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Oh It's In The Friggin' Game

It's almost like you're there, only we're 10-0 on the year.

The trailer for NCAA Football 2009 came out recently. Nunes/Magician gave it some love yesterday, but I have to do the same. Just look at how freaking awesome the Carrier Dome looks. Granted, Sean is right it is a touch hazy, but it is just too awesome to matter. I love college football and I have a PS3, so needless to say I’ll probably be the first one in line for this game. You can see the major graphic upgrades they made to the Dome alone. If you are a video game fan and a fan of college football, this is probably one you will want to pick up.


Not Much Love for Greene

Gotta talk about something on the off season.
It seems ESPN loves to keep putting us up as the front page of their men’s basketball section. This time they discuss if it is the right move to enter, wrong move for some, or if they should have declared this year for the NBA Draft. Chad ford had this to say about Greene:

* Donte Greene, F, Syracuse - Greene also has the talent of a top-5 pick, but a late-season swoon hurt his stock among scouts. He has a chance as a late lottery pick this year, but next year he could be ranked in the preseason Top 5.

So it seems even ESPN says that this is the wrong move for Greene to declare. Always interesting. The complete article is here.

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The SOB's Closing Ceremonies and Friendly Heads Up

Everyone should get one of theses if you finish a Law School exam.
The SOB’s concluded Friday evening. All 20 awards have been handed out and the results of which can be found either on Nunes/Magician or Sports Night with Howie Mansfield. They were a lot of fun last year and it was nice to see them even bigger and involving more bloggers than the year before. Thanks to Sean at Nunes/Magician for organizing the whole thing once again and thanks to all the bloggers that participated. It was a lot of fun to work with you all as always.

Now is the sad news. It is Law School Finals time again for me. For the next two weeks I will be stressed out and barely able to see straight, let alone be able to devote the proper and necessary time to this blog. Therefore until around May 9th, you will not see too many articles here at Orange::44. I will check in with Lacrosse Weekly, as well as some other small bits, but I will not be producing anything of length until my academic labors have concluded for the spring semester. However, I still have my season in review planned for May, as well as a nice piece about the UConn/Tennessee feud, the road to the Final Four for Lacrosse, and the usual stuff that keeps you reading this site. Thanks for your understanding as always and I’ll see you on the other side of another school year.


The SOB's - Favorite Moment

I'll take two!
It’s time to hand out another SOB Award. Thanks to A.E.M. at The Orange Squeeze for bringing us the Best Non-Game Related Moment. We now turn our attention to the Favorite Moment from the 2007-2008 basketball season. Some of the nominees were:

When Johnny Flynn won Big East Co-Freshmen of the Year. – A.E.M. from The Orange Squeeze.

The Win over Georgetown at home. Always is great to beat the Hoyas, especially with all of the injuries this season. – Howie Mansfield from Sports Night with Howie Mansfield.

Arinze Onuaku breaking the backboard at Midnight Madness and Paul Harris dunking over two student managers. If I remember anything about this season it's going to be the two of them. – Jameson from CuseAdelphia.

With three votes, the runner up is Johnny Flynn’s three point basket to win the St. Joseph’s Game:

We'd have to say Johnny Flynn's game winning three-ball against St. Joe's in the NIT season tip-off. We'd have been yearning for CBI tournament invitation w/o him this year. – Three Idiots on Sports.

Both the guys from Cuse Country, Josh and Syracusan, agreed with this one.

But the winner as voted on by the esteemed blogger panel is...
Kristof! and his slam dunk in the Marquette Game:

When you are winning in a game you are happy, when you are playing a great game you are ecstatic, and when you see a player of lesser offensive ability steal a ball, dribble the entire court including a crossover dribble, then two handed slam the ball while taking a hard foul, well that is what sets the crowd completely off. This was the defining moment in the Marquette game, and a game that ended the regular season on a very high note, providing that there was still hope to play in the NCAA. – Orange::44.

Ongenaet's coast-to-coast steal and flush against Marquette. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. – Matt Glaude from Hoya Suxa.

Kristof's back-to-back dunks vs. Marquette. The Dome was delirious. – Brent Axe of The Axeman Bloggeth.

No singular moment took me from the brink of blowing chunks to the edge of my seat to whopping it up like an over-eager teenager getting drunk for the first time like this. – Nick Loucks from Nick's 2 Cents.

Kristof Ongenaet, stealing the ball, going coast-to-coast against 3 Marquette players, with a nice cross over dribble at mid court and then a dunk to finish the play. Unbelievable. – Ray from OrangeHoops.

Ongenaet's steal and dunk. It just brings to mind the word "giddy." It was a "giddy" moment. – Sean from Nunes/Magician.
So there you have it. Congratulations to Kristof! for providing the Best Moment of the season. Again, for the complete list of awards, times they are handed out, and what sites are doing it, plus the results from Day 1 of the SOB's, check Nunes/Magician right here. Stay tuned at 5:00pm for the One Play You Wish We Could Do Over Award at Nunes/Magician. Until next year, this is Brian from Orange::44 reminding you that winning an award is cool, winning a championship lasts forever.


The SOB's - Best Syracuse Video

Who wouldn't want this in their living room?
The SOB’s keep on rolling. Nice to see you if you are joining us from CuseAdelphia. It is now time to announce the best Syracuse Related Video. This is simply the coolest, awesomest, badest, and simply the best Syracuse video to be found on the internet. There were several interesting nominations that did not win the award.

We first start out with a very famous video from Mayfest 2007:

Syracuse is hereby awesome because of that video. – Jameson from CuseAdelphia.

Next, nominated was a sick dunk from Paul Harris against Villanova in the Carrier Dome:

This was picked because of “the strength and quickness of Harris is on display.” – Howie Mansfield from Sports Night with Howie Mansfield.

Another dunk made the nominations:

SU vs. Maryland; Jardine with the steal, pass to Flynn, who bounces the ball between his own legs to Greene trailing on the play who dunks it home. – Ray from OrangeHoops.

Next, another dunk from an unlikely source:

Kristof! – Three Idiots On Sports.

The next nomination was interesting, as it was not from an actual Syracuse player, but rather a fine Syracuse Alumnus:

- Syracusan from Cuse Country.

Finally, the last loser was actually a spectacular clip from Midnight Madness:

Arinze breaks the backboard. What makes this the best version of all the videos of this event is the last five seconds when Coach is trying to restore some order to the scrimmage. – Josh from Cuse Country.

And from the same event:

- Nick Loucks from Nicks 2 Cents.

But the winner of the SOB for Best Syracuse Related Video is:

That’s right, it is my video of Donte Greene playing the drums.

Is there any doubt I'll pick my own video of Donte Greene playing the drums with the Sour Sitrus Society. This video was the buzz of the internet and the Orange Blogisphere for a few days, and even landed on Sports Illustrated On Campus. Plus, it is pretty cool. – Orange::44.

Harrison's video of Donte bringing the funk with Sitrus. Granted, Sitrus sound just atrocious, but Greene is the second coming of Keith Moon. – Matt Glaude from Hoya Suxa.

Donte plays the drums. – Brent Axe from The Axeman Bloggeth.

I have to say after having watched a lot of dunks I will go with the DonteDrummer, cause if he can't hit the 3's in the NBA that will be his next job! – A.E.M. from The Orange Squeeze.

The Drumming video wins out. – Sean From Nunes/Magician.

So there you have it. The winner for Best Syracuse Video. For links to all the sites involved with the SOB’s or the entire schedule of awards, check that out at Nunes/Magician here. Head over to Sports Night w/ Howie Mansfield at 5:00pm for the award for Best Sophomore, and come back here tomorrow at 4:00pm for the award for Favorite Moment of the Year.


