Countdown to Football Frustration

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Absolute Magicians make it rain out there.

I said to myself, why are two of the most popular Syracuse Blogs not doing a little joint awesomeness? MariusJanulisForThree from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician and Orange::44 have decided to join forces to cover the world of SU Athletics. He will still be doing his thing over at his site, and we will also be doing ours, but at least starting on a weekly basis we will have joint content appearing on one of our sites. We kick it off with questions I sent to Nunes and were sent back with his answers. Even though he put UConn in his Top 25, I suppose I can forgive him for now and enjoy another thoughtful bloggers responses.

1. Orange::44: We find Syracuse a little more than halfway through their season and the team happened to be much worse than anyone anticipated in terms of games won. What are your thoughts on the team’s performance so far this season?
Nunes: Can you believe as recently as August, we all thought this team would win 6-7 games? We didn't even consider that they could be as bad as they have looked. Not sure if that means we're irrational, the team is terrible or a little of both.
Even if the team hadn't made a bowl game but still finished 5-7 or even 4-8, I would have been happy with that. As long as showed some kind of progression. But clearly that's not gonna happen. We have one, maybe two winnable games left but that doesn't mean anything. Winnable games are still a crapshoot for us.
I've seen the flashes of brilliance that this offense can possess, but that's made it all the more frustrating when they don't have it. Sure, Andrew Robinson's gonna throw some INTs and make some bad decisions, he's a first-year-starting sophomore, that's what first-year-starting sophomores do. It's was always going to be a learning year for him, even if we were better. But you HAD TO think the offensive line would be improved and able to protect him. And you HAD TO think we would have some semblance of a running game. And you could assume that wide receivers would hold onto the balls thrown to them.
As for the defense...well I guess we didn't expect too much there so it is what it is.
Maybe in retrospect we expected too much to improve. But it’s not wrong of us to assume SOMETHING would have improved. Never has a football game been such a sobering experience than that Washington game. I joked beforehand about what it would be like if we lost by 40...and then we almost did.

2. Orange::44: Who is to blame for the football team’s underperformances? Is it DOCTOR Gross with his mismanagement of the department, Greg Robinson for being a bad coach and recruiter, Nancy Cantor for being a terrible Chancellor, or is it a combination therein?
Nunes: In theory you could trace the blame all the way up. Robinson for being a bad coach, Gross for hiring Robinson, Cantor for hiring Gross, Cantor's mother for giving birth to her, Cantor's grandmother for giving birth to Cantor's mother, and so on until, ultimately...the blame falls to God (however you describe him/her/it).
In practice, I think you have to look at Gross. If it’s true that he only interviewed two people for the head coaching position and then decided his search was over because by the grace of God, Greg Robinson appeared before him on a diamond-studded chariot, heralded by angels, claiming that rapture and/or national titles would befall Syracuse upon his hiring...well then its Gross who needs to answer to why that didn't happen. (The national titles, I mean. The rapture didn't happen cause we're all sinning masturbators, obviously)
No matter what you think of Coach P, it was a bad move to fire Pasqualoni and have no clear successor in mind. It was a bad idea to hire a lifetime coordinator and not interview other applicants as well, including ones with a history in the program and at the university. It was a bad idea to invest so much money into the state of the current program as it continues to underachieve. And it will ultimately be a bad decision to continue letting Robinson coach the team as the program and the school lose money, fan support, money, national appeal and money.

3. Orange::44: How crazy is the Big East football conference where UConn is currently #1 and what does this mean for that program and the conference in the future?
Nunes: On one hand, I love the whole "any given Saturday" feel of the conference and of college football right now. On the other hand, we can't have this UConn team representing us in a major bowl. We just can't. No self-respecting football fan can honestly say this is a top caliber team. They should have lost to Temple, for God's sake! That's not to say they won't beat us, especially with that defense.
I think what it ultimately means for UConn is that continue to build their recruiting base in the Northeast and Randy Edsall gets his name back to the top of the list for up and coming coaches. And most likely, that includes Syracuse's list.
I do love that the conference is so competitive. But I definitely don't want to become known for sending teams to BCS bowls and getting clobbered. Seasonal success is important but what you do in those big, nationally-televised games is very important as well.

4. Orange::44: Syracuse returns to the field this Saturday at Pittsburgh, a team that is also performing well below expectations. How do you see this game going for Syracuse?
Nunes: There are four potential teams for this game. Competent Syracuse, Crappy Syracuse, Competent Pittsburgh and Crappy Pittsburgh. No one knows which two teams will show up but that will make all the difference.
I don't believe the bye week will give the Orange any great developments or improvements and that's mostly a reflection of how I feel about the coaching staff. To be honest, we might get blown out in the end or we might keep it close, I'm not really sure. Like I said, all depends which teams show up.
But I do believe the losing team's coach can officially start printing those resumes.

