have every opportunity to step onto the field September 2nd against Wake Forest not only as an interesting option for the Orange rushing attack, but maybe even its primary option.

And that, I think, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Syracuse Signs Another Pennsylvania Quarterback, World Spins on Axis
The headline may be a tad overblown, but given Syracuse's recent success with Pennsylvania-bred quarterbacks, some mild discomfort is certainly in order.

Skeptical? Maybe these names will assist with your general pessimism:
  • Cecil "The Diesel" Howard
  • Troy Nunes
  • Perry Patterson

Anyway, Syracuse received a commitment from Greensburg, Pennsylvania quarterback Cody Catalina yesterday morning. Catalina, the fifth member of Syracuse's Class of 2007, is a 6' 4", 195-pound gunslinger that covers the 40-yard dash in around 4.7 seconds. As Donnie Webb notes in today's edition of the Syracuse Post-Standard, Catalina's decision to attend Syracuse its quite an interesting tale:

Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic High School football coach Muzzy Colosimo peppered quarterback Cody Catalina with questions about Syracuse and Vanderbilt.

Finally, Colosimo asked one more zinger: What's your problem?

There was none, which is why Catalina picked up the telephone Monday morning and called Syracuse University head football coach Greg Robinson with his oral commitment to sign with the Orange in 2007.

Catalina is the believed to be the only quarterback Syracuse pursued after Christian Brothers Academy quarterback Mike Paulus announced his decision several weeks ago to sign with North Carolina.

Catalina got an offer from Syracuse one day after Paulus picked the Tar Heels. He chose the Orange over Vanderbilt. He also had offers from Rutgers, Akron, New Hampshire, Buffalo, Toledo, Tulane, Temple and Delaware.

Catalina is the second player from Greensburg to make an oral commitment to Syracuse. Teammate and best friend Max Suter, a running back/defensive back, announced his commitment to Robinson a few weeks ago.

The Orange continues to chase Greensburg receiver Nick Sukay, who recently announced that

Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Penn State were his finalists. Catalina said he doubts he can sway Sukay, though Colosimo said the Orange remains "pretty persistent."
What may be more interesting than the fact that Catalina is going to try and accomplish the impossible in bringing Nick Sukay to the Salt City is the fact that he is undettered by the Orange potentially recruiting another quarterback in this recruitment cycle:

That feistiness is why Catalina looks forward to competing with Syracuse freshman quarterback Andrew Robinson, whom he met on campus in May. Catalina said "it wouldn't surprise me" if the Orange doesn't add another quarterback to the recruiting class of 2007. With Perry Patterson and Matt Hale graduating after this season and Joe Fields moving to defense, the Orange will have just two quarterbacks on scholarship going into the 2007 season, which is why Catalina thinks Syracuse will sign another quarterback next February.

The more competition, Catalina said, the better.

"I'll compete with anybody, whether they've been here one year or two years," Catalina said. "Once I step on the field, it's a battle. You've got to play every down. If something ticks me off that I feel strongly about, I won't hold anything back."
While it is difficult to assess where Catalina fits into Syracuse's plans for 2007 and forward, the safe money is on Catalina redshirting his freshman year and learning behind incoming freshman Andrew Robinson. Catalina has the tools to become a poor-man's Jay Cutler (which is ironic given the fact that Catalina spurred the Commodores to dress in orange), and to stunt his growth before he has a chance to blossom would be disheartening.

Does Moose have any more eligibility?

Eds. Note: This essay is the third in a series of approximately eighteen previewing the 2006 Syracuse Orange. Previous installments can be found here.


CAPS: Returning starter from 2005
Bold: 2006 Pre-Spring projected starter
*: Injured
#: Suspended from spring practice
^: Eligibility issues
$: Heisman Trophy Candidate

2006 Syracuse Fullbacks
Returning PlayersB. EvansJr.
T. FiammettaSo.
E. MitchellRFr.

The Orange has done a nice job in its history developing fullbacks. From Daryl Johnston to Kyle Johnson, Syracuse has managed to recruit, cultivate, and highlight functional contributors at the fullback position.

Unfortunately, this has had little to no direct impact on Syracuse’s success on the football field.

Contemporary football strategy and scheme has all but turned the fullback position into a dinosaur. With the onset of the spread offense and the deep passing game, the days of fullback dives through the heart of the defense on a classic triple option has all but disappeared. Nowadays, the best place to watch classic fullbacks are during point after tries and kickoff returns.

The glory of the fullback, however, still has the potential of being displayed on the Carrier Dome carpet in 2006. The West Coast Offense – while primarily concerned with a short, precise passing game – has not wholly abandoned the role of the fullback in the system. Whether utilized as a backfield blocker, an option on the swing pass, a lead blocker in short yardage situations, or a goal-line masher, the fullback does have a place in the Syracuse offense this year.
Brian White, Syracuse's new offensive coordinator, hinted as much in a March 31, 2006 sit-down with Syracuse Post-Standard staff writer Donnie Webb:
Neither of the fullbacks distinguished themselves or got lost in what happened last season. Do you have a plan for them?