I'm Still Magical On Occasion

Nunes knows Spring Games.
In all your excitement about the SOB’s, you should remember that we still have our regularly scheduled content (although this time it is a couple days late). Over at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician is the latest conversation between Sean and I, talking about Greene, lacrosse, and the “Spring Game”. Be sure to check out the latest version of Orange::44 is an Absolute Magician, and while you’re there be sure to check in on the winners of the SOB’s and the different sites that are hosting the awards. Check back here at 4:00pm for the announcement of the Best Syracuse Video.


Lacrosse Weekly - 4/24/08

Syracuse dominates the I-90 corridor.
Syracuse, in the midst of a big football weekend, played Albany in the Carrier Dome in lacrosse. Albany also had a game on Sunday, so Syracuse being nice, moved the game for Albany to Friday. Instead of having a football/lacrosse Saturday we had a Friday evening lacrosse treat. In a major defensive battle, Syracuse edges out Albany ten to five.

This, as I said, was a very defensive game. Syracuse was averaging 13.7 goals per game before this contest and they only managed to score ten. Similarly, Albany has averaged 9.1 goals per game, but of course only ended up with five. This game was full of excellent defensive plays, including a lot of intercepted passes from both teams. Some of the goals were spectacular from Syracuse however, including some diving shots and bounce shots that were dazzling. Also, the score would have been much higher but Syracuse hit the posts on several shots, especially in the second quarter.

Mike Leveille again led in scoring, earning three goals. Kenny Nims, Steven Brooks, and Dan Hardy each had an assist in the game. Three players had three points a piece. Steven Brooks also had the most ground balls with five. Danny Brennan did not have his best game, but did well as he won ten of 17 face offs. John Galloway had an excellent game earning 17 saves, while only allowing five goals in 60 minutes of work.

Syracuse again shot the heck (a subtle Greg Robinson reference) out of the ball, amassing 41 shots, while Albany only had 28. Albany led in picking up more ground balls however with 38. Syracuse only picked up 34. DBren was the only one for Syracuse to win a face off, therefore Syracuse won ten out of the 19 total face offs. Albany cleared the ball 14 out of 21, but Syracuse had more with 18 out of 23 clears. Neither team capitalized on any extra man opportunities. Syracuse went zero for three, while Albany scored on zero of four. Albany had a total of ten saves, all by the tights wearing Brett Queener, while Syracuse had 17 saves. Finally, Syracuse won the turnover battle having 21, while Albany had 24. Syracuse had never lost to Albany in the five meetings before this game. They are still undefeated when playing the Great Danes. The complete box score from the game can be found here.

Syracuse held steady in the rankings. They remain #1 in the Coaches Poll, three points above Duke in second place. Syracuse also remains #2 in the Inside Lacrosse poll, only one point behind Duke. They earned nine first place votes, again only one behind Duke. The entire Inside Lacrosse poll is here, and the complete USILA (Coaches) Poll is here.

There again were a lot of interesting developments on the scoreboard this past weekend, including an upset loss by Cornell to Princeton having the Big Red fall to 9-3. Notable scores include:

Friday April 18:

Quinnipiac 6 – Notre Dame 16

Villanova 7 – Towson 4

Saturday April 19:

Robert Morris 5 – Delaware 20

Army 6 – Duke 10

UMass 8 – Georgetown 12

Johns Hopkins 12 – Navy 5

Hofstra 9 – North Carolina 13

Denver 13 – Ohio State 20

Cornell 7 – Princeton 11

Hartford 5 – UMBC 13

Dartmouth 7 – Virginia 11

St. Joseph’s 9 – Wagner 4*
*This one was included for my law school colleague Anthony, a fine Seahawk alumnus and NFL Draft Expert who will guest author a recap of the draft on Orange::44 next week.

Sunday April 20:

Vermont 3 – Albany 13

Notre Dame 14 – Lehigh 7

Rutgers 8 – Penn State 4

Tuesday April 22:

Fairfield 10 – Massachusetts 9

Hofstra 14 – Stony Brook 13

Wednesday April 23:

Towson 7 – Johns Hopkins 16

Wagner 3 – Providence 12

Marist 6 – Sienna 8

The complete Inside Lacrosse scoreboard can be found here.

Syracuse will take on the Massachusetts Minutemen from Amherst, Massachusetts, this Saturday in the Carrier Dome at 2:00pm. Syracuse will look to exact revenge from last season’s humiliating loss to UMass in Amherst that eliminated Syracuse from the possibility of going to the tournament. Look for Syracuse to unmercifully bring the offense, and Massachusetts to get frustrated and commit several penalties down the stretch, just like in 2006. Syracuse is already cruising on a nine game win streak, and UMass has a current record of 5-7. I have a feeling this game will not be a struggle for the Orange this season, but in a rivalry game you never know.


The SOB's Are Back!

Everyone likes awards!
It is that time of the year again! I know you are all very excited that the SOB’s are back! What are the SOB’s you may ask? The SOB’s are the Syracuse Orange Blogger Awards. The little experiment started last year, and even more blogs are involved this time around. It involves the very best and worst that this basketball season had to offer. We will start at 9:00am EST tomorrow and continue through all 20 categories. The ballots were handed out to ten prominent Syracuse blogs, and will feature all the folks you should know if you are a Syracuse fan and blog reader. The winners have been picked, and it is once again time to hand out some awards. Yours truly will be announcing the Best Syracuse Video of the year, as well as the Favorite Moment from the year. Please tune in to see if your answers matched the brain trust of the Orange Blogisphere. The complete list of times, awards, and websites are listed right here at Nunes/Magician, and stay tuned right here at Orange::44 Thursday and Friday at 4:00pm each day for my unvaling of the awards.

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Weekend Roundup and Spring Game Reactions

It is never good if you look like you exited a M*A*S*H Unit.

Well I completed my whirlwind weekend in Syracuse. A lot has been said about the Spring Game already, so let us kick a good program while it is down, shall we?

I first began my weekend by stopping by ESPN 1260 on James Street in Syracuse to get a nice little tour of the radio station given my Mr. Brent Axe of “On The Block” fame. I saw the studios all owned by the parent company housed in the same building including 93Q, 95X, and some station called Lite Rock 105.9, which after living in Syracuse for five years I had still never heard of. Axe’s show is pretty loose I have to say. Just Axe and his executive producer have a meeting before the air time at 3:00pm, then its go time. Axe had me lead off his show with some Syracuse talk (because let’s face it, I am not up on the Crunch or Chiefs like I should be), mostly focusing on the Spring Game and the lacrosse team. It was fun to be back in an actual radio studio again, as it has been three years since the last “Brian & John Radio Experience” at WERW 1570 in the basement of the Schine Student Center. The studio itself is small, only about eight feet by eight feet. Axe mostly stands during the show and he has to instant message his producer during the show if they want to communicate. By comparison, 93Q and 95X have studios that are probably five times larger than the ESPN booth. My friend John and I hung around for the first hour of Axe’s show in the studio, listening to some stories about guests he has had, as well as make about seven Revenge of the Nerds references. All in all a solid start.

My compatriot John and I then checked into the Genesee Grand Hotel, which is considerably nicer than the last time I stayed there due to renovations. We then attended the lacrosse game. I will gloss over that as I will recap that in the Lacrosse Weekly later this week.

