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When It Comes To Pride, Syracuse is #1

Since 1870, we're probably better than you.
I admit it. I’m a total Syracuse homer. Sure I can be objective when I need to, as all good bloggers or prognosticators should be. I even wear the journalist hat now and then. But I am a complete shill for Syracuse University usually. I spent a childhood growing up watching SU Basketball beat down Georgetown and St. John’s, watching McNabb pulling miracles, and watching with my father who was born in Syracuse. Hell, I even grew up in Elmira, the same town Ernie Davis grew up in. How could I have ended up anywhere else?

But I’m not here to convince you I’m the biggest SU fan of all time. Merely to illustrate that I understand the premise I’m about to tell you in and out. Too often Syracuse fans get labeled as “fair weather”, several times by me. Usually it is quite warranted, as evident by the many empty bleachers at various games in the Carrier Dome. However, all that said, is there any alumni base more loyal to their school than Syracuse?

I submit that once you graduate from Syracuse University, you become a lifelong advocate for the school, the academic programs, and the sports. What evidence could I possibly have to back this up? Besides my own opinions and habits (and the SU bloggers that graduated from Syracuse know what I mean), you only need to look to the top three sports teams on the hill. Each team, referring to football, basketball, and men’s lacrosse, are coached by men who graduated from Syracuse. Not only that but several assistant coaches are alumni as well. Few other schools, if any, have had the situation where the top three money making sports for the NCAA are occupied by a school’s alumni. And bracketing football Head Coach Doug Marrone because it is his first season at the helm, the programs are very successful because of this fact.

Look no further than Jimmy Boeheim and his staff. The Hall of Famer has four Syracuse graduates on his staff in Bernie Fine, Mike Hopkins, Lazarus Sims, and one Gerry McNamara as a graduate assistant. Turning to lacrosse, the most successful program in Division 1 lacrosse history, Head Coach John Desko is an alumnus, along with each of his three assistant coaches Kevin Donahue, Lelan Rogers, and Roy Simmons III. Both programs are obviously outstanding in their respective sports, and obviously there is something special about them, and the consistency of the various sports, that draws alumni back to coach at Syracuse.

No where else in the college world does this happen. You don’t see Patrick Ewing coming back to be an assistant at his alma mater. Nor does it happen at any other Big East institution. It does not happen at other BCS schools either. It only happens at Syracuse in which so many people that are alumni come back to be associated with the programs. And this happens in various degrees for most alumni. Another big example would, of course, be Carmelo Anthony. He was only at Syracuse for one year, but his experiences, regardless of winning a National Championship, amounted to one of the best experiences in his life. To repay that debt he donated $3 million to help build a state of the art basketball facility. As a private institution, Syracuse does not receive state money for athletic facilities like other state schools, so it must come from somewhere. Carmelo stepped up out of his fondness of Syracuse and $3 million is an awful lot of gratitude.

Of course regular alumni like me experience this kind of feeling about Syracuse. Syracuse alumni occasionally donate money back to the school, but it more readily shows by the number of children that go to Syracuse after their parents did. It shows by the various alumni organizations Syracuse has, and the vast areas where there are clubs. This simple fact is, when it is all said and done, and no matter what happens on the athletic field, Syracuse graduates love their school and take pride in having a degree that says Syracuse.

While it is true that most people are proud of their alma mater, clearly Syracuse wins again. Just to be clear: Suck it Connecticut, Georgetown, and any school not named Syracuse. After all, what would school pride be without a little friendly rivalry?

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3 Responses to “When It Comes To Pride, Syracuse is #1”

  1. # Blogger Josh

    Also, McNabb is (or at least was, for a time) on the board of trustees or whatever it's called. I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

    Excellent points all around. I never thought about it before but you are spot-on. Let me also add that this phenomenon extends to Syracuse natives. I didn't go there for school but I grew up there. I have a cluster of friends from high school that are still all really good friends (everyone on Cuse Country staff is part of this group). When we are together we invariably are talking about Syracuse, to the point that our other friends all want to go there sometime so they can see what all the fuss is about.  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Josh,
    Thanks for stopping by as always. McNabb is still on the Board of Trustees. It's funny how conversations work their way to Syracuse like that. Keep up the good work over on your site.  

  3. # Anonymous Kevin

    Patrick Ewing doesn't need the money.

    That's really all I have to contribute here.  

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