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An Open Letter to Mike Veley

Mr. Excitement will be back in action this fall.

Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter to Mike Veley, the public address announcer in the Carrier Dome for football, men’s basketball, and men’s lacrosse. The following open letter is addressed to Mike Veley for his and the general public’s benefit and addresses football, specifically for the upcoming hope opener for the Syracuse Football team. I have sent this letter to Mr. Veley directly.

Dear Mr. Veley,

May I call you Mike? I’m going to take the liberty of doing that but please don’t think less of me. I know we have never truly met. I was introduced to you once during the 2004 football season when I was in the press box during a football game, but I’m sure you don’t remember me. Just to let you know a little about me briefly, I’m a 2005 graduate of Syracuse, a season ticket holder, and a loyal alumnus who generally supports a lot of Syracuse Athletics. I also have a law degree and I run this blog, where I hope you are reading this. I know we here at Orange::44 haven’t been too kind to you in the past, but we’re willing to put that in the past if you are, for the good of everyone that enters the Carrier Dome this football season.

Now, I don’t want to put you off by this next sentence, but it may, so I urge you to keep reading. Not many people like to listen to you in the Carrier Dome. I’m included in that. Everyone I sit with at games (all of whom are season ticket holders) tend to not like listening to you too. And many of my blog readers feel the same way. “Drilled and spilled” is not clever and when you say it four to five times a game it makes it worse. Any other cute sayings you have are also not clever. As a matter of fact they are quite annoying. They distract from what is occurring on the field, and even if the game isn’t going quite well, I’d still rather watch terrible football than listen to someone saying terrible phrases thinking he is entertaining and enlightening the crowd, when in actuality is just enraging it.

But all is not lost. The good news is that you can do better. That is if you want to. Your predecessor in the public address position, Carl Eilenberg, was loved by everyone. The reason was a tried and true method as old as time. He kept it simple. He gave you the information in a clear and concise matter, used an appropriate level of volume and inflection, and was always professional. The secret to success in your position is the same now as it was when Carl was there.

Look, you’re very accomplished and I know you’re not an idiot. You got a master’s degree from Cornell before I was even alive. You’re not a dumb individual. This is why it is so mind boggling that you would continue to think that the shtick that you used would appeal to the masses that attend a Syracuse game regularly. Especially since the phrases never changed anyway. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe they would induce a smile in some of the crowd on the first pass, but after that surely the law of diminished returns would be evidence enough to retire that particular phrase from your lexicon. But again, the moral of this letter is to assure you that people do not want gimmicks. Syracuse fans are tired of all the marketing and public relations nonsense that Syracuse continues to use. I and the rest of the Syracuse fans attending the game are already there. No further convincing is needed. Telling the result of a play, yards gained on the play, by whom, and/or the yardage to gain for a first down is really all the information we need spoken to us. Anything more is unnecessary and probably unwanted.

Please don’t consider this an attack. I truly meant this as constructive criticism to enhance my, and everyone’s, Carrier Dome experience. Because I’ll be honest, sitting through another season of hearing the same phrases is not a comforting thought. I’ll be in the Carrier Dome whether you are there or not. The game is bigger than you, not the reverse. I didn’t pay my ticket to hear you. I bought it to watch my alma mater compete on the grid iron. If you remember that you should be fine.

I do hope you read this and consider what I’ve written here. It comes from a point of honesty and the hope that both you and the university make things better for everyone that attends a game. You seem like a nice individual and I’m sure you will take this under advisement and deep down you’re probably smart enough to know everything I’ve written is true. But do try to have a good season. I know I’ll enjoy being there in the Carrier Dome, a place I’ve spent a significant portion of my life in since 2001 when I stepped on campus as a freshman. I hope you enjoy being there too, knowing that you are doing a far better job as being the voice in the ether at the Carrier Dome.

Sincerely,

Brian Harrison
Editor, Orange::44

PS – If you could do something about hearing the same six songs nine times during the games and letting the Marching Band play more that would be great too.