The real meat of the weekend was the annual Spring Game. The Spring Game was interesting. It started with several drills with the offensive line and defensive linemen, the secondary versus the wide receivers, and the linebackers versus the running backs. Now, I like college football as much as the next guy, but even I find watching drills very boring. Plus, what are they even trying to showcase? Is it just to prove that they can play without pulling a hamstring? Either way that was broken up by people trying to catch punts from Rob “Heisman” Long, who also happened to shank a few. Real encouraging. Only one person out of three managed to catch one for $99, but watching someone who does not usually catch punts try to do so is absolutely one of the most hilarious sights you can witness. Then it was the very talked about “Thud Drill”. It was also the return of Delone Carter and Curtis Brinkley, complete with large yellow medical shirts screaming “do not hit me” to the other players. As stated on Saturday, it was basically an organized slap game. There was nothing cool to report on this. Then eventually, about 45 minutes later, the actually “spring game” part began. The scrimmage seemed to be going at half speed, except for a few monster hits that the defense put on some of the offensive players. Other than the quality tackles, and a few excellent passes, there was nothing really notable in this game. Cameron Dantley, or “Cantley” as I named him last year made a few excellent throws and will push Andrew Robinson to get better, which is always great to see. Other than that, the Spring Game was not that exciting, or frankly even that fun. After I left the Carrier Dome I laid on the quad with some good friends afterwards enjoying the sights, and that seemed to be more enjoyable than watching what was put on the field. It was a boring exercise showing me why people are down on football, which is sad. My estimation of the crowd, a point of contention, was around 4,800 people, but that number is obviously disputed. Either way I think the most compelling discovery was that of the Vanilla and Chocolate Cookiewich at the concession stands. I still went with all vanilla.

My weekend ended with a banquet celebrating the 25th Anniversary of my fraternity and our sister sorority, therefore I will say congratulations to the Eta Phi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, and the Eta Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. May our success continue for years to come!

Moral of the story, the spring game was not that fantastic. I am pretty disappointed that they do not put in the effort to appeal to fans more, or at least do something more entertaining or encouraging. This leaves me wanting not to get season tickets, but feel glad that I currently do not own any. This was supposed to inspire the hope springing eternal. It inspired more negative talk from me and several other bloggers. Perhaps one day Syracuse will figure out how to market football effectively. But until more winning happens, that will probably not happen.
Below are some videos of events we saw from our seats in Section 214. H/T to JBren.


Spring Game Quick Notes

Quarterbacks like to have fun.

The hotel here in Syracuse unexpectedly has free wireless internet, so I will give you my quick thoughts on the spring game. A full write up of my weekend will appear next week.

Dave and Gomez were in fact very unnecessary and very annoying.

It took a long while for the scrimmage portion to even start. Watching 45 minutes of drills is not that compelling.

The “thud drill” is nothing more than running the plays and playing the slap game instead of tackling.

Watching regular people try to catch a punt is hilarious. Also, Rob Long may be the best punter in the Big East but he shanked one during a contest with only him and the long snapper on the field.

Gee golly, Greg Robinson sure is a nice fella.

Look for my complete Spring Game wrap up next week complete with several entertaining videos taken by Orange::44 media consultant John Brennan. It was football fantastic. And just to get you in the right mood for the upcoming season…


Lacrosse Friday/Football Saturday

Greg is ready. Are you?
There is a lot of action going on in the Carrier Dome this weekend. First on Friday evening at 7:00pm #1/2 Syracuse will take on the Albany Great Danes in the Carrier Dome. I’m predicting an outcome very similar to the Rutgers and Loyola games. Syracuse will win, and they should win by about six goals at least.

Next, on Saturday at 2:00pm is the annual Spring Game for the football squad. In every game there is a winner and a loser, and of course Syracuse will be a loser in this one. At least half of the team will. It is the offense versus the defense in this one, and it should be interesting to see Delone Carter and Curtis Brinkley back in action on the field. Do not worry though, they will only participate in “thud drills”, whatever the hell that means. Sean at Nunes/Magician has chronicled all the marketing wonders that will face you at this event. From the pregame festivities featuring Columbia recording artist Luna Halo (read: terrible band that no one will care about), and several chances to kick a field goal for cash money bling. The entire time we will probably hear TK99 personalities Gomez and Dave (read: annoying blowhards who will ruin your football viewing) calling the action as honorary assistant coaches. Can you contain the excitement for this event?

Orange::44 will be there in person for all of the weekend’s activities. I will chronicle all the awesome marketing (read: in your face, terrible) and glorious displays of athletic ability (read: offer only valid on Friday) that you can handle. All kidding aside, while it is easy to make fun of the football team I am genuinely a fan and hope always springs eternal. I look forward to seeing what product they put on the field and it should be a fun weekend to observe what happens, event though the Spring Game will be highly scripted. Plus, I’ll tell you definitively if Luna Halo sucks a rail or not. Most likely, they will. Stay tuned for a lengthy review Monday and/or Tuesday and come on out to watch both teams if you are in the Syracuse area. They will surely appreciate the support.

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Most Improved... Who Ya Got?

Both these teams have greatly improved on their previous campaign.
Syracuse Athletics is having the 2008 ‘Cuse Awards. Apparently this is the second go around for them. One can only assume this is a bright idea by DOCTOR Gross and his crack staff of marketing and advice wizards. But they pose an interesting question; what is the most improved team at Syracuse? The nominees were Women’s Basketball, Men’s Lacrosse, Field Hockey, and Volleyball. You can definitely tell that some of the teams for some of the categories were a stretch, but this one is actually an interesting question. Volleyball and Field Hockey may very well be the most improved, but this blog does not track these sports nor will I get in the habit of doing so unless they win a Big East or National Championship. Instead I focus on the real question. Between the Women’s Basketball team and the Lacrosse team, which team has improved more?

The basketball team had the best year in history by program standards. Last season they had a record of 9-20. They failed to qualify for the Big East Tournament, let alone the NCAA Tournament. They were a sad team, still reeling from the abrupt departure of a mostly terrible coach. However, there was an upside. Coach Quintin Hillsman was promoted from within, and proceeded to recruit top 25 ranked classes. The efforts finally paid off. In only his second year, Syracuse finished with a record of 22-9 and 10-6 in the Big East, the most successful season in the last 37 years. They earned only their third bid to the NCAA Tournament, got back to the BET, and made a strong showing in the conference, earning a rank for the first time in the history of the program. They had wins over ranked opponents, and only lost to #1 UConn by six, the smallest margin of victory for UConn for most of the season, and I can say first hand that it got a lot of press in the Connecticut viewing area. From last year to this year is a huge difference.

The lacrosse team also had a terrible 2007. The team failed to make the Final Four in 2006, but they were at least in the tournament. They finished the 2007 season with a record of 5-8. They failed to make the tournament for the first time since 1982. Interestingly enough, Syracuse was NCAA Champions in 1983. However, Syracuse was a team that averaged only 11.5 goals per game. This year, Syracuse is averaging 13.8 goals per game so far, and winning by an average margin of 6.2 goals a game. More dramatically, Syracuse allowed 11.4 goals a game against last season, while this year they are only allowing 7.8 on the average. Syracuse has drastically improved their defense, and their offense seems to be scoring at will this season. Syracuse has a current record of 10-1 and will more than likely finish out the regular season 13-1 and is almost guaranteed an NCAA Tournament bid.

So, who has improved more? Both teams have accomplished so much this season compared to last. Both had similarly terrible records at the end of the 2007 school year. Now each team has accomplished a lot in the Spring 2008 semester. The ladies earned an NCAA Bid and their season concluded having gotten to the dance for only the third time. The lacrosse team’s season is still in progress, but already they have assured post season plan, and achieved a #1 ranking again since they last saw it when the won the National Championship in 2004. Both teams have achieved a lot this year and have earned a lot of congratulations and praise, which is very good for the Athletic Department and university as a whole. Normally I would lean to the sport I like more, which would be the lacrosse team, however achieving something with that basketball team that has historically never been as good as they were this season is something special. Therefore, I leave it up to you the readers. While you can vote still for the ‘Cuse Awards here, I would like to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment and let me know who you think has improved more. Most improved team… who ya got?

