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Ding. D-I-N-G. Ding.

In case you are wondering, the picture above is of Jacob Meggesto. He's 13 years old and attends Soule Road Middle School in Liverpool, New York. As the Syracuse Post-Standard's submission to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, he pretty much embodied the City of Syracuse's only chance at a non-Lemoyne national championship this year.

And of course he lost.

Just like every competitor that advanced to yesterday's rounds, Jacob sat for the written examination in the morning and moved on to the second round for an oral examination. In the second round, Jacob correctly spelled the word "flimflam," thus cementing his place in history as the first speller to correctly spell vocabulary frequently featured by Yosemite Sam.

Jacob, however, did not sufficiently pass the written examination, which makes perfect sense when you remember what daily rag was sponsoring his appearance.

So, Jacob, we at Orange:44 salute you for keeping up Syracuse's recent trend of failing in the face of adversity. It's not that you're not intelligent (hell, I have two degrees and didn't even know half of the words existed that appeared on the written multiple choice exam), it's just that you have the stink of losing attached to your being due to your parent's choice of suburban residence.

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Get Your Spell On

Mike and Mike are broadcasting this? Oh noooooo! DING!

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And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'



If you're a Syracuse fan, I highly recommend
not playing the lottery any time soon.

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Last year began a bit of a tradition at Orange::44: the blogging of the final rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee (or, as we in the business call it, "The Bee"). Unfortunately, I will not have the time to blog The Bee this year as Thursday nights are designated as "Lose at Softball" affairs.

In an effort to educate all those will-be bloggers attempting to pen prose about The Bee this year, I have put together this brief "how-to" guide. It is fairly straightforward, yet indispensable to those attempting to navigate such unchartered waters.

Point One: Remember the Date

This year, the national finals of The Bee will be held on May 30th and 31st in Washington, D.C (it is like the Mecca of spelling). You should probably write down those dates on a notepad or on the inside of your eyelids so you do not forget.

Remember: Nobody wants to read a day-old composition about spelling. Hell, even up-to-the-minute prose about The Bee is difficult to digest. So, strike while the iron is hot, or else your two-hour voyage into adolescent voyeur will be all for naught.

Point Two: Watch the Whole Mess on Television

Assuming you neither have the means nor inclination to haul your misguided ass to Washington to tailgate and attend the event, you should watch this adventure of social incompetence in its entirety. ABC (the "Official Network of Spelling") will televise the event live from 8:00 PM until 10:00 PM. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN will broadcast the competition, which further emphasizes the fact that your evening will be an unmitigated failure.

Remember: Resist the urge to channel surf. The results of the dog show on Animal Planet are likely already available on the Internet. There is no need to flip on E! as Paris Hilton is still batshit insane. Your uninterrupted dedication to The Bee will reap tremendous rewards.

Of special importance to watching The Bee is immersing yourself in the "action." I have heard rumors of people developing a drinking game to accompany the horrors being transmitted via the airwaves, and it has take the following form:

  1. Drink every time the "Agony of Defeat" bell rings (thus indicating an elimination of the competitor and your liver);
  2. Drink for mustaches (the whispier the hair, the more you chug);
  3. Drink for the home-schooled miscreants; and
  4. Drink for the local state competitor (double for eliminations).

I, however, have always watched The Bee stone sober. Frankly, the stunning reality created by participants of The Bee far outweighs the artificial reality of intoxication.

Remember: Drinking is fun, but ridiculing children with mild social detachment and slightly uncommon interests is the apex of entertainment.

Point Three: Writing About The Bee

As you may or may not know, there is no right or wrong way to write about The Bee. In fact, despite all the best intentions, simply writing about The Bee is wrong. I am pretty sure it says so somewhere in The Bible, right next to the part with your picture and an arrow pointing to Hell.

If, however, you still have a desire to ruin the Internet with drivel about adolescents and their non-professional sports futures, I would use this essay as a template. In it, I expose many salient features of The Bee, including:

  1. Mustaches and their prevalence in automotive repair and spelling competitions;
  2. The delineation between sport and anti-sport;
  3. The disadvantage Canadian, British, and Australian spellers face due to their education of superfluous vowels; and
  4. My unending dislike of potential ties in competitive spelling.

Remember: You should probably spell check your work, as not doing so will result in unmitigated embarrassment and all-encompassing irony.

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God, It's Me, Brian

This is my freaking lead story?!
Are we done fighting Syracuse? God doesn’t still hate you right? Can be go back to being friends on? OK Syracuse. That feels much better. Folks, we find ourselves in that summer break from all things Syracuse sports. It came a little too early this springtime, but there really is not much any of us can do about it now. So let us all look forward, rather than back, and make some bold and daring predictions.

Women’s Lax
Did I think I’d be talking about the other lax team on the hill at this point in the year? Hell no. But the ladies have been impressive, winning eight out of the last ten games they have played, including a Big East Championship and their first ever NCAA Tournament game. They face a daunting task of two time National Champions Northwestern at Northwestern, currently ranked number one, and the same team they lost 10-7 to in March. But I am calling the upset. After this game, who knows what could happen, but this team is primed and ready to strike. They are scoring lights out, the goalie seems pretty sharp, and the stars are all aligned for the Orange to make it two in a row. Go ladies. The updated tournament bracket can be found here.