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11 Responses to “An Open Letter to Mike Veley”

  1. # Anonymous Mark U - Class of 2008

    I myself have known Michael Veley for almost six years now, and would like to make a few comments.

    Brian, given the state of Syracuse Athletics, I shake my head and question why you would take so much time and energy into criticizing THIS part of the athletics program. If you attacked the attendance, the under-developed facilities, or the over-paid coaches for non-income driving sports... you may have a point.

    Michael Veley built the Sport Management Program (academic major) at Syracuse from the ground up. ALl this, after having a long and successful career working within the athletics program with their marketing / promotions team. If you go up and down the staff / faculty list at Syrcause, few people can compete with Michael Veley when it comes to dedication, hard-work, and passion for Syracuse Athletics.

    Your attempt to isolate and criticize this man who has sacrificed not only years, but DECADES of his life promoting this program, is distasteful and ignorant.

    Michael Veley brings a passion with him while conducting all THREE of his responsibilities on campus. First, with his primary job as the head of the Syracuse Sport Management program. Secondly, as the Director of the Sport Management Club. Thirdly, as the PA announcer.

    Are some of the sayings he uses during the Basketball games different,...? Yea sure, I'll give you that. But you know what..? So is a standing ovation to start the game, throwing balloons up in the air after the first basket, and serving alcohol in the stadium. We do things differently at Syracuse because it creates character and a unique fan experience that cannot be matched in the NCAA ranks.

    I highly suggest before choosing to put someone's picture at the top of your blog because you don't like how they describe a three-point play, you do some research. Make sure you really want to publicly call out someone who bleeds orange, more than you or myself ever could.

    You've lost me as a reader. Michael Veley has been nothing but loyal to this program and has never faltered in his work ethic.

    He deserves better than this. And I feel awful, knowing how hurt he will be reading this article.


    Mark U
    Class of 2008  

  2. # Blogger Russianator

    I stand and rise at my desk to give you a standing ovation. I hope I don't get drilled and spilled by a secreatary for doing so.  

  3. # Anonymous The Bluehair in Section 101.

    Down in front Russianator.  

  4. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    I guess Mark had a problem posting this. Here is a response to my letter:

    http://markurquhart.net/post/1133207895/an-open-reply-to-orange-44  

  5. # Anonymous WAAAAAAAAAAH

    Mark, get a life.  

  6. # Anonymous Anonymous

    A TAD cruel but it needed to be said. As you said, Veley seems like a really nice guy and obviously loves SU athletics and the university as a whole. Thats great. But his PA announcing is atrocious. Absolutely ATROCIOUS. I hope he sees this and tones things down  

  7. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Disagree, I didn't like Carl either. He was annoying as well. Give me Bob Sheppard doing Giants games. Thank you that is all.  

  8. # Anonymous Anonymous

    @ Brian, my question to you is why put this letter in the public domain? You could have sent this letter directly to him, and stopped there. If you didn't get a response or the response you were looking for then you could have just as easily put it as an open letter stating that you attempted to address the matter, which you find "annoying" and it wasn't even addressed. It just looks tacky man.  

  9. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    The simple answer is I run a blog and this one was a public service. This isn't the first time I've posted an open letter, and it probably won't be the last. Thanks for reading Anonymous.  

  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    You obviously missed an important lesson while attending college - "if you don't have anything nice to say, you don't say anything at all".
    Seriously - this is the most pressing thing happening in your world?? Your need to publicly insult someone? And now you can sleep at night - knowing your negative bashing was posted? Very sad. And extremely pathetic. I feel sorry for you. How awful to go through life with so many negative thoughts and motives weighing you down. It must be a sad and pitiful existence.
    And to Michael Veley - I appreciate your dedication, your announcing, and your excitement - keep up the excellent work!  

  11. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Well thank you Anonymous for your comment. You've enumerated several reasons why I do a blog and I don’t work for a newspaper. So I can express opinions. It’s what we do here. It’s what blogs are used for. At least I have the fortitude to put my name on my opinions and own them, despite the fact you may disagree.  

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