"I really feel very comfortable with both Breyone (Evans) and Tony (Fiammetta) . I think they're extremely talented young men. I haven't really had the luxury of working with Stephen (McDonald), who is working in a limited capacity (because of injury), but he was a starter last year and I think he's got ability. That will be a position of depth on the football team. We'll utilize them. That is a position, everyone is always asking if they're going to get more carries, it just doesn't happen as much any more. It's sort of a dying breed position a little bit. But these are very unselfish guys that can run and catch. They're strong and physical."
This year’s edition of the Orange offense features two quality fullbacks in Breyone Evans and Stephen McDonald. Both players play the game similarly, yet with different attributes and approaches.

Stephen McDonald, the Orange’s 2005 starter at the fullback position, is a classic fullback in the mold of a Cory Schlessigner. McDonald packs a punch in his broad 6', 240-pound frame and rarely misses the opportunity to dump a defender charging on the blitz. While the fact that McDonald had to miss spring practice due to injury is troubling, McDonald is expected to fully recover and should return to the field in 2006 as a reliable starter in the backfield.

Evans, a Connecticut product that came to The Hill with much acclaim and expectations prior to the start of the 2004 campaign, also packs a punch in his 6', 239-pound frame. While a high school stud in Bristol, Connecticut, rated Evans as the nation's 13th-best fullback and SuperPrep rated the young back the seventh-best prospect in New England. According to, Evans brushed off offers from Big Ten powers Iowa, Michigan State, and Wisconsin to mash heads for the Orange.

As for Evans' style, he does not appear to block as well as McDonald from the snap to the end of the play. However, Evans does have a bit more footspeed, maneuverability, and a nice set of hands as a receiving option. As a short yardage back, Evans has a modicum of elusiveness that is attractive considering the woefulness of Syracuse’s offensive line. While Evans may not provide the overall package that McDonald does, Evans is a dependable option for Brian White should McDonald fail to return to the form he displayed in 2005.

The options behind Evans and McDonald are somewhat uproven. Tony Fiammetta, the sophomore from Walkersville, Maryland, has plenty of potential having been rated the 25th-best prospect in the Mid-Atlantic region by SuperPrep. He has a large body at 6'1", 237, and certainly has a lot of growth ahead of him in his future. However, seeing mostly special teams action last season has not really provided enough exposure to the young fullback to accurately assess where Fiammetta fits in Brian White's scheme.

Elon Mitchell, Syracuse's fourth option at the fullback position, redshirted last season. Thus, simply observing his height and weight -- 6'2", 260 pounds -- is a bit of a hallow assessment of what Mitchell can actually do on the gridiron.

The operative question, therefore, is how Brian White plans to use McDonald and Evans this season. While Wisconsin – White’s former employer – has utilized the fullback in the past, the real centerpiece in the Badger attack has been terrifically innovative running backs finding holes in a gargantuan offensive line. The fullback, at least superficially, was never the primary blocking cog in the Wisconsin rushing attack. It was merely a tool that Wisconsin runners could employ if one felt the need.

That leads to a secondary query: do any of Syracuse’s current rushers fit the mold of those classic Wisconsin runners? Well, Curtis “Boonah” Brinkley and incoming tailback Delone Carter have the outward appearance of shifty runners that may in fact be impeded by a straight ahead, fullback-driven rushing strategy. For them to follow McDonald or Evans may be a detriment to Syracuse rather than a vehicle for achievement. The role for McDonald and Evans, consequently, seems somewhat decreased in a Brinkley/Carter-driven attack.

Whatever form the rushing attack may take come September 2nd at Wake Forest, Orange fans can at least take comfort in the fact that Syracuse actually has some functional offensive talent, albeit at a position that may have as much impact on the game as the marching band’s clarinet section.

Player(s) to Watch: Stephen McDonald/Breyone Evans

ACC Deez Nuts! + Basketball Notebook

You simply demand to be hated.

In an interesting twist of college basketball, The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that the Big East and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) have become partners... of sorts. Starting with the 2007-2008 basketball season, the Big East and SEC will play two doubleheaders each season for three years. Commissioner Mike Tranghese of the Big East had this to say:
I don't want to use the word challenge, I'd refer to it as
a shootout. Teams are only going to play once, instead of each and every year,
and we're going to use big arenas in neutral sites.
A big feature of the "shootout" is to play in the Big East and SEC geographies, but also play in neutral arenas. It also makes a big point to say that this is not to replace the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but rather be completely different from it. Which, for me, and I believe most college basketball viewers, is a very good thing.
The problem I find with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is that it's just not a challenge most of the time. It seems like they schedule Duke versus Perdue, or Illinois versus Clemson. I don't want to dis on the ACC too much, but if you really want a quality challenge play a conference with some more depth and quality teams (such as the Big East or SEC). I look forward to a Syracuse/Kentucky game coming soon.
Basketball Notebook
This guy is an ugly dude.
ESPN The Magazine writer Matt Beardmore thinks Josh Boone should stay at UConn. Of course UConn Coach Jim Calhoun, on numerous media appearances, has stated that he doesn't think Boone is ready for the NBA. His numbers last year (10.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg) were sagging, and he bricked enough free throws in the NCAA tournament to add another floor to the Hartford Civic Center. His best move might be to stay, however reports he will stay in the draft and hire an agent.
Speaking of UConn,'s Andy Katz seems to think that 6 Huskies will be drafted. We'll see on draft day.
Who will not be at draft day is Pitt's Gray, GW's Elliott, and Arizona's Shakur. thinks that will make Pitt the team to beat in next year's Big East Conference. Look for Big East Basketball predictions at a later date.
Finally,'s mock draft board lists Gerry McNamara headed to the Denver Nuggets with the 49th overall pick in the draft. Interesting. Check out his scouting report here as well. They praise his hard work and describe him as perhapts "the perfect bench player". We'll see on draft day.

