Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

Nunes::44 - 6/17/08

Talking about football... a little more Troy's speed.
It is Tuesday, which means it is time for another installment of my correspondence with Sean of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. Today, we talk about a lot of football to wet your appetite of massive anticipation for the upcoming football season. Or, at least it will be interesting to read. Enjoy.

1. Orange::44: What exactly is the deal with Donte Greene? Does he really ever need to mention Syracuse again or should he continue to talk about it with the media?

Nunes: It's funny because only now that he's gone are we realizing exactly who Donte Greene really is. That's not to say he's a bad guy, but did you ever see this much personality from the kid during his time at school?

On one hand, I'd be pissed too if I were him and that was the reaction I got. At the end of the day, Donte has to look out for himself and he owes Syracuse fans nothing. If he hurt his knee next year and was unable to ever play again, Syracuse fans wouldn't start sending him checks to take care of him. We'd all feel bad and then move on. So at the end of the day I don't blame the guy for leaving. I still don't think it was the right move, but I'm also the same guy who once said Donovan McNabb wouldn't cut it in the NFL. So my opinion is moot.

On the other hand, Donte is exhibiting all of the signs of your prototypical me-first, whine-if-I-don't-get-my-shots, chip on his shoulder, selfish, prima donna in training...something the NBA is very familiar with. He's claiming that had he stayed at Syracuse his legacy would have rivaled Gerry McNamara. He's admitting that the reduced availability of shots for himself is a reason he left. He's blaming the zone defense for making him look bad defensively. He's calling out Syracuse fans as a whole for not supporting him. He's talking himself up as the best small forward in the draft.

The last one I don't have a problem with by itself, I'm all for being confident in yourself, but as part of the larger discussion it veers closer to cockiness than confidence.

The more he talks, the less he finds Syracuse fans stepping up to support him. Yes, a bunch of nitwits blasted his Facebook site with insults, but surely he can't believe they represented the majority of Syracuse fans? At the moment, if Donte Greene walked into the Dome during a game, he'd probably get booed. Not for anything he did on the court but for everything he's doing off it. That's the irony, he's the one getting attacked but for the 50% of the SU fanbase who wouldn't know Facebook from Yellow Book, all they hear is Donte calling them out over something they didn't do. Not good.

I can't imagine any of this stuff looks good to NBA scouts either. What Donte has gone through so far is NOTHING compared to the toil the NBA will take on a young player, especially one with as many question marks as he. I would think he'd want to prove that he's mature, above the criticism and able to just put his head down and play. Do NBA teams really want ANOTHER me-first whiner? Is that really putting your best foot forward?

If I'm in charge of Donte's career, I tell him to quit whining, put his head down, prove to teams that he's here to play and here to learn and that the off-the-court stuff is a distraction he wants no part of and doesn't notice anyway.

2. Orange::44: Williams is basically gone for at least this season. Who will now be looked at to pick up the slack for the absence, and will the offense be any good at all?

Nunes: The running backs. The focus is firmly on them to resurrect the running game, either as a unit or through the emergence of one star. It's so tough to say who is going to step out of the pack, and it seems like Robinson is keeping it close to his chest regardless.

If the running game can improve (and really, how COULDN'T they?), maybe that could open up the passing game and allow Andrew Robinson to create opportunities for Lavar Lobdell, Marcus Sales the rest of this developing receiving unit.

If the running game stalls again...God help us all.

3. Orange::44: Syracuse continues to have one of the hardest schedules in the nation. What do you see are the advantages and disadvantages of having such a hard schedule, and why the heck, when you are trying to rebuild a program, are we still doing it?

Nunes: In a perfect world, it's a great idea. But when you're 2-10 and facing a schedule that doesn't provide you with many opportunities to improve on that number unless your personnel vastly improve in a very short time, it's a very bad idea.

Seriously, imagine if we just took one season and scheduled creampuffs across the board. We wouldn't have to improve off the field drastically in order to improve drastically on the field. We'd jump up the win column quickly, attract better recruits, possibly make a bowl game sooner than expected and then we'd be in much better shape to play the 11th toughest schedule in the nation the next season.

So we'd be Kansas State or Clemson for a season. God forbid. Show me an Orange fan who would take the current schedule and another 2-10 season over a creampuff schedule that allows us to go 6-6 this season and I'll show you a crazy, crazed insane crazy person...who's crazy.

I get that playing Penn State and USC and those kinds of teams gets us in the national spotlight. But what good is being the in the national spotlight when you're losing 56-3?

4. Orange::44: What football team does Syracuse currently not play that you wish we did, and what team do you see on the schedule this year or in the next or last few that you wish we did not play?