5. Orange::44: Finally, switching to basketball, the Big East coaches have selected Syracuse to finish 5th this season. Is this correct? Where do you see us finishing?
Nunes: Sounds about right. We were a decent team last season and we lost our entire starting frontcourt and senior leadership. We gained a fantastic array of backcourt weapons and extremely youthful growth. As far as Flynn and Greene go, we've seen Carmelo and we've seen Paul Harris. Both had huge expectations as freshman and both had extremely different seasons. Not to say Paul had a bad year, but it just went to show you never quite know how potential plays out once the season starts.
We may not know how good this team is until February, once they've been battle-tested and played together for a while. The big questions I see are, who is our go-to scorer, who is our three point threat (Damn you Leo Rautins! Damn you Canada!) and how are we gonna bang bodies with some of the more physical Big East teams? I'll take a 5th best in the Big East and a ranking just outside the Top 25 to start the least that takes a little pressure off us to live up to some kind of win-loss expectation.
I'm gonna say we finish right around 4th or 5th in the conference and make it into the tourney as a 6 seed. And I have no evidence to back any of that up.

I hope you feel more informed and your special parts are tingling with anticipation at the next joint effort. Look for more collaborations from the fine folks that brought you such favorites as “Orange::44 Jumps the Shark!” and “The Octonion”. Until next time, remember that if it is happening with Syracuse, and you want to cry about it, tune into Orange::44 and Nunes/Magician to commiserate with us.

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I'm going here. On purpose, no less.

I am officially dubbing Saturday's Heinz Field showdown as the "Vince McMahon 'You're Fired!' Spectacular." While neither coach will likely receive a pink slip as a result of Saturday's affairs, I figure that this game needs some juice. Plus, the word "spectacular" makes anything more exciting and terrific, even if the product will be (or actually is) much closer to "stupefying" or "diarrhea-inducing."

I am going to take some pictures while in Steel Town in order to prosecute all guilty parties that choose to cavort with me. Consumption of beverages should be heavy, as will loose tongues evincing only the worst of modern language (read: I'm going to cuss my friggin' face off).

As a result of my road trip -- 7.5 hours from Connecticut's Gold Coast to the rotting industrial hub -- I am going to be absent from contribution. This should not change anyone's lives as my writing has diminished significantly over the last month or so due to real life obligations. However, feel free to leave a comment if you have any grandiose ideas as to how I can possibly jeopardize my bar admission and ruin my personal 27 years of human evolution.

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Get The Bleach

What the hell happened to my football conference?!?!

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Cue the... Oh Thank God.

No game = no kids this week. Crying or otherwise.

With a bye week at hand, there will be no kids being miserable on our website. I'm taking the weekend off for a wedding so chances are there will not be a post this weekend either. However, look for basketball coverage starting next week. Also, something special is in the works here at Orange::44, so hopefully that will come to fruition soon. I also hope your weekend will be outstanding, and maybe slightly happier with no football to damper your good times.


#1 to Unranked

I'd be pissed too buddy.
For years I have had the mostly correct believe that the Big East had the best officials in the nation. This was not strictly because I am a “homer” or because I’m from the east, but rather because time and time again they have demonstrated so. The Big East has the fewest reversed calls after official reviews in football last year, traditionally “lets the kids play” in basketball (which I love), and called penalties only when they needed to be. Other conferences were not as good, especially in football. Case in point, the no call for too many men on the field in the Virginia football game in 2005 with their ACC crew. But this has changed.

There have been several incidents of terrible officiating this season, but none more evident than the “unfair catch” made by Connecticut last Friday against Louisville. Coincidence would have it that I actually attended this game (Please save the “But Brian, I thought you were a Syracuse fan?” crap because you know it is true. I had a friend with a ticket and a tailgate, and I like college football, OK?). At the time, because of where I sat in The Rent, I did not notice the hand wave, but I did notice every Louisville player on the field stop right before the catch. Because I’m a sharp guy with plenty of football and referee experience I gathered this meant he had waved for the fair catch. All of a sudden, he takes off down the UConn sideline. I am fairly certain that after calling for a fair catch you cannot do that. Stevie K was going nuts on the L’ville sideline and with good reason. How does a referee just ignore a hand wave on a kickoff?

The official explanation was that in the rules a fair catch is defined as when a player waves their hand back and forth. The rules state “A valid signal is a signal given by a player of Team B who has obviously signaled his intention by extending one hand only clearly above his head and waving that hand from side to side of his body more than once.” The UConn player only waved it back in one direction. Therefore, via the text of the rule, it was technically not called a fair catch. However, when the L’ville players stop and take it as a fair catch, and there was a hand wave, that should be a fair catch. I’ll break out a legal term and state that “based on the preponderance of the evidence” that should have been ruled a fair catch. So what happens now? Louisville, as Syracuse alumnus Sean McDonough calls the game, will only get a hearty sorry from the league, but the play was not reviewable. Donnie Webb at the Post-Standard disagrees. He stats in his article here, that the Big East did just that, and reviewed a judgment call in the South Florida – Rutgers game last week. Interesting.

The Big East Commissioner Mike Trangheses has acknowledged that it was the wrong call and that action will be taken. After this game I am sure the NCAA rules committee will take a look at the rule as well. This is a clear case of the letter of the rule versus the spirit of the rule. The rule was not intended on allowing a team to trick a team into freezing because they think the player is calling for a fair catch only to run it back 74 yards for a touchdown.
You can judge for yourself with the video below. I think this is probably one of the worst calls we will see in college football this season. As a former referee I hate when officials get calls wrong. As an official you have one job, to get the call right. Most of the time they do, but when they do not, it is terrible for the game as a whole. Nunes has a theory about officials in Connecticut, and frankly he probably is not that far off. I hope that the Big East gets things in shape for basketball season. Then again, with Jim Boeheim sending out memos, who can say?