Rule number one in magazine publishing:
Never put Syracuse on the cover of your season preview edition.
Eds. Note: For those that are unaware, the BlogPoll Roundtable is a somewhat regular discussion of issues concerning college football. Those participating are members of MGoBlog's BlogPoll, a collection of college football bloggers spanning the nation, populized (albeit begrudingly) by mostly Big Ten and Georgia writers.

Bruce Ciskie, the voice of University of Minnesota-Duluth hockey, moderates this edition of the BlogPoll Roundtable. Driven by the recent publication and distribution of Phil Steele's 2006 College Football Preview, Ciskie poses a series of questions focusing on the questionable nature of pre-summer rankings and prognostications.

Which preseason college football magazine is your favorite?
There are a lot of great preview magazines available to the college football psychopath. In no particular order, I enjoy reading: Phile Steele's College Football Preview, Athlon Sports Annual (both the Eastern and National compilations), Blue Ribbon Yearbook, and the Sporting News. While each has its own distinctive flair, the magazine that really lights a fire in my belly is Blue Ribbon Yearbook.

With almost 400 pages of college football deliciousness, Blue Ribbon Yearbook is an essential feature in an college football fan's library. Maybe the best way to describe the awesomeness of Blue Ribbon Yearbook is to crib a testimonial from the publisher's website:
"Quite simply the finest research instrument in college football today. I do not know what I’d do without it."
-- Bill Curry, ESPN color analyst
The one drawback to Blue Ribbon Yearbook is that the pricetag is fairly heafty at around $22.00 a pop. However, along with your particular team's annual media guide, Blue Ribbon Yearbook will pay dividends to your college football knowledge on a week-to-week basis.

I should also note here that probably the most underrated college football preview tool is local newspapers. While magazines are fun and cover a wide swath of college football nation, local newspapers still provide the up-to-date information necessary for critical analysis and instruction. So, don't let Phil Steele's predictions distract you; stay abreast of happenings occurring in your local rag.

What team is being supremely overrated in the preseason rankings?

While the schedule may be conducive to a winning record, I have a hard time understanding how an 8-4 club in 2005 is suddenly going to run roughshod over the Big XII and emerge unscathed as potential National Champions.

College Football News, which is itself an overrated almalgamation of journalistic strife, may have posed the question and corresponding response best in its recent preview of the Sooners:

So is this a national title caliber team? Yes, but there are still too many question marks on the offensive line and with Bomar to get excited about the Sooners' chances at a run to a third title game in four seasons. 2007 is when the team should be truly ready to explode and become a juggernaut again.

* * * *

If OU can combine any positive carry-over from the post-season and get all the good young talents to jell, the future, and the recent past, could be now.

As things stand now, that does not sound like the makeup of a sure-fire national contender. As such, placing Oklahoma toward or at the top of a pre-season poll seems incredibly dicey.

Unless, of course, that poll is about the ability of Rhett Bomar to frustrate 80,000 Sooner fans on a week-to-week basis.

Turn the tables. Who is underrated?
West Virginia.

Athlon Sports says it best:
Fresh off an 11–1 campaign and a rousing Sugar Bowl win over Southeastern Conference champion Georgia, the Mountaineers are riding the crest of a wave that could carry them through a virtually made-to-order schedule clean into January. A midseason trip to Louisville is the most imposing challenge. But it’s more than just the schedule — sophomore sensations Pat White and Steve Slaton return at quarterback and running back, respectively, and they again will be operating behind a line spearheaded by first-team All-Big East center Dan Mozes.
This isn't to say that the Mountaineers haven't been getting their due because they have. Ranked in the top ten in virtually every preseason publication, Morgantown has certainly gotten its fair share of high expectations. However, as I am hopelessly attached to the notion that West Virginia will hoist the crystal at the end of the season, the Mountaineers are my choice for most undervalued team this offseason.

Which conference will be the best in 2006?
The answer to this question needs to be posed in two parts. First, in terms of enjoyability on a week-to-week basis, the Atlantic Coast Conference is the obvious selection. Finishing amongst the nation's leaders in the Parity Index in both 2005 and 2004, the ACC is arguably the most competitively balanced conference in the country. Thus, in terms of "best bet for a great college football game," the ACC will be the best in 2006.