Football
I plan on doing a full off season/status recap of the teams that compose the Big East Conference, but for now I plan on making some general predictions without providing hard evidence to back them up, nor will I feel too bad if I am wrong. Just take comfort knowing that in the past I have evaluated facts before making predictions and I am doing the same here. However, a little false hope after a school year we just had is worth it at this point.

Taking a look at the schedule, and thinking about the team, there is no easy game. I call three instant wins. I do not think I am going out on too big of a limb by saying that Illinois, Miami (OH) and Buffalo will be wins. So that leaves three games to scrape together a W to reach the promised land again. Washington has the possibility of a win. It is the home opener and season opener for the Orange. They have to be pumped up for this game. On top of that, anything... I mean ANYTHING can happen in the Carrier Dome. We could beat #7 Virginia Tech, or lose to Temple. In this case, however, I like our chances. They only won five games last year, and of those, only one was really a quality win over UCLA (who went on to beat USC last season). Unless they drastically improved this off-season (which I don’t get that impression) then I’ll call this a win on opening day for the Orange. Syracuse at Iowa I’m not buying. Even though they had a spectacular collapse the second half of last season I just do not like our chances on the road at that point in the season. Calling the L. I also for simplicity and reality’s sake will assume that we lose to West Virginia, Rutgers, and Louisville. That leaves Pittsburgh, South Florida, Connecticut, and Cincinnati. Pittsburgh is at Pittsburgh, therefore I obviously think we will lose. South Florida is in the dome. Their sophomore quarterback has had some off field transgressions since we last left him having a phenomenal freshman year for the Bulls. I’ll call the loss for now, but more on this game in a second. The team then travels to East Hartford, Connecticut to play UConn at “The Rent”. Since it is UConn and since I do not think they will be good again next year, I’m picking ‘Cuse in this one (however my faith in the Orange over UConn has burned me before. Let’s all hope it is good, sunny weather there for the game). Finally, we round out the season with Cincinnati visiting the Dome. I will pick Syracuse in this one as well. That leaves us 6-6 on the year with a 2-5 record in the Big East. However, I think the South Florida game could be the game people will think we will lose, but end up performing well. So, best outlook at present, is a 7-5 season with a 3-4 conference record. Not bad for a new starting quarterback and a team with no real runningback options. Who wants to go bowling?

Basketball
With the OBVIOUSLY move of the century, Daryl Gross named Mike Hopkins the heir apparent for Syracuse Basketball. I think we all called this. I know I certainly have been saying this for the past several years, like most Syracuse Basketball fans with even a semblance of some brain cells that can act cohesively as a unit. I like this move for many reasons. I like a Syracuse guy coaching a Syracuse team. I like that he has turned down other jobs before. I like that he has lived in Syracuse for a good chunk of his adult life and is well established. I like that this guy can recruit like whoa. And chances are, Gerry McNamara will be an assistant. You know… if that whole NBA thing does not work out.

That being said, the team should be downright sick next year. Ranked in the Preseason Top 25, it should be a pretty interesting year in the Big East next season. I’m looking forward to ridiculous dunks, excellent shooting, another tall goofy white guy, and some solid defense. I’m getting a slight chub just thinking about it.

Now the topic burning on everyone’s lips: the three point line. Yes, they voted to move it back. Will this really change a lot? Maybe a few less made, but let us face it folks; shooters are shooters and inside players are inside players. The dynamics of the game really will not change too much in my opinion. It will be interesting to see though. This will also probably prepare kids slightly better for the NBA. One can only hope this does not screw anything up and they have to reverse it like the NCAA Football clock rules.

Men’s Crew
Who cares.
Mr. Jones
I learned recently, via Syracuse.com and Nunes/Magician, that Mr. Mike Jones, the "awesome" freshman we had that transfered to South Carolina, has been dismissed from the team for academic reasons. Good for him. I'm glad he transfered for that. Last thing we needed was another Billy situation. Say hey to Mr. Williams while you're at it. I gotta give yet another hat tip to our boy MariusJanulisForThree who has been diligently on the job reporting when us big boys over here at Orange::44 have been busy out of our mindes to keep up with all this stuff. Keep up the good work.

Ernie Davis
Today marks the 44th anniversary of Ernie Davis’ Death. Take a moment and remember the legacy of not just a great football player, but a great person in the world. He is still missed. There is a pretty cool feature about the movie on the SU Athletics webpage. Check it out.

Goodbyes
The 153rd Commencement of Syracuse University took place this past weekend. Congratulations to everyone that earned a degree. I hope you fully enjoyed your time on the hill and caught some great moments in Syracuse sports. It has been a down couple of years, but there were still exciting things to do and see, and you walk out with a degree from a quality educational institution. The reason you went there in the first place. So kudos to you. Enjoy a delicious alcoholic beverage before you dive into the employment hunt/grad school preparation. Good luck and always Go Orange!

That does it for now. A complete team by team evaluation of the Big East will be appearing in the next few weeks from me. I am not sure what Matt is working on right now. Let’s just hope his liver survived the men’s lax team not making the tournament. Until next time, enjoy the Boeheim twins. Think about it.


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