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Running game... yes please!
It is hard to quantify how important, and how terrible the Buffalo game was in a single blog article. It was very important to show that yes, Syracuse can manage to beat a team. With recruiting on the line against an up and coming Buffalo team, this was really a huge win for Syracuse. However, me just saying that means there is something seriously wrong with a Syracuse program that for so long was a flagship of the Big East football conference. Worrying about losing to a team with the stature of Buffalo is not something Orange Nation is used to as well. Time to do some grading.

Syracuse has a run game? Where the F did this come from? Who are we? Do I? Yes have some. What? What horn? Anyway, now that that is out of the way, we managed to gain 179 total rush yards. Curtis Brinkley contributed 40 yards on six carries before breaking his leg. He will not return the remainder of the season. However, the big story has to be true freshman Doug Hogue stepping up and contributing 83 yards on 24 carries and adding a touchdown. Andrew Robinson had some happy feet as he ran a couple QB Draw plays for some big yards and key moments. His day in the air was not as productive (15/28, 265yds, 1 TD, 2 INT). While one INT was clearly not his fault, the other was. Robinson has been mostly consistent but we saw Robinson underthrown passes and fail to properly lead receivers this game. It happens once in a while, so I guess it is good it happened against Buffalo. Hell, Syracuse did get a touchdown on a 99 yard drive. Mile Williams had six receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown, and Taj Smith had a 60 yard reception in the big 99 yard drive. But with the offense failing to score a touchdown in the second half, despite the good progress with running and the Offensive Line blocking well, this offense barely gets any credit.

I mean, look, it is not hard to get a good grade against Buffalo when you play in the Big East. We should win this game every day of the week. However, Buffalo failed to score a touchdown, and that is mostly related to the defense. Buffalo was limited to a total of 73 rush yards, and while the Buffalo QB did complete 32 passes (a Buffalo team record) for 286 yards, none were for a touchdown. The defense did fail to record a sack or interception though. But Syracuse did have a solid day against a team they should have had a solid day against. So you get the B my friends, and a hearty job well done. Bully show man!

Special Teams
I still heart our special teams unit. While they do not get a better grade than a B+ from me for letting Buffalo have some big kickoff returns, they still played great overall, including forcing a Buffalo return fumble at the Buffalo 26 yard line, which resulted in a touchdown in the remaining seconds of the second quarter. Mike Holmes and Max Suter had four kick returns for a total of 89 yards. Patrick “Fat Ass” Shadle was 2/2 on field goals, the longest being 39 yards, as well as hitting his two extra points. Rob “Heisman” Long had two amazing punts that were downed on the two and one yard lines. Simply a spectacular job on the day. Rob Long also had a quick kick punt on another third down which turned out to be a 71 yard punt that ended up on the Buffalo 15. We were facing a third and twenty situation in the third quarter, we were leading, and our defense was playing well. I do not think we would have converted and Buffalo did not notice Long in the game to kick. It worked out perfectly and resulted in an excellent field position move for Syracuse. All in all another excellent day on the special side of life.

By calling a few QB Draw and option plays this allowed us to go to a play action, as well as some deep ball plays, which resulted in huge gains for the Syracuse offense. By far, this was one of the best coached games Greg Robinson and his staff have had. Although, with a B, is that really saying much?

B-/B depending on how you round your grades. (2.9)
On a day when Syracuse could have easily been embarrassed by another non-conference foe, Syracuse stepped up and played to some semblance of ability, despite half the team on life support, and their top RB breaking his leg. They earned another win for Greg Robinson, and earned a little kudos going into a much needed bye week. Hopefully they will come out ready and prepared for Pittsburgh in Hines Field.

Again, I am not sure how to react to this game presently. Yes it was a win, but over Buffalo, is that saying enough? Is it saying anything? Will this be the last win Greg Robinson earns at Syracuse University? Someone whose pay grade is way above mine will decide. Soon. But for now, with a bye week coming up, and mega excitement building over the Syracuse Basketball team, this win, as the song says, may not be Miss. Right, but she’ll do right now.

Stay tuned to Orange::44 for our starting Basketball coverage on this football bye week as well as some other articles in the works. Enjoy watching the Madness video again and again and remember football is over soon.


Cue the... Happy Child?

At least we can still beat Buffalo.



I'm pretty sure SU Basketball will be off the chain this season.


Decorum, People! Decorum!

Mr. Chairman, the Honorable Gentleman from Connecticut is a douche!

The big showdown to determine all that is good and normal on this earth, as well as the fate of humanity will be on Saturday at 4pm on ESPNU. Also, the BCS be messed up. However, I want to talk about something much more entertaining and uplifting: Jim Boeheim. While Nunes/Magician has the beat covered on the Hopkins/DOCTOR end of the story, I saw this article on and could not resist commenting on it.