Second, in terms of putting together a host of national title contenders, I think the power resides down in the Souteastern Conference. Boasting legitimate threats in Florida, Lousiana State, and Auburn, the SEC is stockpiled with powerful clubs. In my eyes, the SEC is the conference to fear this year.

Which "non-BCS" conference will be the best in 2006?
If anybody writes "Big East" as an answer to this question, I will break the internets.

With that aside, I think either the Mountain West Conference or the Western Athletic Conference will vie for this virtual title. The MWC maintains a couple of interesting teams in Texas Christian, Utah, and Brigham Young. Those three clubs may have enough juice to stay within the nation's top 40 if everything breaks right for them.

The WAC also has a handful of burgeoning clubs in Boise State and Fresno State. Everybody saw what Bulldogs did to Southern California last year. There's no reason to believe that this conference can't put together some dangerous teams again this year.

Which non-BCS conference team will have the best season?
Texas Christian.

Let's get your first read on this one...who will win the H*i*m*n? Oh, by the way, players whose last names begin with the letter "Q" are ineligible.
As if there was any question to my answer, but I'm going with Brendan Carney.

If you have no idea who Brendan Carney is, I highly suggest clicking the link above. It will change your life. I promise.

It has absolutely nothing to do with SU,
but I couldn't resist.
Apparently looking to get a jumpstart on his NBA rap sheet, former Duke Blue Devil J.J. Redick has gotten himself into a stitch of trouble:

J.J. Redick, a likely first-round pick in this month's NBA draft, was arrested early Tuesday on charges of drunken driving.

Redick, The Associated Press Player of the Year, also was charged with unlawful use of highways for making an illegal U-turn.

Redick, who has a Virginia driver's license, lost his driving privileges in North Carolina for 30 days, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said.

The 21-year-old Redick was released on $1,000 bond shortly after being taken before a Durham County magistrate. He is to appear in court July 17. The arresting officer wrote in his report that Redick had "very glassy eyes, strong odor of alcohol coming from breath."

Redick had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11. The legal limit for drivers in North Carolina is 0.08.

When this is all over on the 17th, I hope Redick dazzles the basketball university with a poem reflecting on the incident.

Ed. Note: If you're interested in what the average fourteen year-old girl thinks about this incident, check out the Redick message board here. Also, Deadspin is all over this story like the homeless on your privacy.

In former collegiate shooting guard news that has nothing to do with half-popped collars and the endangerment of innocent youth, Gerry McNamara is rapidly finding the joys of a storied career in orange. As Mike Waters reports in a recent piece submitted to the Syracuse Post-Standard, McNamara has taken on the opportunity to become a corporate schill:

Bank drafts McNamara

McNamara is busy off the court, too.

He has signed on to be a spokesman for Community Bank System Inc. and its banking subsidiaries, Community Bank N.A. in Upstate New York, and First Liberty Bank & Trust in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

"Gerry McNamara is a nationally known and highly regarded sports figure, generally considered among the most successful and beloved athletes in Syracuse University history," Sanford Belden, Community Bank System's president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "He is a tremendous fit to serve as a spokesman for our banking franchise, in that he not only starred in college just a few miles from our headquarters, but his home town of Scranton is in the heart of our First Liberty franchise as well."

Child Abuse

An instructional video highlighting boorish behavior
and the joys of functional illiteracy.
Are you a parent that is unsure where the demarcating line between raising a potential lunatic and a well-adjusted contributor to society is? Well, then I highly recommend checking out this link.

(Hat Tip: Heisman Pundit.)

Walt Rey Saves The Day

Coach P is stunned.

Sunday former SU tailback and Heisman Trophy Candidate Walter Reyes became a one man crimestopper, reports the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Walt, being in town for the M & T Foot Ball to raise money for charity, was staying at the house of Foot Ball event planner Lauren Russo-Duby. While sleeping on Sunday morning, he heard someone breaking into his girlfriend's car parked in the driveway, and proceeded to chase the robbers, shirtless, down the street until they escaped in their vehicle. While the story is worth a read, I'll highlight the Reyes quote of the game:

If I had shoes on, there would have been some trouble. I'm telling you, it would
have been lights out for those guys.

Walter Reyes: being the game hero for the first time since the 2004 football season.

NCAA: Blowing The Game

No more my friend. No more. reported the few rule changes affecting college sports next seasons. While it is interesting to note that the NCAA is expanding the replay, allowing a "coaches challenge" similar to the NFL, I will focus this essay on the one major rule change to Division I College Basketball.
Officials will no longer allow players on their way out of bounds to call a time out. Let me repeat this so that the stupidity can sink in. Officials won't let you call a time out after you hustle to get the ball and are traveling out of bounds.
Clearly the NCAA wants to make college basketball less exciting. They claim that the rule change is to prevent injuries from players diving in the stands. While that may be, and it may actually prevent a few injuries, clearly it is making the game lack something that is fundamental to the spirit of the game: hustle. The NCAA is not allowing players to benefit from a good play, superior effort, and just plain guts. Sure players may still run after balls going out, but they will certainly not try like they do now. Their only recourse is to try to hit an opposing player hard so that it will go out off of them. Gee... that won't possibly injure anyone.
How many games during the last season were decided be a possession? Now how many do you think were won on a possession given after a player hustled for a ball going out of bounds, caught it, and happened to call a time out before they stepped out? Probably a few.
So thanks NCAA. You've yet again made a terrible call.