Nunes: You know my schtick. There's three teams that Syracuse should rotate playing every season. At all times we should be playing at least two teams out of Boston College, Penn State and Maryland. Their geographical rivals, they're longtime rivals and they're recruiting rivals.

We've got Penn State back, we'll have BC back in 2010. But for some reason, it never occurs to us to play Maryland. We've built up a quiet rivalry with them in basketball, which I'd love to see more of as well. And it's a great time, Maryland is decent but not a powerhouse by any means. It's a winnable game for us...I think.

As for who I wish we didn't's not USC. As much as I'm against playing powerhouses right now, it's just too big an opportunity to pass up. And we still have three years to at least be respectable by the time we head out to LA. Plus, being an LA citizen, I'm giddy.

It's actually Northeastern. I'd rather we played a Division 1-A team but if we have to play a 1-AA team, why not one we have some kind of relationship with. Why not Villanova? Why not UMass? Why not Albany? Why not Georgetown? At least there would be a superficial reason for us to care about this one.

As-is, this game actually terrifies Syracuse fans. It's a no-win game. If we win, we fully expect it to be a harder fought win than it should be. And if we lose, well, we really lose. Then again if we lose, maybe Robinson gets canned on the spot, and in that case, maybe we win. It's all very cyclical.

5. Orange::44: You've showcased other people's thoughts on the Big East Lacrosse conference forming, but I'm curious, what do you think about it?

Nunes: I've said I'm all for it. Long-term, I don't see a downside.

1. Schedule - We have to add Providence, Notre Dame, St John's and Villanova to the yearly schedule so we'll have to make some tough decisions. Or will we? Cutting loose Binghamton and UMass is no big deal. After that, well it's probably between Hobart and Albany, which are both shames, but in the grand scheme not such a big deal as compared to losing a rivalry with Johns Hopkins, Virginia or Princeton.

2. Other teams - On their own, St. John's, Providence and Villanova would probably need a decade to reach a level that is competitive with the Syracuses and Georgetowns of the world. As part of the Big East, it should take half that time. Yeah at first there's gonna be a lot of 20-6 games while these programs build up. But recruiting will be so much easier for them when they get to say they have Cuse, ND and Georgetown on the schedule every year. The Big East name will help them schedule strong out of conference. And sooner or later one of them will beat one of the big guys and put the fear of God in us all that there might be some balance to this.

3. The sport - The sport is growing up. Conferences are taking shape. Auto bids are being decided. The sport is expanding away from the power brokers and sharing the wealth. The days of willy-nilly scheduling and arbitrary tournament bids are ending (which you may or may not see as a good thing). It's beginning to look like a sport the mainstream can get into. They're seeing old rivals in a new form. It's easy to root for your team when your playing a hated foe.

In all, I like it.
6. Orange::44: Finally, what do you think DOCTOR Gross' ideal summer vacation is?

Nunes: Find out where the Syracuse men's lacrosse team is taking their vacation and then DOC Gross will be there...staying in their hotel rooms, sipping their pina coladas and wearing their Bermuda shorts.
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: , , ,

6 Responses to “Nunes::44 - 6/17/08”

  1. # Blogger Frankie

    ...hitting on their co-eds, accepting their accolades...  

  2. # Blogger Russianator

    In regards to scheduling, that's done years in advance, so other than or two, its hard to change much short term.

    Second, the fan base simply will not show up for cupcake games.

    Sadly, for our opponents, we are cupcake games.  

  3. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I do love how they made homecoming against Northwestern in hopes of A) a win and B) getting a lot of people to show up (I don't think they'll get either) for what promises to be one of, if not the worst game played in Division 1 this year.

    And yes I said Division 1, I refuse to call it the Bowl Football Subdivision, because that acknowledges that the BCS is still in place and I am a crotchety old man.


    PS What are your thoughts on the most recent mock draft on ESPN that has Green going to the Suns with the 15th pick. That might actually work out for him, they like to run and not play defence. He'll fit in perfectly there.  

  4. # Blogger MariusJanulisForThree

    Wonder if that style will change with the coaching change. But if not, yeah its a perfect fit for him.

    But I honestly think he thinks he's going 5-10. He'll be disappointed if he falls further.  

  5. # Anonymous Anonymous

    He totally thinks he is going in the 5 - 10 range. As of February he could have been, but he tanked down the stretch. And if Isiah were still running the Knicks I would bet that he goes there. Because he would be another tweener, who doesn't like to use his size and prefers to face the basket from 12 to 20 feet, which in college is acceptable, but doesn't fly too often in the NBA.


  6. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Yeah, my gut now tells me he'll fall in the 18-25 range. Sucks to be Donte Greene these days I guess.  

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).