Boeheim, president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, has taken the initiative of making sure coaches observe proper decorum while on the sideline. Boeheim, in a memo sent to coaches and officials, stated “Unsportsmanlike actions include, but are not limited to: disrespectfully addressing an official; attempting to influence an officials decision; using profanity or language that is abusive, vulgar or obscene; taunting or baiting an opponent; objecting to an official's decision by rising from the bench or excessively using gestures that either demonstrate officiating signals or displeasure with officiating; inciting undesirable crowd reactions; and entering the playing court unless done with permission of an official to attend to an injured player" (the actual article misspelled “playing” but out of the goodness of my heart I corrected it for them here).

Has Jim Boeheim not engaged in every single one of these actions at some point or another? While I agree coaches should remain in the coaches box, a little friendly jawing with a referee about some calls is part of the game. Your ability to work a referee helps define who you are as a coach, and something that makes good coaches great. It is a slippery slope however, as Coach K gets crazy calls that should not go his way. Also, despite what Big East referees say, if there is contact, it is either a block or a charge. Referee 101 would state that.

Either way, as I read this article, I thought back on all the fun things Jimmy B has done over the years and only one thing came to mind...

In other news, Jim Calhoun is a douche. And Georgetown still sucks!


I Have No Idea

Pick this thing apart.
1 Ohio State 25
2 Oklahoma 24
3 LSU 23
4 South Florida 22
5 Oregon 21
6 South Carolina 20
7 West Virginia 19
8 California 18
9 Kentucky 17
10 Boston College 16
11 Arizona State 15
12 Florida 14
13 Virginia Tech 13
14 Missouri 12
15 Texas 11
16 Southern Cal 10
17 Texas Tech 9
18 Hawaii 8
19 Kansas 7
20 Auburn 6
21 Cincinnati 5
22 Tennessee 4
23 Georgia 3
24 Penn State 2
25 Kansas State 1

Dropped Out:


Syracuse fans agree: We really fucking suck!
Greetings from Syracuse, New York! If you could not make it out to Homecoming you missed quite the game. An unbelievable upset in the Do... yeah no. Rutgers outplayed us in a lot of ways. I was willing to give Robinson a lot of slack after the Louisville win, but now I am back on the bandwagon. This. Coach. Must. Go. All in all, a fine weekend in town, once again thanks to all the friends I saw for making the trip, and if you made it to the hill I hope you enjoyed your time back on the hill with old friends. To the report card.
We looked pretty damn good for the first half of the first quarter. We put together solid drives, catching balls, and actually making some good runs. Then we, as per usual, shit the bed. Robinson (15/32, 158yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) did not look good after his touchdown, hence we did not score again the rest of the game. Curtis Brinkley actually had a decent game for once (98yds on 15att, 6.1avg, 1 TD) which means you would think that we had a good game overall, but no. Taj Smith had some wicked dropsies and the offense stalled more times that an ‘89 Mustang. Pretty bad overall.
Same old story here. The team allowed Rutgers to gain 538 total yards. Once again we could not stop the run as Ray Rice ripped off 196 yards and three touchdowns. I have said it before, I will say it again, why are we not playing more man coverage on defense? Considering we let Rutgers wide receivers have about seven yards to run before we pick them up, Mr. Teal had a field day on many short throws. Also, I am very glad that Syracuse has regressed in tackling fundamentals. You are not going to stop a 200 pound man running full speed by tackling an arm. The frustration continues because no one can rely on the defense to make a stop when it is needed.
Special Teams
Max Suter was again outstanding. I’m on the Sutter for Heisman bandwagon as well. He had seven returns for a total of 198 yards. Patrick “Fat Ass” Shadle hit two extra points on two attempts. Rob “Heisman” Long punted amazingly as well, punting seven times for a total of 316 yards. His longest was 64 yards and three were behind the 20. Another solid performance from the special teams unit. The one negative spot was a punt that was blocked and returned to the Syracuse one yard line.
On the Rutgers game, Greg Robinson stated, "I'm seeing the same things happen and when I see the same things happen, that's what worries me. When I see the same things happen, is it the players, is it the coaches or maybe it's both I don't know that for certain. I want to see what we are doing. I want to see why we're not executing and why we're breaking down in different areas. It gets to a point where, all of a sudden, we're starting to get guys banged - that's the thing that bothers me - all of a sudden guys are leaving the field, because they are just getting beat up. I'm not going to say all the same things. I'm just going to tell you, I really need to assess what are we asking our players to do and whether they are capable of doing it. If they are, then they need to be held accountable for what they're not doing right. I'm not going to sit here and tell you we should have done this and we should have done that or we could have done this. I don't know that and I want to see it." Really Greg??? Really?! Awesome!!!
D+ (1.43)
On a lovely Homecoming day, when the team could have pulled an upset against a down Rutgers squad, we once again receive disappointment. Again we find out that Special Teams cannot win a game by itself. Happy Homecoming to you too Greg.
Special shout out to all of the friends I saw this weekend. Thank you to Faegan’s for providing the venue for the entertainment of the weekend. Thanks to the fine folks again at 125 for the place to crash and the good times. If you missed Homecoming this year do not fret, it is only another year away. Then again, feel good knowing you avoided watching the travesty of the football program in person. GRob must go and, as always, Go Orange!

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Cue the Crying Child

On the scale of "Not Fun," Syracuse ranks an 11.


Your Guide To Homecoming: 2007 Edition

Time for you to pretend you're 22 again!