Odds 'n Ends

Matt Glaude circa 1987.

Orange::44 Pick 'Em Challenge
The final scores have been tallied and the winner of the inaugural Orange::44 Pick 'Em Challenge is . . . Dave Pearson.

Congratulations, Dave. You win a whole lot of nothing. Don't go spending it all in one place.

There was actually a little bit of drama leading up to this announcement. Going into Championships Weekend, Pearson trailed Orange::44 staff writer Brian Harrison by three solid points. All Harrison needed to do was correctly pick the winner in one of the three games on the slate and he could have wrapped up the title. Harrison, however, dropped the ball mightily, tallying an astonishing zero points over the course of the weekend.

The moral of the story: never pick Syracuse to win a game in a big spot. Ever.

Especially against the most dominant team the game has seen in about a decade.

Moreover, Collin Long failed to submit his selections for the Championship Weekend games. As a noted cynic, Long would have certainly picked Virginia to defeat Syracuse in the Saturday semifinal and, more than likely, to come out victorious on Championship Monday. With the 41 points he had accumulated over the two weeks preceding the Final Four, this would have been more than enough to propel Long to this marginally coveted title.

But he failed to come through, allowing Pearson to take home the virtual hardware. For the record, this is how it all turned out:

Pointless Speculation: NCAA LAX Championships

Round 1 Totals29313134
Round 2 Totals35384141
Semifinal/Final Totals404241-

Conference Pissing Contest
When the blogosphere gets bitchy, that can mean only one thing -- it's the first week of June.

Heisman Pundit, the oft ridiculed writer of all things Heisman, recently published a piece attempting to rank the BCS Conferences. Guided by a grading rubric consisting of coaching, diversity of offensive scheme, schedule strength, competitiveness, and talent level, Heisman Pundit has come to the conclusion that the PAC-10 is the nation's finest crucible for football.

The Big East Conference, despite its underappreciated value, was left off of Heisman Pundit's list.

In response to this essay, Sunday Morning Quarterback struck back, leveling a strong blow against Heisman Pundit's freakishly subjective method of measurement. Even Orson and Stranko joined the fight, posing some interesting punditry of their own.

And, of course, Nathan decided to drop his hands and worry about the most important factor to conference superiority -- mascots.

I have written extensively on conference play in the past, providing objective analysis premised on both conference parity and pythagorean forumlas. As a measure based not on subjective notions of what makes a conference great, I think these methods are the strongest means to achieving the desired end. Hopefully, I'll piece together a new, updated analysis later in the week to resolve this debate once and for all.

Important Things To Read That Aren't Memos From Your Boss
For whatever reason, a lot of people are now reading this notebook on a somewhat regular basis. In fact, the readership has grown to the point where this blog has taken over the 18th slot on a Google search for "Syracuse Orange."

Whether that is a triumph for this notebook or merely proof that nobody on the internets cares about the Orange is yet to be determined.

Anyway, some interesting writers have recently dropped links to this blog and since I'm not a total ass clown, I thought I'd return the favor. Peter Bean and his crew over at Burnt Orange Nation do a terrific job cataloguing all things longhorn. Even if you are not interested in Big XII athletics and the triumphs of Texas, it's still worth a daily read as they do a good job piecing together interesting material.

If you're interested in what the Ohio State Buckeyes are up to, read Matt Barker's blog Buckeye Banter. There is so much information on that site you may have to take it apart in pieces.

Ian Cohen: ChuckleMachine
Like Dave Pearson and myself, Ian attended the Lacrosse Championships down in Philadelphia last weekend. He had this to say about his time at Lincoln Financial Field:

And yes, I went to the LAX championship on Monday. To quote my mans an' 'em Wops, it was "Utah white and Africa hot." For reals, people talk about how its 47,000+ attendance proved how lacrosse is breaking out of its "niche sport" reputation, but I'll tell you this much: it was by far the whitest thing I've ever been to. KKK rallies always have the chance that there's an undercover guy going in whiteface. An Architecture In Helsinki show? Can't discount the possibility of black hipsters. But when it comes to lacrosse, the only black people in attendance have kids on the field or won a radio contest.
While Ian brings out the chuckles there, the real gold lies in the comments to the essay:

Ironic that the greatest lacrosse player of all time was one of the blackest men of all time.
JMar 06.04.06 - 7:36 pm #

True, but Jim Brown's greatest legacy to lacrosse is his view on what constitutes proper treatment of a woman.
Ian Homepage 06.04.06 - 8:37 pm #

Syracuse Football: 2006 (Part II)

Who will tote the rock for the Orange in 2006?

[Eds. Note: This essay is the second in a series of approximately eighteen previewing the 2006 Syracuse Orange. Previous installments can be found here.]