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Lacrosse Weekly - 4/15/08

Hardy (#22) gets the mega props after a career day.
Syracuse played its third game in eight days this past Saturday versus Rutgers. While many would expect that this game should have been much closer because of this fact, Syracuse did not agree and again won handily against another lacrosse opponent. Syracuse wins their eighth game in a row and wins another game by a large margin as Syracuse beats down the fellas from Rutgers 17 to nine.

Syracuse came out of the gate swinging scoring the first three goals of the contest. Rutgers played a zone defense against the Orange, so Syracuse started out the game a little more patient in the first quarter. Then the Syracuse offense was really firing on all cylinders. Despite a bit of a lull in the forth quarter on defense, Syracuse played very well and win by an eight goal margin. Dan Hardy was the offensive player of the day, earning a career high four goals. He also had one assist for a total of five points. Mike Leveille had another solid day with three goals and three assists. Kenny Nims also tallied two goals and four assists for six points as well. Danny Brennan won 16 of his 22 face offs and picked up eight ground balls. John Carrozza also had a nice day in the X, winning four of six he took. John Galloway, other than one goal where he tripped behind the cage on the net, had a solid day. He had five saves and nine goals against. Do not be fooled by the low number of saves though. This is due to the lower number of shots taken by the other teams compared to Syracuse, but also the fact that the defense is much better than the previous year.

Syracuse had twenty more shots than Rutgers took. The Orange shot 42 balls, while the Scarlet Knights only took 22. Syracuse also vastly led in the groundballs category, picking up 37, while Rutgers only had 14. The ‘Cuse won 20 of the 30 face offs taken in the game. Syracuse was more efficient on clears in the game. They cleared 16 of 19 including four for four in the second quarter and three for three in the forth. Syracuse converted one of two extra man opportunities, while Rutgers only managed one of four. Rutgers led in the saves category with six, but Syracuse trailed only by one with five. Considering the number of shots each team took, as well as the score of the game, Syracuse was clearly more efficient between the pipes. The complete box score from the game is here.

Syracuse remains ranked #2 in the Inside Lacrosse Poll. Syracuse remains #1 in the Coaches Poll. Syracuse improves to ten wins and remains with only one loss. Rutgers falls to four and six on the year. There were some very interesting developments on the scoreboard this past weekend. Notable scores include:

Saturday April 12:

Navy 6 – Army 9*
*Army beats Navy for the first time in 13 tries.

Princeton 9 – Harvard 8

Delaware 8 – Hofstra 11

Maryland 4 – Johns Hopkins 10

Georgetown 9 – Loyola 11

Hobart 7 – UMass 8

Ohio State 14 – North Carolina 11

Duke 19 – Virginia 9

The complete Inside Lacrosse Scoreboard appears here.

Syracuse takes on the Great Danes of Albany this Friday at 7:00pm in the Carrier Dome. While Albany has been a great team in the last couple of years, this season they have fallen off the rankings with a record of five wins and six losses. I will be on hand in the Dome to watch the game live and am pretty excited to see the squad for only the second time this season. Syracuse has only three remaining games on the schedule with Albany, then rival UMass in the Dome. Finally, they will finish the regular season in Hamilton, New York, at playing the Colgate Raiders. The Orange have the potential to finish the regular season with only one loss, but they must remain focused and play hard, especially against UMass, the hardest game remaining on the schedule. Syracuse is now playing for a seed, as they have all but locked their ticket being punched to the NCAA Tournament, most likely with a #1 or #2 seed.


Nunes::44 - 4/15/08

Greene leaves, Nunes fumbles... all is right?
It is Tuesday, which means it is time for our weekly chat between myself and Sean at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. After a week hiatus because both Sean and I were on Brent Axe’s show, we come back after another great week in lacrosse and some time has passed on Donte Greene’s decision. I throw the hard questions, Sean gives me the good answers.
1. Orange::44: Many would have thought by now that the Orange would have run out of steam, but they continue to beat their opponents in lacrosse by large margins, and their schedule seems to be favorable the rest of the way. Will they win out the season and enter the NCAA Tournament with only the one overtime loss, or will they falter before the big dance?

Nunes: Albany (4-6), UMass (5-5) and Colgate (6-5) are all that stand between the Orange and a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For a team like the Orange who have defeated #5 Georgetown and #16 Loyola and whose only loss was in OT to the #3 team in the nation, there's no reason to think they will lose again in the regular season.

It's been a pleasure to watch (well, in my case, read...) this season and in a weird way we have last year's disappointing season to thank for that. It reset our expectations and allowed us to appreciate a 10-1 Syracuse team when our reaction any previous year might have been "10-1? So what, call me when the Final Four begins..." We were kinda like the Atlanta Braves in that way. So good for so long that everyone stopped being passionate about it.

Now the big question is, once we get to the Big Dance and assuming we can return to the Final Four...can this team beat Duke? The Blue Devils aren't just beating great teams, they're decimating them. They beat Maryland 15-7 and defeated both UNC and Virginia 19-9. They're scoring at will and the closest anyone has been at the end of the game is 4 goals. Honestly, even with even records and similarly-tough schedules, it's silly that Duke isn't a unanimous #1 over Syracuse. They're that good.

2. Orange::44: Now that there has been time for reflection, what are your final thoughts on Greene jumping to the NBA Draft?

Nunes: Why were we shocked? Really, look back on the whole thing and we basically decided that 3-4 semi-joking comments by a 19-year-old overruled common sense and years of historical truth. Donte Greene didn't grow up dreaming of playing basketball at Syracuse, he grew up dreaming of playing basketball in the NBA. We should have known.

Yes, Donte Greene would benefit immensely from staying at SU another year. And we as fans felt like he was part of a very special puzzle. But at the end of the day, Donte doesn't owe any of us anything. He's his own man (or at least he will be) and 95% of people faced with the same situation would probably do the same thing.

I'm sure he's thinking that it would have been nice to win a championship at SU and ride off into the sunset like Carmelo. But really, does winning the NCAA title at SU have any bearing on Carmelo's day-to-day right now? Yes it vaunted him into the spotlight but he would have been the same exact player in the pros had SU lost in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament that year (and yes, he still would have left). Short term, it was an amazing experience and allowed him to be a huge part of history. Long term, it's a resume bullet point.

I'm sure that was Donte's thought process. I can become a millionaire and support my family and live like a rock star, or I can risk all of that so some strangers in Mattydale can feel better about themselves and my jersey sells like hotcakes in the student store, sales that I will receive exactly $0 from.

I wish Donte well. I don't agree with his choice but anyone who hates him for leaving is only doing so for their own personal reasons.

Here's a thought...was incoming recruit Kris Joseph's comments about he's staying for four years a dig on Greene or just coincidental? And how do the guys still at SU, who are certainly better friends with Greene than they are with Joseph, feel about it?

3. Orange::44: What, in your opinion is the biggest development in football related to the off season or spring practices?

Nunes: I was hoping I could say that the running game looks miles ahead of where it was last year but that doesn't seem to be the case. I think the most refreshing story has the arrival and subsequent ass-kickery of Mitch Browning. From what I've read he's completely broken down the entire offense. Goodbye West Coast. Goodbye Pistol. Goodbye Fatties. He's a man on a mission and at least in terms of his work ethic and his attention to detail, he's succeeding. Now we just need to see it translated on the field.

And was I the only one reading that Daily Orange article from yesterday thinking that when Greg Robinson gets fired, Mitch is the first guy whose gonna get interviewed? Made me wonder if he was as much Daryl Gross' hire as Greg's.