So you are a well respected, successful alumni of Syracuse University. It is a slight stretch I know. And maybe it has been a few years since you have been back to your old stomping ground. You want to know where to go, because all of a sudden 44’s and Konrad’s is not there anymore. You also have no idea what Jimmy John’s is. Have no fear my fellow alumni friends, I have your guide to the hill. Just be sure you bet plenty of rest before you get there, because a noon game is not conducive to sleep.

Food On The Hill
El Saha – The most delicious pita happens to be the cheapest on Louis Marshall Way. With delicious options to cram in your pita, an entertaining staff, and usually South Park or Family Guy on the television, this is where you want to stop for a pita.

Pita Pit – For you traditionalists out there, you will probably still want to head to your old favorite. It is slightly more pricy, but they offer a few more toppings, an artsy menu, and everything is amazing with bacon.

Jimmy John’s – The smells are free, but sadly the subs are not. This sandwich shop is delicious however. Their bread is baked fresh, the staff is bizarre, and now they do not use the till money to buy drugs. I recommend the Lulu, or if you are drunk and adventurous, the “Buzz Shaw”, an Italian Nightclub and a Bloody Mary (Bloody Mary not available).

Augie’s Pizza – This newcomer is in the place where Konrad’s used to occupy, but with $1 slices you will not care that you cannot visit the popular drink stop. Get two if you are really hungry, because one will not do. Just do not mess with the staff, they will not hesitate to kick you out, and a fight may break out in front.

Cosmo’s Pizza – A classic joint that has a greasy diner feel. Their pizza is good, but I would go for any number of other choices they offer. Finish the deal with a THB and a scoop of vanilla.

Varsity Pizza – The best cheese steak on the hill. They also have many other tasty choices, plenty of tables, and if we actually manage to win the game, come on down after the game and see the band flip the Rutgers banner over. Beware you are on the clock if you eat the pizza.

Faegan’s Pub – For something a little more upscale, this is probably the place you should be. With a multitude of salads, burgers, wraps, and sandwiches you have plenty of options. Also, with over 40 beers on tap, you can find something to go with any meal. More on this later.

Food In Syracuse
Tully’s – Located on Erie Blvd. and in Liverpool this is the ultimate sports bar in Syracuse. With a shit ton of TV’s, excellent food ranging from appetizers to dinners, and the best chicken tenders (Tully’s Tenders) in Syracuse, this will surely cure your hunger, especially if you want to watch a game.

Spaghetti Warehouse – With a seemingly endless dining room, and a lot of pasta options, this is the place for Italian. The Marsala may cost you, but the bread is free. Especially tasty when dining with friends in the trolley car.

Bennigan’s – Excellent Iris… just kidding. This closed a couple of years ago.

Pastabilities – A bit more upscale than the Warehouse, it is a favorite of many folks on the hill. While not my favorite, there are plenty of tasty options on the menu, and it is conveniently located near all of your favorite downtown bars.

Dinosaur BBQ – The most famous of all the Syracuse eateries. Without a doubt, the best BBQ you can get in all of Upstate New York. Syracuse is the original location and also the most colorful. Enjoy the “Big Ass Pork Plate” or sample the two best meals with a House Special of a quarter rack of ribs and a quarter chicken. The sides are also especially delicious and if salt potatoes are on the specials it is a must.

Bars On The Hill
– What could best be described as a hole in the wall. Graffiti covers the walls, but the pitchers flow well here. During Friday Happy Hour pitchers are $3/5, and while they do not have an impressive menu, their fries do the trick. This bar gets awfully crowded with bitchy undergrads wearing pink shirts and popped collars. If that is your cup of tea then this is your bar.

Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar – Do not insult me by actually caring about this bar.

Darwin’s Pub – Rest in peace my friend.

Maggie’s – I have to admit, I have never been here. But if you are not in a sorority then I would pretty much skip it.

Faegan’s Pub – The gold standard in Marshall Street Bars. With over 40 beers on tap and bartenders that are skilled in the craft of making drinks and shots, this is where most alumni end up. While there are not many specials on Friday, it is vastly less crowded and a much better atmosphere than Chuck’s. Say hi to Guy for me and tell him Mr. Harrison sent you.

Harry's – This bar has a small place in my heart, as my father's cousin was Harry. However, he long sold the bar before I got to the hill so no free drinks for me. This bar is ideal for MNF watching and eating wings. However, you will not be in town on Monday. Not a bad option for a bar choice though. It is solid with decent food and probably not a big crowd.

The Sheraton Hotel – While I would not stay here all night, they do have free wings and pizza for a couple hours starting at five. If you are a broke alumni with a lot of debt, maybe you should start out here.

Bars In Armory Square
Daisy Dukes
– A relatively new place, this country bar has beer and liquor. They also have a bull to ride, which can be outstanding if there are cute ladies up for it. Be warned though, one of their bouncers was recently arrested for assault, so be on your best behavior.

Mully’s – This Irish bar is undistinguishable in every way. They have booze and you don’t. Who’s more Irish?

PJ Dorsey’s – This is a fun little bar with room, dancing, and a favorite of mine as I spent my 21st birthday there. Nothing too remarkable about it, but again, they have drinks and you want some.

The Blue Tusk – This is the most expensive place downtown, but it could be worth it if you enjoy rare brews and an upscale atmosphere. A LOT of beers on tap.