CAPS: Returning starter from 2005
Bold: 2006 Pre-Spring projected starter
*: Injured
#: Suspended from spring practice
^: Eligibility issues
$: Heisman Trophy Candidate

2006 Syracuse Running Backs
Returning PlayersP. ChiaraSo.
C. "Boonah" BrinkleySo.
K. JonesSo.
J. SellersJr.
Incoming PlayersD. CarterFr.
D. SmithFr.

For the first time in about a decade, the primary ball carrying responsibilities at Syracuse are left unsettled. The departure of Damien Rhodes has created a vacuum at the running back position with three current players – Kareem Jones, Paul Chiara, and Boonah Brinkley – battling for the number one position. A fourth rusher – incoming freshman Delone Carter – is expected to join the fray this summer. Jeremy Sellers, a New Jersey product that has been assigned to virtually every position on the field during his career at Syracuse, appears to have locked up the lowest rung on the totem pole.

The three returning rushers fighting for the principal tailback position present different styles of rushing. Last season Kareem Jones, a bruising rusher with strong between-the-tackle skills, showed flashes of a punishing, power style indicative of that exhibited by former Orange Rob Konrad. He appears to have a nice set of hands but was rarely able to display his pass catching ability last season as Perry Patterson could not complete a swing pass to save his life.

Boonah Brinkley, a smallish back with a body type reminiscent of fellow Pennsylvanian and Orange tailback James Mungro, had a muted 2005 campaign. Playing behind Damien Rhodes and Kareem Jones for a vast majority of the season, Brinkley was unable to show the kind of flash that catapulted him toward the top of Pennsylvania’s high school rushing records.

Despite Brinkley’s limited field time last season, he appears to have all the attributes of a dangerous back in the West Coast Offense – great hands, an ability to run inside and outside the tackles, and a solid, squat frame to pick up the blitz. Thus, with the incredible amount of potential Brinkley maintains, he has all the tools necessary to become Syracuse’s starter against Wake Forest on September 2nd. As a consequence, whether Brinkley can realize some of this potential over the course of this summer will ultimately determine his role on the team for 2006.

Finally, there is pre-spring projected starter Paul Chiara. Chiara, a 5’11”, 210 pound enigma, showed a resilient consistency during spring practice sessions. Chiara has decent foot speed and showed flashes of the same skill attributes maintained by fellow Orange rusher Boonah Brinkley. Like Brinkley, however, Chiara saw only limited action last season and to project how he will react in regular season game situations is difficult.

Following the spring practice season reports indicated that Paul Chiara and Boonah Brinkley separated themselves from the muddled pack of runners. Personally, I would love to see Brinkley emerge from the fray as the season’s primary back. With a body build and style patterned after James Mungro, he would be the perfect fit for Syracuse’s new Brian Pariani-free offense.

With that said, however, one giant question remains: where does Delone Carter fit in this mess? As a high school senior last year, Carter was named “Mr. Ohio.” From published reports on and, Carter appears to have all the tools necessary for acquiring such a label:

Definitely has big-play mentality. Fell in love with Carter after watching his film. Can shake tackles. Very good lamps (vision). Can run between the tackles and has the quicks to take the ball outside. Stock should rise throughout the year. Elusive. Very good running back instincts. Breaks tackles.
Should Carter show flashes of prodigal talent during the summer, there is going to be a lot of pressure on head coach Greg Robinson to throw Carter into the mix, especially if neither Brinkley nor Chiara secures the starting position without question. Ideally, either Chiara or Brinkley will establish themselves as viable first and second options, thus allowing Carter to redshirt this season and apply some weight and resilience to his frame. If Carter truly is the kind of game changing back that those in the business believe he can become, there is no reason to force him onto the field before he is ready.

This is not to say that Carter should not see playing time if he is truly the strongest rusher on the depth chart. Freshman running backs in recent history have had success on the gridiron. However, the Orange program made the mistake of playing a highly rated recruit in Johnnie Morant early in his career when he was not ready to step onto the field. He lost a year of eligibility and only late in his career began achieving his potential. Hopefully, Greg Robinson will not make the same mistake with Carter this year.

Player(s)to Watch: Boonah Brinkley / Delone Carter

Orange::44 Jumps the Shark

There is an obsession deep inside my being that is infatuated with what I like to call “anti-sports.”

Anti-sports are difficult to characterize. Many pursuits fall into the category; however, it is virtually impossible to create a set of attributes that delineate between an anti-sport and a full-blown athletic activity.

Probably the best way to illustrate what is an anti-sport is to throw out a series of activities that fit the mold. Pursuits that I consider to be anti-sports include, but certainly are not limited to:

• Chess;
• Ping-pong;
• Ballroom dancing;
• Eating lots and lots of hotdogs in one sitting;
• Archery; and, of course
• Curling

As a result of my fascination with anti-sports, I feel compelled to do a liveblog of tonight’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. Spelling bees appear to be the epitome of an anti-sport: the activity is a competitive contest, yet the only athleticism inherent in such a pursuit seems to be an individual’s ability to walk to and from a microphone.