4. Orange::44: What do you think are the reasonable expectations for the football team next season and what would be the proper measure of success for Greg Robinson?

Nunes: Well, the opinion outside of SU and by the ill-informed would probably be that Syracuse has to go 6-6 in order for Greg Robinson to keep his job. In reality, I think four wins gets Greg a one-year extension.

Looking at the schedule, there's three games that SU absolutely has to win (Northwestern, Akron & Northeastern). There's three games we're almost likely going to lose (Penn State, West Virginia, South Florida). That leaves Pittsburgh, Louisville, Rutgers, UConn, Notre Dame and Cincy. How we do in those games will ultimately determine Robinson's fate. If the Orange go 4-8 (2-5), both of those numbers are improvements, however slight, and they will be able to point to the upticks as a reason for keeping the status quo.

Personally, I feel that if Robinson is able to get this team to 5-7, that's my personal acceptance level for giving him a one-year extension. I won't like it, but I think that with this schedule and all things considered, that will be enough proof that the corner is turned. I think.

5. Orange::44: What is the level of achievement that the basketball team needs to accomplish next season?

Nunes: If we can go all season with any cheese-steak theft, I think we'll have accomplished what we set out to do.


Obviously, this team needs to make the NCAA Tournament. That's beyond a shadow of a doubt. Paul Harris cannot and will not be the face of Jim Boeheim's first NIT three-peat. But making the tournament isn't going to be enough for these guys now. They are serious expectations based on the growth of Flynn, the maturation of Harris, the return of Devo and Rautins, the size of Onukau and Kristof! and the arrival of Kris Joseph et al. As of today, if you polled SU fans, I think you would find that most of them fully expect this to be no lower than a #4-seed, maybe #5-seed kind of team. Possibly even higher.

Now if this team does falter and misses the tourney, well, I can't even imagine what the Boeheim boo-birds are going to be saying.

6. Orange::44: Finally, Axe has had a week of shows in. How's he doing?

Nunes: Horrible. Absolutely horrible.

And by horrible, I mean great.

I listen pretty much straight through for the first three days and when I can since and I'm very rarely bored, which I would think in radio terms is the goal. Admittedly, I'm not invested in the Syracuse Crunch and the Chiefs so those segments I tune out but then again I'm not the audience for that.

I'm just really happy for him and it's been cool listening to all of the older listeners call in and express their appreciation for his return. I wasn't privy to Axe's first time around but I imagine the way it ended left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. It's also a testament to his appeal, that he's connected so well with the online crowd while also appealing to the truckers and blue collar guys out there.

Not sure if many others are listening on the webcast but it's been pretty solid, save for two things. #1, no pause button. I listen to Sirius online as well and that's a huge bonus. To be able to walk away and come back and not miss a beat makes a big difference. #2, I'd like to be able to listen to a lot of the segments and interviews (namely my own) at a later date. I know they're working on it so I figure we'll be seeing that feature soon.
At the end of the day, it's just to listen to some intelligent talk about a topic we all love. Was that so hard for everyone to figure out?

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.

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Carmelo Anthony Arrested for DWI

'Melo got crunk, then drove. Bad decision my friend.
Unfortunate news out of the NBA today. It was reported by the AP and that Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, and member of the Syracuse Orangemen National Championship team in 2003, was arrested in Denver on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, better known as a D.W.I. ‘Melo was driving on Interstate 25 in Denver at 4:00am Mountain Time today and was stopped for failing to drive in a single lane and failing to dim lights. He was reportedly given a Breathalyzer test at the scene. He was released on a bond and is scheduled to appear back in court May 14th.

The good news is there was no accident and no one was hurt. The bad news is that an arrest on your record is never good, and with his lawyer already issuing an apology letter on his client’s behalf, it looks like he probably did it. Also this is a huge distraction for his team looking to squeak in the conference’s last playoff spot. Of course Anthony is innocent until proven guilty, but it just does not look good.

When this news broke this afternoon I had several friends, some Syracuse alumni, but most just friends of mine who saw the news, wonder what I thought. Really, Carmelo Anthony got me a NCAA Championship while I was in school. For that, he would have to kill a guy for me to not stick with him. Honestly, while it is still a big deal, there were hundreds of people arrested for DUI or DWI this weekend, but because ‘Melo is in the NBA, this got mega press. If he was just John Citizen, this would matter little in the grand scheme, especially since no one was injured or killed. I would be a hypocrite if I did not say that this was absolutely unacceptable and if he pleads or is found guilty, he should be held responsible for his actions. It is just an unfortunate incident that happened at an inopportune time for the young man. Many people are right; not many good things happen after midnight.

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Orange::44 Explores The Day

The Day, circa Spring 2005.

It was reported by many of my friends still at Syracuse University that today was The Day. If you went to Syracuse you know exactly what I am talking about. If not, allow me to explain.

The Day, as it has become known to Syracuse and SUNY ESF students, is the first day of really nice weather in Syracuse, New York, at which point a vast majority of the student body does not attend class, but rather spends most of the day on the Quad laying out, chilling, playing catch, throwing a Frisbee, or generally loafs around enjoying the nice weather. Magical things happen on the day.

There are a few absolute truths about the day. It seems that no matter what your class schedule is, and no matter who you see, everyone on campus knows it is The Day. On The Day everyone, including the nerdiest nerd you know, can be convinced to take a day off. It is quite possible to have only six or eight people in a lecture that should have 50. For some reason at least one person you know has a Frisbee with them, or if a touch of prior planning has occurred, a few mitts and a baseball. Everyone possesses blankets that are laid out in a well choreographed dance of lounging and non-interference. While it will not necessarily be the hottest day you will see before you leave for the summer, you will remember it as being the sunniest. The Day is magical where you feel like anything is possible and any girl, now wearing tube and halter tops for the first time all year, is reachable. This is clearly not true, but the scenery on the quad is the nicest you will see all academic year. The day is when “spring fever” hits and you try to close the deal on that one last hook up before the year ends, or maybe you try to squeeze all the action you can out of a dying relationship that you know will end once summer rolls around.

The day is a release of all the pent up yearning for the weather to change, as well as a yearning for a break from the final push between Spring Break and finals time. It is a celebration of everything great about college life (Editor’s Note: While I am not advocating this, alcoholic beverages are allowed on campus in any open space as it is private property. However, alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any academic building, nor are open containers permitted on any sidewalk or in any street in Syracuse. Moral of the story, wait until you are on private property to crack open a cold one.). The Day is something to be cherished and celebrated. It is unexpected and spontaneous. The Day is a rite of passage in Syracuse. It is glorious, wonderful, and everything you could ever want during college. The Day still have a very special place in my heart, and merely saying The Day to a Syracuse alumni will be understood completely for what it is. I have many personal stories, four as a matter of fact, about the day, but the point is not to tell you about my Day. Rather, the point is to enjoy The Day yourself and create your own memories and stories. That is what The Day is about.

So, if you are a student reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed The Day. Your Day. Know that any alumni that once had The Day and no longer do are very jealous of you. There is no The Day when you work in an office, or in my case go to Law School. The Day has nothing to do with athletics, but as a fan of Syracuse, and possibly not an alumni of the school, I feel you should feel included as much as possible into the world of Syracuse University, even beyond athletics. Because really, even talking about The Day should put a smile on your face, even if you have never seen one.
Just a reminder that I will be appearing "On The Block" with Brent Axe, The Axeman tomorrow at around 3:30pm. You can listen online here at ESPN1260 by clicking "Listen Live". I will also link to the podcast of my appearance on the show when it becomes available.


Penn State = Off The Chain

Son, I think you may be batshit crazy.
Those boys at Penn State are at it again. It was reported in The Daily Collegian here and here that former Penn State sophomore wide receiver Chris Bell pulled a knife on a former teammate in a dining hall.