Bar – I have never been here, but I have never heard any negatives about it. On Thursday nights they have $1.50 Jack & Cokes. Solid.

Syracuse Suds – This bar is also a micro-brewery. They have good bar food, hand carved steaks, as well as their own distinctive drinks. Nowhere else in Syracuse can you get a root beer keg.

There are plenty of other restaurants and bars I am forgetting about, but really, this is the guide. If it is not on this list, you either should not waste your time or you already know about it because it is not that popular but you like it anyway. Both cases are fine.

Here are some events off the official Homecoming schedule that people might enjoy:

All Day: Anyone wearing an alumni button will get 10% off in the Bookstore.

9 to 10:15 a.m. Crime Scene Investigation. Presented by James T. Spencer.
Bowne Hall, room 203. Fun fact: Everything is covered in semen. Call Gil Grissom.

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All academic offices and buildings open. Shotgunning a beer in Maxwell Hall is very entertaining.

11 4:30 p.m. SUArt Gallery. Shaffer Art Building, adjacent to Sims Hall.

11 a.m. to midnight Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion. South Campus. Alumni wearing an SU alumni button or reunion nametag receive free admission and half-price skate rental.

3 p.m. Campus Art Tour. Departs from the Shaffer Art Building.

4 p.m. Homecoming Awards Ceremony and Alumni Leaders Reception, presentation of awards for Outstanding Alumni, Outstanding Young Alumni, and the Orange Spirit student award. Schine Student Center, Panasci Lounge.

5:30 p.m. ’Cuse Commotion – featuring the parade, pep rally, and bonfire, parade steps off from the Schine and ends on the Quad.

6:30 p.m. All Alumni and Student Homecoming Party on the Quad. Immediately following the Pep Rally, the party is a celebration for honored Reunion classes and a chance for all alumni to relax with friends and mingle with current students. Food and beverages will be served. Advance registration required.6:30 p.m. College of Law General Alumni Cocktail Party, Hotel Syracuse. For additional information, contact the College of Law Alumni Affairs at 315-443-9533 or visit

6:30 p.m. Men's Ice Hockey, SU vs. Mercyhurst, Tennity Ice Skating Rink, free admission and parking.

7 p.m. College of Law Annual Dinner. Hotel Syracuse. For additional information, contact the College of Law Alumni Affairs at 315-443-9533 or visit Big props to my fellow Law School patrons.

8 p.m. Syracuse Stage presents Les Liaisons Dangereuses. John D. Archbold Theatre, 820 East Genesee Street. Ticket information available at 315-443-3275.

8 p.m. Syracuse University Drama Department presents Lucky Stiff. Arthur Storch Theatre, Syracuse Stage, 820 East Genesee Street. Ticket information available at 315-443-3275. This show is hilarious.

9 p.m. University Union Concert presents Gym Class Heroes as part of the Verizon Wireless Tour. On the Quad. Doing it for the kids.

8 a.m. SU Varsity Club Annual Breakfast Meeting, Varsity Club Room, Carrier Dome8:30 a.m. Deans’ Breakfasts—join the dean of your school or college for a complimentary continental breakfast and hear about the latest developments; reservations required. The Office of Alumni Relations is grateful to Liberty Mutual for their co-sponsorship of the Deans' Breakfasts.
School of Architecture: The Warehouse, downtown, Syracuse.
College of Arts and Sciences: Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel, Regency Room B and C. School of Education: Huntington Hall Commons, first floor.
L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science: Link Hall, Room 369.
College of Human Services and Health Professions: Lyman Hall Cafe.
School of Information Studies (iSchool): Hinds Hall, Room 120.
Martin J. Whitman School of Management: Whitman School, Milton Room.
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs: Eggers Hall, Public Events Room.
SI Newhouse School of Public Communications: Newhouse III.
College of Visual and Performing Arts, Shaffer Art Building Galleria.

8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Homecoming Registration and Hospitality. Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center. CLOSING AT 2 P.M.

8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pan Am 103 Remembrance Quilt. Hendricks Chapel.

9 a.m Orange Friendzy, pre-game party on the Quad.

Approximately 10:30 a.m. The Syracuse University Marching Band performs their quad show. Go support the kids, you already know where you are going to sit.

12 p.m. Rutgers v. Syracuse kickoff.

3 p.m. Syracuse Stage presents Les Liaisons Dangereuses. John D. Archbold Theatre, 820 East Genesee Street. Ticket information available at 315-443-3275.

8 p.m. Syracuse Stage presents Les Liaisons Dangereuses. John D. Archbold Theatre, 820 East Genesee Street. Ticket information available at 315-443-3275.

8 p.m. Syracuse University Drama Department presents Lucky Stiff. Arthur Storch Theatre, Syracuse Stage, 820 East Genesee Street.

Now is some advice to carry you through the weekend.

·It is important to remember that no matter how drunk you get, you do not live off campus anymore. Try not to show up to a former residence and try to break in just because you used to live there.
·It is a noon game, but you are only as young as you feel. Making a game on only four hours of sleep is part of the experience. Make the most of your weekend.
·This one is for the younger kids; Homecoming is too short for you to deal with drama and people trying to make you feel like crap. Avoid people that you would have a problem with and just hang out with people you enjoy.
·Tailgating is an art. Respect it and it will respect you.
·If you hate Nancy Cantor like my friends do, enjoy a nice pee on Nancy’s $6 million wall. It is the world’s most expensive outdoor urinal.
·Enjoy the sights and sounds of your old campus, but avoid public safety. They have guns now.
·Enjoy some beers on the quad. It is private property after all.
·Bring two pairs of shoes. You never know if your buddy will pee in them.