Thus, what follows is a series of thoughts and ruminations about the horrific events appearing before me on ABC. As always, there is nothing more fun than watching a series of boys and girls eschew a normal childhood for the fleeting glory that is spelling words they will never be asked to apply later in life.

7:48 PM
On the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, there was a brief discussion with an author named James MacGwire. MacGwire wrote a book entitled American Bee: The American Spelling Bee and the Culture of Spelling Nerds.

[Eds. Note: If you’re not watching Jim Lehrer on a somewhat daily basis, you’re doing a disservice to the gunk between your ears.]

MacGwire is mentioning that the organizers distribute a consolidated word list with 23,000 words and that the spellers generally memorize the entire thing.

What the hell is that? That’s not intelligence!

To fully understand this statement an example may be of assistance. I am currently studying for the Connecticut bar examination. In an effort to hopefully pass on the first try, I generally spend eight to ten hours a day studying the law and reading case squibs. However, simply memorizing what the law says will not result in a passing mark on the examination. Rather, one must garner an understanding of what the law means and how it is applied. In short, memorization is not the key; context and comprehension is what proves intelligence.

Here, the spellers are not asked to show their true intelligence. All they are asked to do is regurgitate information they have stored in their memory banks. True scholarship is not being promoted in this competition. It is merely an exercise in reflexive action.

8:00 PM
ABC has just gone live. The tension is palpable. Or not. Probably the latter.

8:04 PM
So, Robin Roberts is hosting this display of maladjusted children. In just a span of a decade or so, Roberts has gone from women’s college basketball legend, to ESPN SportsCenter anchor, to news anchor on Good Morning America, to host for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

How come nobody is talking about her fall from grace? While not as drastic as the tailspin Britney Spears has been in, I think Roberts’ is pretty damn noteworthy.

8:06 PM
It appears as if Syracuse, New York has a contestant in the competition: Michael Christie. I am officially adopting him as the Orange::44 favorite.

The only thing that I think can stop him is the fact that he is wearing a placard with the words “Syracuse Post-Standard” on it. Let’s hope he can overcome the jinx that is upstate New York’s foremost daily rag.

8:08 PM
Being televised right now is a profile piece highlighting home schooled competitor Jonathan Horton. Superficially, Horton appears to be a young Milton from Office Space. From a personality perspective, he has all the character traits of a young David Berkowitz.

For whatever reason, home schooled children seem to have a social acumen illustrative of the homeless. Horton believes that if he dedicated himself to basketball, he could play in the NBA. Given my brief view of his athletic exploits, however, I am fairly sure that the orange leather is his kryptonite.

Let this serve as your warning: do not home school Junior. This vignette is solid proof that sending your child to a public school infused with drugs and automatic assault rifles is still better than allowing a child to learn on your kitchen table.

8:12 PM
International spellers? I feel bad for those Canadian, British, and Australian spellers crippled by the superfluous vowels in their form of the language.


Shouldn’t these kids get to play with a handicap like golfers?

8:14 PM
We have our first loser of the primetime rounds. Number 48 goes down on “Nauruz.”

What a shame. His life is ruined. I hope that he is ready for an exciting life of community college and heating and air conditioning repair.

8:17 PM
There is apparently a 10 year-old in this competition. I’m pretty sure that when I was ten years old I was more infatuated with farting in the tub than reading the dictionary.

Had the young lady not misspelled gematrial, I was very close to questioning her actual age. After Danny Almonte, you can never be too sure.

8:18 PM
Oh, man, this is great. Going into break ABC ran a taped piece with the “wrong spelling” bell ringing and the spellers reacting at the microphone. I am convinced that the failure of children will always rank high on the list of Agony of Defeat moments.

8:25 PM
The irony, I am discovering, is that I am critically analyzing the spelling bee and without spell check, this notebook would look as if I never advanced out of remedial English class.

8:26 PM
Michael Christie is at the microphone.

Don’t pull a Patterson.

8:27 PM
He needs to spell epityphlitis. Given the fact that I am convinced this word does not exist, I am fairly certain that he is going to bonk this one off the upright.

8:28 PM
Take that, Merriam-Webster! Without a flinch, Christie slams home the word. He is now my hero. Move over, Brendan Carney.

8:32 PM

Hit the bricks, number 184! It’s good you got out early, because had you stayed in Christie’s path, you would have merely become scorched earth.

8:33 PM

Are they really going to go two hours with coverage? These kids are dropping like flies. There are only eight spellers left and an hour and a half of programming remaining.

If the coverage falls short, I hope that ABC will bestow some Coach reruns on all of us as a reward for watching this garbage.

8:36 PM
The Eighth Round has just come to a close and eight spellers remain. There has been no word yet as to whether my life is pitiful or just woefully lame.

8:41 PM
Reinstatement! Feel the drama!

Speller 180 has been placed back into the field because the old people with spelling degrees apparently have not mastered the technique of listening. She was supposed to spell “hechscher” and actually spelled some derivative of the word. After conferencing during the commercial break, the judges determined that her spelling was sufficient and placed her back into the field of social misfits.

Anybody else feeling a burgeoning Fifth Down scenario playing out?