Bell was in the Pollock Dining Complex on the Penn State campus and then approached former teammate Devon Still with a foot long knife with an eight inch blade. He then said “Come get the case and I am going to stab you,” referring to an accusation made earlier in the day about the case to his cell phone being stolen by Bell. No injuries were reported during the incident, but Bell is facing charges of terroristic threats, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct (everyone gets a discon) and harassment. He is currently being held in the Centre County Correctional Facility. His bail was set at $50,000.

Bell, interestingly enough, was already on suspension from the team for his alleged participation in a fight on campus involving several football players in October. So Bell decided to brandish a knife on a former teammate, while suspended from the team, on another teammate. Did he think this would clearly fix his problem? Nothing says “let’s talk this out” like pulling a knife. Bell, who seemed to be a garbage time player, only caught seven balls in six games for a total of 143 yards. Needless to say he remains in the pokey and is innocent until proven guilty.

It must be something in the water in State College, Pennsylvania, where those kids get all antsy in their pantsy. JoePa needs to get a handle on some of these kids otherwise his legacy will not be because of the football field. Hat tip yet again to Sean from Nunes/Magician and his excellent linkables. He does it so you and I don’t have to.


Lacrosse (Bi)Weekly - 4/9/08

Miller, the "Josh Pace" Glue Guy of Syracuse Lacrosse.
Syracuse entered Tuesday’s game versus #5 Cornell with high hopes. Clearly the biggest game remaining on the schedule for the Orange, Syracuse had to make a statement win and do a service to Syracuse’s strength of schedule. They did all of that. Syracuse wins a pretty important game in Ithaca against Cornell by a score of 15 to eight.

Syracuse played another game full of offense. The 15 goals Syracuse scored is the highest total that Cornell has given up all season, and the eight goals Cornell scored is the lowest they have tallied all season as well. Syracuse led scoring in every quarter, including the second in which the Orange outscored the Big Red two to zero. Mike Leveille had five goals (yes I said five goals) and an assist. The real big player on the day was Kenny Nims who earned a career high seven points off two goals and five assists. Matt Abbot led groundballs for the Orange with five. Danny Brennan only won nine for 19 of the face offs he took, so not a stellar day but still quite competent. John Galloway had four saves and seven goals against in 56 and a half minutes between the pipes. Again solid considering what the scoreboard read at the end of the night. I have to give props to Jovan Miller who had one goal and one assist and is a big glue guy on this team.

Syracuse again shot much more than its competition. They shot 46 times compared to Cornell’s 33. ‘Cuse picked up 34 groundballs and Cornell only snagged 29. For the first time in a while Syracuse’s opponents won more face offs than Syracuse. Cornell won 15 out of 27, therefore Syracuse only won 12. Syracuse cleared 14 of 17 balls, while Cornell cleared 12 of 14. The Orange capitalized on four of ten extra man opportunities, while Syracuse’s penalty kill unit got the job done. Cornell converted on zero of six extra man chances. Cornell led in saves earning 14. This could be explained by the sheer number of shots that Syracuse takes. However, the former Syracuse player in goal for Cornell, Jake Myers, did not have a great night against his former squad with 15 goals against. Finally, Syracuse only had 20 turnovers, while Cornell had 23. The complete box score can be found here.

Other action on the day:

Tuesday April 8:

Yale 4 – Albany 15

Penn 5 – Princeton 14

Canisius 16 – Robert Morris 15

The complete Inside Lacrosse scoreboard can be found here.

Syracuse went into Ithaca hoping to affirm the hopes of Orange Nation; the team is back and will not be stopped. They did just that. They played a very good Cornell team and proved that they deserve those high numbers next to the name. They vanquish a team that beat them handily in the Dome last season, and proved that they are currently still the best team in New York. Also I find it good to beat any team from Ithaca in any sport. The team will now take on Rutgers on Saturday at 2:00pm in Piscataway, New Jersey. In the potential future Big East match up Syracuse should handily beat the unranked Scarlet Knights, but the Orange better remain focused as any team could surprise them in gunning for the top ranked Syracuse. Lacrosse is looking like they are firmly on the road to the Final Four with a fairly high seed. Enjoy the red hot lax team as they continue to prove they are back and ready for the postseason.


Donte, We Hardly Knew You

It is reported Donte will declare for the NBA Draft.
It has been reported by Axeman and Draft Express that Donte Greene is declaring for the NBA Draft. Apparently the draft board has him being selected 12th, going to the Sacramento Kings. Draft Express describes Greene as:

A smooth and extremely talented 6-11 wing player, was one of the most highly touted members of this year's freshman class, and finished second in the Big East in scoring. He struggled with poor shot-selection at times this season and failed to make the NCAA tournament, but will still be viewed as one of the more unique players in this year's pool due to his terrific combination of size, athleticism, perimeter skills and upside.

I know the NBA Draft really drafts potential, but Donte Greene? Really?! Greene had a few nice games, but for most of the second half of the season he was part of the problem and not the solution. He seemed unwilling to learn from Jim Boeheim most times, and he saying he suffered from poor shot-selection at times is a pretty sizable understatement. His defense could be best described as lazy and soft. Still, am I upset? Not particularly. If anything I feel disappointed for Greene. He may get somewhat of a payday, but he missed out on the experience. That is what life is about; experience, not a payday. He spent one season at Syracuse and for all the practice he put in he accomplished absolutely nothing of significance. He was not even the best freshman in the conference. So if it in fact is true that Greene will go I do wish him luck, but cannot help to feel sorry for a kid that probably would have jumped to the NBA had the one year rule not be in place, and really did not do anything too significant in that one year. He also leaves a team that looks to be absolutely solid the next season.

What does this mean for the team as a whole? Not too much in my opinion. Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf will be back next season, Flynn and Harris will be even more solid as they were this season, and three nice freshmen will be arriving on campus. This team will still be great, and best case scenario next season is that we now have three to five less “turnovers” because of Greene’s poor shot selection. While I am not rejoicing that he is leaving, many out there in Orange Nation are, and for Greene that is another sad fact.

I will have much more on this in my Season In Review coming out most likely next week. Due to this news I am again bumped from On The Block and am now scheduled to appear at 3:30pm on Friday. At least that is the current word from Axe. Stay tuned because probably at about 8:30pm tomorrow night I’ll be shoved to appear in May.
UPDATE: It has become official.


Nunes/Magician "On The Block" Liveblog!

I imagined Sean on the radio like Troy with a headset on.
Since Sean of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician was on Brent Axe's new show "On The Block" today on ESPN1260 in Syracuse today, and that he liveblogged the show yesterday, and the fact that The Sport Hump liveblogged the liveblog, I decided to liveblog Sean's appearence. It is an orgy of liveblogging! Enjoy!
4:00pm: Axe will be back out of the hard hourly break with Sean from Nunes/Magician on shortly. They keep proclaiming him the “Best Syracuse Blog”. You know what that means? Next time Sean and I are in the same town there will be an Orange Blogisphere knife fight.

4:03pm: There was a commercial on the internet stream for “Speed Racer” coming out soon. Will anyone on earth see this movie? Not likely.

4:06pm: Sean is finally on. Axe hedges his bet by saying no offense to us for calling Nunes/Magician the best Syracuse blog.

4:08pm: Already there was a Hot Pocket reference. Nice. Death pocket.

4:10pm: Another Orange::44 reference. Excellent. My ego is blowing up faster than Bill Self’s street cred.

4:11pm: Sean recounts the story of how he named the blog “Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician”. I agree, it is one of the best names for a blog period. No joke here, it is just the truth.

4:14pm: Axe makes a Marcy reference. If you know who Marcy is… you win.