That should at least get you through the weekend in one piece. Your liver may not survive, but at least you will have had fun. Hopefully the fun you will have the entirety of the weekend will perhaps make up for, or enhance your football game experience. Have fun, be safe, reminisce with old and great friends, and remember that Syracuse football is best enjoyed with a cold beer and a bitter heart. See you on the Quad and in Faegan’s! Maybe even in a magical shirt.

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Does it even thrill you to burn a couch when you beat Syracuse?
I expected us to lose the game yesterday. I was under no illusion that we were going to pull the game out. However, I did not think it was going to be this bad. The Dome was no less than 85 degrees with about 90% humidity, thus nothing was too enjoyable on a day that could have at least been entertaining. With a special shout out to the folks at 125 Kensington with their thoughts on the game, we go to the report card. Have a cold adult beverage ready to help you cope.
We actually got a couple touchdowns, therefore they couldn’t get the fail this week, but it was a poor showing. DROPSIES!!! After Robinson floated the ball perfectly to Rice Moss to get a touchdown, he had the worst drop we have seen all season. Not that it would have put us back in the game, but if you are a wide receiver, that is simply fundamentals and should have never been dropped. Rushing was its usual sad self. Brinkley managed to get a nice touchdown from one yard out, but only gained 50 yards on 18 carries. Doug Hogue had a decent day with 34 yards on eight carries, but that is still unimpressive. Andrew Robinson (5/15, 100yds, 1 TD, 2 INT) played well, even though the stats do not reflect it. The interceptions really were not his fault, but Robinson could have played better. All in all a poor, poor day.
While I cannot give the F because they managed to limit Steve Slaton to 69 yards, our rush defense was awful. Pat White, and a multitude of other gentlemen proceeded to run all over us, racking up 251 total rush yards and five touchdowns. They were who we thought they were, and we crowned them supreme rushing leaders of the Big East. At least that is how they looked. Pass coverage was passable, but nothing special. No interceptions for Joe 5 Fields this week, and McClain was not special today either. Our defense was barely afloat. Why do we give WVU receivers a five yard buffer at minimum, and why do we play terrible zone coverage when we know that it is not working? Why not try some man coverage? It could not be worse than WVU quarterbacks picking apart our loose zone coverage.
Special Teams
I was very impressed with our kick returns and special teams today. Mike Holmes had 118 yards on three returns, including a long return of 64 yards. West Virginia had no answers for our return team except pooching the kick so that the return coverage had no time to set up again. Rob “Heisman” Long again demonstrated a strong and accurate leg, and Pat “Fat Ass” Shadle contributed 2/2 on extra point tries. A solid day for special teams.
A terrible job coaching this game. In the Louisville game, they were coaching like they had nothing to lose, opening up the playbook, going out there and just having fun. The only way we had a chance Saturday was to, again, open the playbook, play like we had nothing to lose, be loose, and just go for it. We played too conservative for a game versus West Virginia. Also, while the team executed it well, calling a fake field goal on fourth and eight is not advisable. Forth and four, fine, but forth and eight was just asking for a turnover instead of a nice trick play conversion. You need to set your players up for success. Just because you can get that first down in practice, does not mean you can do it against WVU. I an once again convinced that Greg Robinson and his staff were replaced by people that actually know football for the L’ville game and are now back to make mediocre decisions that do not help the team.
D (1.08)
Pretty much everything that could go wrong did. While Slaton and White together could not do it together, the rest of West Virginia clearly got the job done. The offense stalled because of the wide receivers, defense played with no marbles, and the one bright spot, special teams, could not do it alone. With terrible coaching moves, and people not seeming to know what to do on the Syracuse staff, this turned out to be the most points scored against a Syracuse team at home ever. Once again, WVU was who we thought they were, and so was Syracuse.
Next Saturday we take on Rutgers in the Carrier Dome at noon on a very special Homecoming weekend. Stay tuned for Homecoming coverage all next week, along with a guide to Homecoming if you are making the trip. See some old friends, remember the good times, and think back fondly upon your drinking days at Darwin’s, Faegan’s, and yes, maybe even Chuck’s. Until next time remember, we were never always this bad, and some day we will be good again. I hope.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to the WVU fans in the dome for not shitting in our bleachers!

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Cue the Crying Child

Look on the bright side:
SU is halfway through this wretched season.


Learn The Rules!

Mess with the USF Bull, you get the horns young man.
“When’s basketball season?” How many times have you heard or see this recently. Maybe seen it in your buddy’s profile. People just do not know the rules of how to deal with your team being terrible. While I myself should not be the ultimate authority on how to deal with this phenomenon (I went to two bowl games while in college, actually won one too), I know a thing or two. So, after being fed up by seeing the billionth friend put that crap in their IM profile, here are the rules for how to deal with our football team not performing up to standards.