Normally, this would be cause for concern. The color commentary guy seems to believe that she is a strong speller, which residually affects Christie’s ability to hoist the championship trophy at this end of this exercise in awkwardness. However, as Christie is to spelling as Barry Bonds is to being a douchebag, I am only marginally worried.

8:47 PM
Wow, nobody from Illinois has won in 75 years.


8:54 PM
Michael Christie has just stepped up to the microphone and correctly spelled the word Coryphaeus. Christie appeared a little jittery while spelling but did not succumb to the pressure.

Before Christie crushed his word, the graphic next to him noted that he enjoys rock collecting. Seriously. Who still collect rocks? This is the 21st century, there are things in life more interesting than rock collecting. Those things include, but are not limited to, eating asparagus until your pee smells funny and punching yourself in the face.

9:06 PM
Round ten has begun. Seven future Christie Victims remain.

9:09 PM

And Jonathan Horton, the home schooled competitor, goes down in flames on the word “sciolto.” He has a bright future of spelling and not talking to girls ahead of him.

9:19 PM
Michael Christie is once again at the microphone prepared to slaughter his competition. He needs to spell the word “appenzell.”

9:20 PM
And Christie is gone, incorrectly butchering the aforementioned word. With Christie’s departure, Syracuse has not had a national champion since 1976. I’m not sure whether that is a long drought or par for the course.

While it was fun to see Christie advance in this competition, there was not chance in hell that he was going to win the championship. The City of Syracuse is permitted (at the very most) one national championship per year. With LeMoyne College capturing the Division II lacrosse national championship last Sunday, Christie was working on borrowed time.

Christie can go home happy knowing that in one day of spelling, he was more successful than the local college football team. Congratulations, young man.

9:25 PM
Round eleven has started. Five spellers remain. None have moustaches, which is troubling.

One of the great aspects of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is the proliferation of wispy adolescent moustaches. There are few things on this planet that can match the “Yeah, I’m a speller, but I also enjoy working on carburetors” look.

9:31 PM
All of the sports clichés spewing out of the mouth of the color commentator has gotten me thinking.

When I was a kid growing up my sports idol was Boston Red Sox rightfielder Dwight Evans. To me, he was the alpha and omega of baseball. I would imitate his every mannerism, including hanging water cups off my ears in the hopes of sparking a rally, just as Dewey did back in the day when the Sox squared off against the Seattle Mariners in a legendary extra inning affair.

The question, therefore, is who do these spellers have to look up to? You can’t seriously expect that any of these kids want to be that freaky, twitchy little fourteen year-old girl that used to cover her mouth before saying the next letter in a word. Nobody knocks out a word that makes you go, “Man, that guy is the shit. I have to get the same pair of stone khakis he is wearing. Maybe I’ll even grow a wispy moustache just like him.”

9:35 PM
There is a kid on television spelling a word with 45 letters. I am not sure what is more disappointing – that kid taking the time to learn and spell the word, or the fact that somebody would sit down and create that word.

9:40 PM
We are in the Championship Round. I am not sure what this means, but the program is officially at that stage.

I am not sure who is going to win this thing, but I am now throwing my support behind the Canadian speller from Alberta. I figure if anyone is going to win something so wound into the American fabric, it should be somebody who doesn’t hold citizenship here.

9:44 PM
Potential tri-champions? A tie? In spelling?

Horseshit! Make them spell all night.

If there is a tie, I just may burn down the internet in anger. It’s a national finals competition. There must be winners and losers. Everyone can’t walk out of the fire with ribbons. That is patently un-American.

9:47 PM

Number 180 is done. Again. Apparently, the spelling bee is not fixed, unlike the NBA Draft.

We’re down to two spellers.

9:49 PM
I think I have discovered one of the dividing lines between anti-sports and full blown athletic activity: if the activity can be held in a hotel ballroom or small theater, the activity is, at best, an anti-sport.

Or, if you prefer: if you can spit on the ground and suffer no repercussions, the activity is probably a full blown athletic activity rather than an anti-sport.

9:50 PM
I think these girls should be given pistols and forced to duel to the death rather than spell. I would also support bull riding or arm wrestling as alternatives to a spell-off.

That, my friends, is how you get ratings.

9:57 PM
20 words remain. Praise Allah!

9:58 PM
18 words.

9:59 PM

If I was competing, I would just quit at this point and head out for a beer. But that’s just me.

10:02 PM
12 words left. The Canadian Widowmaker has the eye of the tiger. She will not be denied.

10:03 PM

Probably the most interesting thing on the television right now is that the local ABC affiliate is running a scroll letting everyone know that the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Connecticut’s Hartford, Tolland, and Windham counties. Hopefully this soaking rain will wash away all the dirtiness I feel right now for having watched and critiqued two hours of adolescent spelling.

10:06 PM
And down goes the Canadian spelling wizard. If the other competitor spells the next two words correctly, the Canadian wonder is gone.

Given the fact that I have thrown my support behind the potential loser, there is no question that these words will be spelled correctly by her opponent.

10:08 PM
. . . and the Canadian loses. The Orange::44 jinx continues.


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