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Dome, Sweet Dome

The fake moon is a nice touch.

Looking back on your college experience at Syracuse, or even if you are just a fan of Syracuse sports, if you had to pick your top five best moments, at least a few of them would have taken place in the Carrier Dome. Other than possibly the Hall of Languages, it is the most recognizable building on campus. People pass it on the way to class, or back home to Saddler Hall. Folks drive by on I-81 and see it in all its splendor. Everyone can see it on ESPN several times a year. But what really makes this building so great? To add to the glorious football countdown, as well as take a break from the crazy Big Ten talk, below are my top five reasons why the Carrier Dome is so damn spectacular.

5. Beer
I put this at number five because it is so trivial. No one needs beer (alcoholic jokes aside). Beer really is not the be all end all for me, or most of my friends for that matter. However, when you are an adult, sometimes a beer is just what you want when watching an athletic competition of the highest magnitude. So therefore I appreciate the fact that even though the stadium is on campus I can still get a cold one, unlike most of the college facilities that are on a campus. If you ask me $4.50 is a bit much, but at least it is not the $7.00 they charge in East Hartford. And really, it is delicious. After all, I did say Syracuse basketball is best enjoyed with a cold beer and a bitter heart.

Editor’s Note: Beer is just dandy but liquor is quicker. My personal favorite is just bringing in a flask of delicious boozy booze and adding it to the old 44 ounce Pepsi, or my personal favorite Dr. Pepper (he did not go to school eight years for you to call him Mr. Pepper).

4. Versatile
What other college arena hosts football, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey, as well as a multitude of other events like concerts, high school championships, and even marching band rehearsal? Dare I say none. Well there are probably others, but we were there first. Approaching the 27th year of Carrier Dome operation, they have hosted concerts ranging from U2, Billy Joel, and the Rolling Stones, to Wyclef, George Clinton and P Funk, and Kanye West.

3. On Campus
The Carrier Dome is still the largest on campus domed facility in the nation. Looking back on it, we were really spoiled. Being able to get up and roll to the Carrier Dome on a Saturday morning or afternoon drunk, hungover, or otherwise occupied was a luxury most college sports fans do not enjoy. Take Pittsburgh or UConn for example. Both schools used to play their games on campus. When the Steelers started playing in Hines Field the Panthers joined in, having to bus their kids from up on the hill in Oakland all the way downtown. The University of Connecticut Huskies similarly used to play at Alumni Stadium on campus behind Gample Pavilion. Now, with the advent of Rentschler Field (“The Rent”), the kids have to be bussed or drive the 30 plus minutes down I-84 to get there. Granted they have a good deal with tailgating, but I would much rather take my leisurely stroll from Ackerman Ave., head to the quad, enjoy some pre-game festivities, take a short walk to the Dome, enjoy the game, and take a stroll back home. Ah, those were the days my friends.

2. Dome
Being that Syracuse is the snowiest city in America, I greatly appreciate this one. Just down the road in Hamilton, New York, sits the educational institution of Colgate University. The Raiders are only a 1-AA school, but they still garner a lot of football fans. They sit in the bleachers and endure massive cold and ice, much like we do. While they are freezing their asses off however, we are toasty warm in a 79 degree dome. Now I am not saying that I would not be able to handle the cold and snow, I just appreciate the fact that I do not have to. Added bonus: no rain! Some football purists will say that a dome ruins football. I say those people have never had to be at a game in Upstate New York in late November. Oh sure, there are some days that were perfect football weather in September and I would have loved to tear the roof off and enjoy the sun with some football, but really those days were few and far between. So appreciate the fact you can enjoy a game, rain or shine, snow or sleet, and not have your ass freeze or get soaked.

1. Nothing Else Like It
Some call it “The Dome”, others call it the “Do Me”. I called it my second home during my college career. I saw it go from having Astroturf to FieldTurf (and subsequently was the first person outside of Dome staff to walk on it. Also, I wanted to go Boise St. style orange turf, but upon review it is perfect the way it is). I have seen an undefeated home basketball season, the only advanced Dome sellout of a basketball game, College Gameday twice, a few records get broken, and many overtime wins. From court rushes, to field rushes, every moment was great. There are plenty of college stadiums in this fine nation of ours, but no stadium offers what the Carrier Dome does. I have always said, especially in regards to football, that in the Dome, on any given day, Syracuse can play like the number one team in the nation, or play like the worst. I think we have all seen both. What is so great about the Carrier Dome is that any given day when you walk in, you have the chance of seeing the best game ever. When you are in the Dome, you can feel the sense of greatness and the ghosts of great players that have come and gone, leaving their mark. Although attendance is down the last few seasons (with good reason) there are still plenty of fans who pack the dome every game believing that something magical could happen. Something like this. Also, jumping out of an air lock is by far the best thing ever.

Some A/C would be a nice addition though.

So there you have it, the top five reasons why the Dome is so great. Do I wish that the dome was like THE Ohio State or Penn State with 100,000 plus people? Sometimes. But I would never trade the moments I have had with my friends in the Carrier Dome for all the gold in your Ft. Knox. Enjoy the continuing countdown to the upcoming season and all the Big Ten conjecturing you can handle.

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2 Responses to “Dome, Sweet Dome”

  1. # Blogger John

    Maybe you haven't been to the Dome recently, but beers are now $5 each, and the large sodas are no longer 44oz. I blame DOCTOR Gross.  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Damn that Darryl. He's screwing us every way he knows how.  

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