DO write a hilarious sign and bring it while you sit in the student section.
DO NOT wave that sign in a players face as they walk across the quad. They still hit harder than you.

DO quietly curse them under your breath.
DO NOT curse them in front of co-workers that love to razz you about every little thing you do (sorry Jimmy, you decorate your cube with SU stuff and its asking your Boston College friends to mess with you. It is good you still support the team even though we suck however.).

DO ask “when is lax season starting?” We won nine championships you know.
DO NOT put that shit in your profile. What kind of fareweather fan are you? Do you not bleed orange? Et tu, Brute?

DO wear a brown bag over your head.
DO NOT only wear a brown bag over your head.

DO be upset with the effort you see before you in the Dome.
DO NOT give up rooting until the fourth quarter.

DO rock the hat of a different football team that you have always rooted for since childhood. Notice how i specified that you need to have grown up watching the team before you picked Syracuse as your college of choice.
DO NOT rock the hat of anyone we play, anyone in the Big East, or anyone on the north east (see you in Hell, Rutgers!). This especially applies if you grew up in the north east. You picked Syracuse. Accept it and move on, you are rooting for us now.

DO feel free to consume enough alcohol to make yourself feel a little better.
DO NOT drink so much that you vomit anywhere near, in, or around the Carrier Dome. You do not want to take a nap in the metal urinal in the men’s room.

DO question coaching decisions, especially vocally and discuss them with other knowledgeable football fans.
DO NOT scream “Greg Robinson is the devil. I fucking hate you. Oh my God I want to drink bleach and keel over from a massive seizure. For the love of God just make the hurting stop. I welcome the sweet release of death from this terrible, terrible football team and the misery it brings.”

DO know what personnel Greg Robinson is utilizing and, depending on the situation, question the decision.
DO NOT insist you could play better unless you are kidding. Face it, if you suited up and went out there, your ACL would last about two plays. Give up the dream buddy. High school was years ago.

DO demand an entertaining game, where at least Syracuse keeps it close even if we lose.
DO NOT overly criticize the kids. They are in college and are not professional athletes. They are paid, but only through free school. You can approach the line and step on it, but it is just classless to step over it.

DO ask “why have you forsaken us, good fortune?”
DO NOT bring a live chicken to sacrifice in the locker room to satisfy Jobu. He cannot help you hit a curve ball, he’s not going to be able to help the O Line block. Oh by the way bartender, he needs a refill.

DO always root for the Orange, and clap when they make a great play or do something well.
DO NOT flip the bird when the running back is stopped behind the line. There are kids nearby, ya dick.

DO have fun and enjoy a ballgame with your friends, even though the team is probably losing.
DO NOT, because we are losing, take a brick and hit your friend in the face. It hurts. A lot. Looking at you Jayme.

Well this is a good start. There are plenty more situations I should elaborate on, but you get the idea where the line is. The most important rule is this: real fans stay the game. No matter the weather, no matter the parking situation, if you pay for a ticket in the Dome, and are a real fan of the team, you stay the game. If you are a really good alumni, you will even stay and sing the alma mater because, first you actually know it, and second your school means that much to you. So have fun, try not to be too bitter, shotgun a beer, and remember to stay classy Syracuse!

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BlogPoll Ballot: Week Five

The Ballot:

1Southern Cal--
3California 2
4Ohio State 3
5South Florida 10
6Florida 2
7Boston College 3
8Wisconsin 3
9Oklahoma 3
10Kentucky 6
11Georgia 2
12Oregon 2
13West Virginia 10
14Missouri 3
15Virginia Tech 3
16Texas 8
17South Carolina 2
18Cincinnati 4
19Arizona State 5
20UCLA 6
21Hawaii 2
22Purdue 4
23Clemson 11
24Michigan 1
25Florida State 1

Dropped Out: Rutgers (#9), Penn State (#20), Alabama (#21).

The Shoddy Reasoning:
See you in Hell, Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights will not reappear on my ballot until Schiano beats somebody.

Are California and Ohio State actually better than South Florida? Methinks no, but its tough to gauge a team that beat a bi-polar Auburn squad and a West Virginia team -- at home -- that may nor may not have legitimate Big East title chances.

Yup, still ranking Georgia ahead of South Carolina.

I'm still not locked in on Boston College and Wisconsin. May as well throw Kentucky inot that bunch, too.

I'm not sure how this happened, but Oregon lost and moved up. That's more an indictment of teams six through 25 than the Ducks' talent (or lackthereof).

I'm willing to listen to LSU over Southern California arguments. Remember, however, that LSU looked like deep-fried dog shit for three-quarters of the first half.

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  • Air Your Grievances

  • This About Sums It Up

  • I am less smart for having read your blog.
  • - Anonymous Georgetown supporter.
  • You are an idiot...
  • - Anonymous Nunes/Magician Reader.
  • Congrats on not being very good at what you do.
  • - Anonymous ACC supporter.
  • You are a dweeb, my friend. Grow a backbone.
  • - Anonymous UConn supporter.
  • ...vacuous, asinine, and mind numbing...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • Honestly, just admit that you are pathetic...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • You just don't have hoops experience.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • Leave the journalism to talented people. Brian is just another hack and another fair weather fan.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • A bad blog about Syracuse athletics.
  • - UConn Fan on Twitter (after winning NCAA).