4:16pm: Sean has a 9-5 job? I hope his employer doesn’t understand what internet is.

4:18pm: The word "flash" was just used by both Sean and Axe no less than 17 times within the minute.

4:20pm: Talking about Greg Robinson’s press conferences are good for no less than 4 laugh out louds.

4:24pm: Axe once again kisses Sean’s butt and Sean says goodbye. Excellent job fellas. I’ll do my best to not sound like a fool tomorrow.
I will be "On The Block" tomorrow with Mr. Axe around 3:30pm EST so please tune in for that. I know I'm looking forward to it and it should be a lot of fun.

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Best E-mail Ever!

Is Kristof! your friend?


Lacrosse Weekly - 4/8/08

Frinceton was indeed pucked.
Saturday has come and gone and Syracuse’s longtime rival Princeton was once again vanquished. After a season that was a disaster by every measure, and in the last meeting Princeton won 12 to eight, Syracuse has responded with six wins in a row, and a big win over #14 Princeton 13 to six.

Syracuse again never trailed in a game that was full of high powered Orange offense. The two teams played a tight first quarter, ending three to two. Syracuse and Princeton traded goals and the Tigers kept it close, but Princeton never scored after the 4:11 mark in the third quarter. Syracuse cruised to a great win. Steven Brooks and Brendan Loftus each had a hat trick in the game. Kenny Nims and Stephen Keogh each had two goals. Steven Brooks also had three assists for a total of six points. Matt Abbott had eight ground balls so he led the category. Danny Brennan won 15 of 21 face offs he took. John Galloway had another nice day in the cage, saving seven times and only allowed six goals.
Syracuse led in the shots category, as it has all season. Syracuse led 41 to 23. Princeton had half the amount of ground balls as Syracuse, only picking up 20, compared to Syracuse’s 40. The Orange won 15 of the 22 face offs of the game. Both Syracuse and Princeton did well clearing the ball. Syracuse cleared 14 of 18, while Princeton cleared 11 of 14. The penalty kill unit did its job as Princeton was unable to convert on three extra man opportunities. Syracuse converted on one of four opportunities. Princeton did lead the turnover category though, only having 11 while Syracuse had 12. The full box score from the game can be found here.

Syracuse drops one spot in the Inside Lacrosse ranking from the #1 spot to #2, but remains #1 in the coaches’ poll. Duke has the top spot in the Inside Lacrosse poll. I think it is pretty ridiculous when you win and drop a spot, but I guess we can settle for #2 in the nation. Princeton drops to #17 with a record of 4-4, while Syracuse improves to 8-1. The complete Inside Lacrosse Poll is here.

As always, there were more games than just ours. Here is the previous week’s scoreboard of important games:

Friday April 4:

Bucknell 7 – Army 4

Navy 5 – Maryland 4

Saturday April 5:

Johns Hopkins 6 – Duke 17

Rutgers 3 – Loyola 15

Denver 9 – Notre Dame 8

UMass 13 – St. John’s 8

The complete Inside Lacrosse scoreboard is here.

Syracuse has a huge contest tonight in Ithaca, New York in the unfriendly cement confines of Schoellkopf Field. They will take on #5 Cornell, who have become quite the rivalry game for Syracuse the past few seasons. Syracuse lost to Cornell last season in the Done 16 to 15 while Cornell was ranked #1. Now the tables have turned and Syracuse is ranked above Cornell so it should be quite the contest. That game will take place at 7:00pm and will surely not disappoint. This will be the toughest contest for the Orange until tournament time most likely so winning this game will be critical to the seeding of Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament. The folks at Inside Lacrosse release their midseason report and still slate the Orange in the #3 spot and provide some dos and do nots for the teams in the upper tier of Division 1 Lacrosse. Look for that article here. Enjoy the Cornell game if you can, and stay tuned today for me at 3:30pm and Sean from Nunes/Magician at 4:00pm on the new “On The Block” with Brent Axe, the Axeman on ESPN1260. I promise to be sober for this broadcast.
UPDATE: Due to the Axeman potentially having Donovan McNabb on the show today I will be appearing TOMORROW at 3:30pm instead of today. Stay tuned tomorrow for me, and scheduled to appear today at 4:00pm is still Sean from Nunes/Magician. However, if Donny Football calls, sorry Sean... you're out.


Happy Anniversary Orange Nation

It still warms my heart to think about it.
It has been five years. For some it feels like an eternity. For me, I was just happy to be in school when it happened, and was able to share it with my friends and family. It seems pretty unbelievable still that I was in the Carrier Dome watching Syracuse win the National Championship in basketball. Everyone has a story. Here is mine.

I had watched the Road to the Final Four from many places my sophomore year. For the games in Boston I watched from my 7th floor dorm room in Dellplain Hall. I was at the games in Albany, New York courtside playing in the pep band. For the games in New Orleans I could not attend due to school obligations and other forces beyond my control. I accepted this fate and tried to make the best of it. I parlayed the fact that they had a pep rally at Manley for the departing team into getting my “Class and Politics” class canceled in favor of driving to Manley to see the team off. The professor was at the time the chair of the Political Science Department, Professor Jeff Stonecash, and an avid basketball fan himself. Thank you JStone. My colleagues also managed to get ADA Rick Trunfio, professor of my “Judicial Process” class to extend our ten page final paper another week because we all knew no one was going to be doing any work if Syracuse won on Saturday and/or Monday. So then it came to Saturday and the game versus Texas. I watched the game on a mostly uncomfortable, typically college apartment, couch on the corner of Livingston and Stratford in my friend Anthony, Jeff, and Marcus’ apartment. The game was an exciting one, with big dunks by Warrick, nice shots by Anthony and McNamara, and Jimmy B. guiding it all. The game to me now is a little more than an orange blur, probably due to the sheer euphoria of it, and a few adult beverages. Then the magical thing happened. As soon as we won, someone yelled “we have got to get to M Street.” So we poured out of that apartment, on a Livingston street that has quite a few “real people” living on it, as in not college students. The amazing thing that happened was that apparently every other college kid on the street, all of whom had been watching that game, ran out in the street as well, and literally we all just began hugging each other and jumping up and down. I hugged about 14 complete strangers that night. We than ran towards Euclid, still in the street, and about ten feet from the corner a Syracuse Police Department radio car pulls around the corner with the lights on, stops, and we hear “get out of the road or you are going to jail.” We immediately complied with the law enforcement professionals, and proceeded to run, on the sidewalk, to Marshall Street. Not on my account, but the trees along M Street paid a hefty price that night. There was such a sentiment of disbelief that night. I remember running into people I had not seen since freshman year. I remember thinking “so this is what it feels like to play for a National Championship.”

