Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

Nunes::44 - 11/13/07

Good football player. Better blog.
Time for another installment of Nunes::44, with MariusJanulisForThree of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. I know you liked our sexy back and forth at his place last week, so we’re back in our house for some hard hitting, intelligent answers from the man in Cali. To the questions now, hoping to get your mind off football.

1. Orange::44: I'm not sure if you actually got to watch the South Florida game or not, but I'm sure you are aware of what transpired on the gridiron. Thoughts?

Nunes: I didn't get to watch it, for better or worse. For those kinds of games I usually rely on Axeman's liveblog and a gamecast from either ESPN or the SUAthletics site, which is surprisingly good (and more surprisingly free). I don't know if there's anything I can say about the game that hasn't already been said. I was much more interested in that post-game press conference, which was a perfect storm of Greg Robinsontude. It had everything...excuses, desperation, thinly-veiled digs at players, empty promises, more excuses and sad pleas. It was the defining press conference of the era, an absolute trainwreck. As much he frustrates and infuriates with his bullshit, you just wanted to go over to him and give him a hug and ask him to stop talking. Wrap a blanket around him and tell him it’s all gonna be okay. Then tell him to tell me about the rabbits. Tell me about the rabbits, Greg...

2. Orange::44: Is the season lost? Should we ignore the remaining games? Can we assume that Greg Robinson is gone, at least if money is no object?

Nunes: I don't know why but I'm starting to warm up to the idea that we'll beat UConn. We're back to where we were before the Louisville game, at rock bottom with nothing to lose. There's something about players playing for a lame duck coach, they either give up totally or they play inspired and for some reason I could see them being inspired to make something of this game. UConn is wounded, they're not as good as people think and there's something about Syracuse-UConn that makes me think anything can happen.

Watch us get beat by 50 and I look like a jackass, but oh well. What else would be new?

If money is no object, absolutely, he's gone. The entire community has turned on him and Daryl Gross. Gross will throw Robinson under the bus in order to save face and to get a high profile hire in here ASAP, before the Michigan and UCLA jobs get their hooks into the top candidates. And assuming they don't win another game this year, you can't come up with one good reason to keep things the way they are. Not one.

3. Orange::44: Basketball started Monday. Impressions of the team after seeing the stats from the first game?

Nunes: Definitely two sides of a coin. Offensively, we're loaded. Jonny Flynn has marked his territory, only a matter of time before Donte Greene matches him. My fear is that we have too many alphas on this team. Devo and Harris had to expect coming into the season that they were in charge. But their leadership is being usurped by Flynn and you can expect all the freshman to cut into their points and stats. I hope we don't end up having an All-Star team mentality out there, where everyone needs to get their stats. My other fear is that there's not going to end up being room for everyone next year and one of the high profile guys considers transferring.

Defensively, yikes. Shades of last year. Unfortunately, this is gonna bite us in the ass, at least in the foreseeable future. I don't like the idea of being a run and gun team that has to score 80-90 a night cause we're giving up 85. Not sure we're equipped to match that every night.

I see lots of positives from the Siena game but I see a lot more questions. I am hopeful though, that's more than I can say about some recent seasons.

4. Orange::44: Larry Csonka's number was retired at the USF game. Your thoughts on retiring numbers for football? Should we have retired 44?

Nunes: I wrote a whole thing on this a while ago. I think the whole system is flawed, from who we let into our hall of fames to who qualifies for a number retirement. Since we're just retiring jerseys and not the actual number, I suppose it’s harmless. But I think it’s gonna catch up with you. Since you're not bound by the limitations of retiring an actual number (of which there is a finite supply), you could literally just keep retiring jerseys until the end of time. Who's to say where you draw the line? Today it’s the Larry Csonka's and Floyd Little's of the world. But pretty soon you'll be making distinctions between David Tyree and Quentin Spotwood (he was an All-American, after all). Maybe I'm being unrealistic but I just think it’s a fine line you need to walk carefully.