Monday came. I had class that day, but was a little too excited to really focus. There was a buzz and an energy on campus that somehow made it seem like the Maxwell Auditorium was vibrating. I remember I wanted to have a drink in the Carrier Dome during the game, but all I had was Amaretto and sour mix. Yes, I realize that is extremely terrible, but you have to realize I was under age and it was all I had access to. So you make do, I mixed, poured it into a bottle, and promptly hid it in my coat for transport to the Dome. We arrived early, just after the gates opened, awaiting a 9:00pm tip. I was seated in Section 103 about four rows from the railing. The Dome was in the football configuration for lacrosse games, so there were no extra bleachers, only that old Astroturf. They had big screens set up on about the 20 yard line facing the end zone and each side. For only having like 13,000 people, it was loud as hell. I was with some of my best friends not in New Orleans, and could not wait for the game to start. I, not having a basketball jersey at the time, actually wore a Syracuse baseball jersey. Syracuse currently still only has a club team, so I don’t even know why they sold them in stores, but I being a Syracuse and baseball fan got one. So I, like Barney Stinson, suited up! The first half was amazing. After six three point baskets from a tiny kid from Scranton, Syracuse was up 11 points at the break. I remember the “holy shit we are going to win this” feeling the entire Dome had. Syracuse continued to roll until Kansas started climbing back. Warrick missed some free throws, and that old feeling of “how will Syracuse blow this” started rolling back. I may have been only four when that ’87 team lost to Indiana, but I was well acquainted with the legend. Then, the biggest demon that ever haunted Syracuse basketball or Jim Boeheim was exorcised in one move. Hakim Warrick made the block of his life, sending the ball out of bounds, only giving Kansas time for one more shot. With the lead at three points, and I with my friends arm in arm, Kansas inbounded the ball, Kirk Hinrich shot and missed, Duany rebounded, and the game was over. Syracuse had just won the 2003 NCAA National Championship. The Dome erupts in massive cheers, people rush the floor, my friends and I all hug and we all jump up and down, holding up our fingers in the #1. I called my mom and dad and shared a moment with my father who was born in Syracuse, was a big fan that took me to my first game, and vividly remembers the 1987 game. It was a special moment that rarely comes along between a father and son because of sports. We then run, although we felt like we were floating, down to M Street again. This time riot police are present in full riot gear. People climb trees again, t-shirts are burned, and then, as if God was smiling because of the win, it began to snow over us. It was as if all of the bad feelings and missed opportunities were burned and were falling like ashes over us. My night was by no means over. Some bets had to be cashed in. Because of the win, I was witness to a couple of naked laps on Ackerman Avenue. Walking all over campus, every person had to acknowledge to each other that we had won. It could have happened with a conversation, or simply a “Go Orange”, or even just a woo. I still had that paper due a few days later, but that night I could have failed all my classes and it would not have mattered. Every member of Orange Nation felt satisfied and finally vindicated. None more so than probably Jim Boeheim himself. Either way, what was guaranteed was that Syracuse will be National Champions until they held another one, and that was the most thrilling thought for any fan of Syracuse. I dreamt of the great moments and great games I had watched all season, and knew that I was part of a once in a lifetime college experience and something I would never forget.

Everyone has a story. Everyone that is a fan remembers exactly where they were. This is one of a million stories. Hopefully you were able to enjoy the game, especially with friends or family. I hope you could wave your championship flag in someone face that is an annoying fan of another team. Perhaps you were able to use “unranked to #1” often in your daily vernacular. Either way, it was a great moment in Syracuse history and one that should be remembered fondly. Please, if you feel so inclined, leave a comment about where you were when we won the National Championship, or feel free to reminisce with me. This is what makes being a fan all worth it.

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Are You On The Block?

One of us is a radio star.
Every once in a while something good happens to a nice guy. Luckily someone smart and in charge at ESPN 1260 in Syracuse realized that Brent Axe of The Axeman Bloggeth is entertaining, knowledgeable, and knows what he is doing. Therefore they gave him his own radio show Monday through Friday from 3:00pm-6:00pm. Conveniently for those not in the Syracuse/CNY area you can listen to the live stream of ESPN 1260 right here at there website. In his most recent posting Axe has listed some of the big guests appearing on his show for the week, some of which are kind of a big deal. Axe was nice enough to ask me to be on his show this week and that will most likely happen Tuesday at around 3:30pm, so you should clearly check that out, especially if you have enjoyed the Orange::44 podcasts. Definitely tune in today at 3:00pm for episodes of the retooled now ready for radio “On The Block”, I know I will.

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The Orange::44 Podcast Of Drunkenness

Once in a while adults like to drink (L to R: John Brennan, Brian Harrison).
Yes, the title is very accurate. This is the Orange::44 Podcast of Drunkenness. Why you may ask? Well because I just did a Power Hour (that is six beers in an hour) and I have my former roommate and radio co-host John Brennan with me. We debate such hot button topics as today’s lax game, how to get more people in the seats, Tom Crean, football, and the NCAA Tournament. It may be tough to get through, but it is definitely an entertaining ride. Enjoy the Orange::44 Podcast of Drunkenness. Why not? You have nothing better to do right? If you actually make it through the entire thing, please leave a comment. We need to know if two people is better than one. To download this podcast simply click here.

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Lacrosse Friday

A cross check to the back... no problem.
It is Friday which means, as per usual, there is not much going on in the blogosphere or at Syracuse too noteworthy. However, with the demise of the basketball team this time of year shifts focus to the pride of the program, lacrosse. There has been much ado about lacrosse on the pages of many Syracuse blogs lately, especially since the team has the #1 next to its name again. That means more focus and attention from the fans. At least it should. Attendance is down, especially from students lately, and the team has noticed. Even Brady has even gone so far as to ask students to come out in this lacrosse article. The Daily Orange Sports Blog has asked a question that involves me to a certain extent because they ask “where is the band?” I replied to the post with my knowledge of the past lacrosse band, The Tainted Orange Review, started by a familiar name, none other than this pages founder, and current Hoya Suxa editor Matt Glaude. Matt could probably even comment more, but the fact of the matter is, lacrosse is not as popular at Syracuse as it should be. So here it is, the official Orange::44 plea for you, the fan, if you are in Syracuse to go out and see the game this Saturday at 3:30 versus Princeton. Go cheer on the #1 team in the nation, your Syracuse Orange. I did not understand one bit of lacrosse when I stepped on the campus of Syracuse, and now I have come to appreciate it more than most sports. It involves expert stick handling, crisp passing, ridiculous shots at 110mph, oh yeah and whacking the snot out of your opponents. If you like hockey, wrestling, or even football, you should love lacrosse.

(H/T once again to Nunes/Magician for the linkables)


UMass, Penn State Players Love Masturbating

Ladies, if you see this guy reading a book get away.
Sometimes stories just write themselves. When I see “public”, “masturbation”, and “Penn State” I go on high alert. If there is one thing I enjoy doing it is publicly chronicling the law breaking of athletes of the schools that Syracuse plays. When two happen on the same day, it is amazing.

On April 2nd, the news broke via The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper, and also on With Leather (awesome picture), that told of a Penn State basketball player caught masturbating in the library on campus. Stanley Pringle, the team’s point guard, apparently approched the victim from behind near the stacks, attempted to talk to her, and just pulled it out and went to town. He was charged with public lewdness and disorderly conduct, or what we call a “discon” in the business. A spokesman for the school says that his status with the team has not changed. Interestingly enough, someone matching his discription that has not been caught, apparently did the same thing in the starewell of a dorm. Interesting.

Next, it was reported in The Daily Collegian, and on With Leather (again another great picture), that University of Massachusetts football player Sinclair Ridenhour was reportedly masturbating in his automobile on the campus of nearby Smith College while staring at a female jogger (is the J silent?). He was reported by said jogger after she approached the car because she thought he needed assistance when he exposed ‘Lil Ridenhour to her. What hour is it? Ridenhour! He is also facing charges from an incident earlier in the day where he grabbed a girl’s ass on the quad. This guy is the total package ladies. Smith College is in Northampton, Massachusetts, and so Northampton police are pressing charges, along with UMass and Smith College Police intended to file more charges soon. I am also disturbed that this happened only 30 minutes from my place of residence.

Moral of the story kids and athletes out there, please keep your junk in your drawers. Unless of course a lady, or a confused young man, wants to see it behind closed doors. Then all bets are off. The long arm of the law does not reach behind your bedroom door… usually. I think Syracuse will be hard pressed to find a team to play that does not have a player with some sort of charge on his jacket. You have to keep it clean kids. Stop. Breaking. The. Law.
(Hat Tip to Nunes/Magician for the linkable)



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