You can't possibly give me one good reason for retiring the number 44. That was our calling card. It was an identity. It was a powerful recruiting tool. It stood for something that is so hard to quantify in college athletics. That one piece of identity specific to your school that is special to you because of that. The "Play Like A Champion" sign at Notre Dame, the 12th man at Texas A&M, Howard's Rock at Clemson. People identify Syracuse University with the number 44. To remove it from the equation is to remove part of what makes the university special.

Of course, that's a decision we've come to expect from Daryl Gross. I suppose the reason was that it made us live in the past, which is asinine since he's spent the entire season honoring the very people who wore 44. I guess I just don't see what is gained by retiring the number.

5. Orange::44: What is the one thing that upsets you most about the current state of Syracuse Athletics and what is your solution to make it better?

Nunes: I actually had to take a walk and think about this one. To say the football program would be too easy. If Malcolm Gladwell taught us anything it’s to look for the Tipping Point, the tiny decision or way-of-thinking that is causing things to head downhill so fast.

I started thinking about Syracuse's current campaign to raise a billion dollars. I don't know all the specifics behind this, and it makes me wonder where all the money I gave them went if they feel the need to do such ludicrous fundraising, but perhaps this is part of a bigger picture with the university.

Is it all about the money right now?

Is that why Syracuse football games feel less about tradition and pomp and more about gimmicky halftime shows and sponsored events? Is that why Midnight Madness wasn't actually held at midnight but rather at 7pm and heavily sponsored? Is that why we're now beholden to the Nike overlords when it comes to uniforms and the many changes therein? Is that why we're so concerned with pleasing people in New York City that we don't seem too concerned with pleasing the people of Central New York?

I'd just like to see a return to "innocence" if that makes sense. Rather than handing out corporately-sponsored t-shirts to the students, why not organize an "orange-out." Stop fiddling around with the pre-game entertainment and start encouraging fans and students to tailgate together and build camaraderie. Start traditions in the vein of the Cameron Crazies rather than relegate traditions like "44" to the rafters. Make appearances by famous alumni feel like events, not weekly publicity grabs.

Maybe I'm being naive but what was so great about college sports when I was there was the sports and the atmosphere around it. Not the fancy uniform, not the special guests and certainly not the sponsorships. I see their place and necessity but not as the lead story.

6. Orange::44: UConn lost this past weekend to Cincinnati. How good does that feel, and does it mean anything for this coming weekend?

Nunes: Thank God. They'll lose to West Virginia as well, ensuring that they'll be relegated to a December 30th bowl where they can't hurt anyone.

Yeah, I think you're right that the timing is right for an upset. Of course, I'm basing this more on UConn looking past us more than anything Syracuse has shown me, but this is our last shot at a win. Besides, it's UConn...I know it’s a young rivalry but this should be one of those "throw out the records" kind of rivalries. I'm hesitantly's that for being a fan?

7. Orange::44: Finally, what is your favorite distraction from the Syracuse Football team? No, you can't say the basketball team.

Nunes: When I'm not obsessing over the shortcomings of Syracuse football, I'm obsessing over the shortcomings of New York Giants football. I have to say though; I think they got a raw deal. I think the Giants were getting way too much credit during their win streak and now they're taking too much heat after losing to the Cowboys.

During their run, they were never really dominant and they didn't exactly play a murderer's row. They did what the Giants do...they played just better than their competition but they never exuded any kind of killer instinct. All of those experts who were pegging them in for the Super Bowl couldn't have been watching the actual games.

So now they lost to the Cowboys and everyone's saying they're gonna fail again. Dudes, it’s the Cowboys, the best team in the NFC. Sure, the Giants should have taken one from them but if you're gonna lose to anyone, it’s not a bad loss in the big picture. Now if they lose to Detroit this week, it'll be time to panic again. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Giants fans always have plenty of panic ahead of them; I'm in no rush to start yet.

So there you have it. Our boy comes through in dropping some Orange knowledge on you like Flynn dropping a trey. Until next time, I’m Brian, he’s MariusJanulisForThree, and we’re out. Look for my answers next week on his site.

Editor’s Note: This is another installment in the ongoing collaboration between Orange::44 and Nunes/Magician. Every other Tuesday Nunes::44 will appear here, while the following week Orange::44/Magician will appear on his site. Until then, enjoy Nunes/Magician articles and stay tuned to Orange::44 for complete postgame coverage from every Syracuse game.

Labels: , , , ,

7 Responses to “Nunes::44 - 11/13/07”

  1. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Yeah, I mean Syracuse is 2-1 against UConn, however, each win for both teams have come at home. The last time Syracuse visited East Hartford and lost the weather was TERRIBLE. This weekend should be clear but crisp with 45 degree weather. A beautiful fall day for football. Welcome to the optomist side of life, as I think we could just pull this out.

    As for the New York Football Giants... only time will tell.  

  2. # Anonymous Froggy Doggy

    Gotta love Cuse hoops off to a 2-0 start. The freshman Flynne and Greene are looking great so far and Flynne has definitely got a flair for the dramatic. For those who didn't realize it, he broke Melo's freshman debut scoring record in the first game. The 2 extra games in the Garden next week will be a great experience for this young group. Second, here we go again with NFL network. The Thanksgiving night game between the Packers and Cowboys will only be shown on NFL networks. They pulled this crap last year and it didn't set well with me. Hey NFL, wake the hell up, don't screw over your loyal fanbase and not show game on network TV. Remember, this is a time when family and friends are together and possibly the only day of football some families get together over the course of the season. Newsflash NFL, you wouldn't be rolling in dough without your loyal fan base so do the right thing and show the damn game. Third, score one for the good guys, arrogant Elliot has thrown in the towel on his dumb idea to give illegals drivers licenses. In 3 years I hope New Yorkers remember his arrogance and lack of sound judgement throughout the affair and punch his ticket to retirement as NY Gov. Finally, I still don't think Hillary has taken a position on the issue 2 weeks later...hey Hillary, want some syrup with those waffles? Or maybe her staff forgot to plant the appropriate question in the audience?? Just wondering.  

  3. # Anonymous tim

    Goddamn those old football uniforms looked so much better than the new ones, even on Nunes. Can you imagine McNabb in all orange? Pukefest.  

  4. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    At the very least, they were classy.  

  5. # Blogger Johnny

    Very good read guys! In regards to question #5, I'm getting that feeling in my neighborhood as well.  

  6. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Nunes you couldn't be more right about the state of SU Athletics. It's really something that has spread to the entire university. There just isn't a collegial feel to it anymore, everything is about making a buck and it just comes off as sterile. I'm a senior at SU right now and I hate the fact that I feel like I missed out on something special here. All of their promotional stunts and events "honoring" past SU greats just rings hollow. The sick part is, as disgusted as I am by the way Cantor is essentially whoring us out to the SU alumni community and the country at large, it might some sort of warped necessity. SU occupies a very awkward space in the college ranks as a large private institution. We don't have the same cache as other private schools like Duke or Norte Dame, but we also don't have the deep recruiting base of public land grant universities like almost then entire Big Ten. Creating a $1 Billion endowment is a step towards something more respectable, although I'm not sure what exactly. Who knows though, with this lady's track record she'll probably finish that eyesore of a wall she erected in her honor and create a fortress to further shut her off from the student body. I'll tell you this much, I'm not giving a dime to this place until she's out.  

  7. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    It is nice to hear from a current student that feels this way. I thought it was just us crusty alumni. I'm sorry you missed out in the Buzz Shaw era. The man made you feel like you could go up to him at any moment and chat, or invite him down to Faegan's and have a beer with him.

    A lot of my friends have already denied donating to the university until Cantor is out.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for reading.  

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link


  • 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).