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Syracuse & Boston College: The Recent Games

So here's to the outhouse on the hill!
Syracuse plays Boston College on the gridiron tomorrow for the first time since 2004. Some might say it's a rivalry renewed. Others might say it's just another game. Whatever you want to call it, this game has a bit of meaning for me, and I hope to God Syracuse wins it.
Back in 2000, I was but a lowly freshman at Syracuse. The Orangemen (as they were then called) were having a mediocre year. They were 3-2 hearing into an October 14 matchup against BC in Chestnut Hill. Being in the band at the time, these were the people I was quickly becoming friends with, so when some of them offered me the opportunity to travel with them to attend the game I jumped at the chance. My first road trip in college!
I remember being in Alumni Stadium -- back when they had Astroturf -- and watching the game from the upper tier in the end zone. Troy Nunes was having one of his signature games: some costly sacks and turnovers, and BC ahead late in the game. This was the game I started witnessing the true coaching acumen of Paul Pasqualoni: that when down 20-13 in the waning minutes of a game, one should kick field goals. "We're only 3 field goals away from taking the lead!" Well, of course, we all know that strategy didn't work, and Syracuse lost by that 7 point margin. While my first college road trip didn't end with a victory, it was the weekend I first learned how to play the card game "Asshole;" I heard a friend's mother lecture him about the importance of networking, of meeting people; and I made it to Harvard Yard by way of a wrong turn into Dorchester (wrong turn being an understatement). But more importantly, the travel bug had caught me, and I knew that one day I would need to exorcise the demons of this loss.
While Syracuse won at the Dome against the Eagles in 2001, lost at BC in 2002 without me present, and then beat the Eagles in the Dome in 2003, talk started mounting about Boston College defecting to the ACC. A conference foe that we played every year would be leaving our schedule. 2004 comes along, and Syracuse is reaching the height of its football frustration. At 5-5 overall, Syracuse had one game left on its schedule: at date with Boston College at Chestnut Hill on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. November 27, to be exact. I knew there were some friends -- particularly those living in the Boston area -- planning on going to the game. But I hadn't really made any plans. I mean, who would want to leave Horseheads, NY to go spend some time in Boston? But peer pressure got the most of me, and I made that six hour drive out to Boston.
Turns out, I wouldn't regret it. Now, I didn't have a ticket for this game. But as my friends with tickets filed into Alumni Stadium, I was searching around for a scalper with the greatest deal. I wasn't having much luck. Finally I found one offering a lower-tier end zone ticket for, I don't even know how much. I think I pleaded with him that all I had was $40 in my wallet (which was true -- the rest was in my pocket) so I took the ticket for the $40. Then I saw the face value was $11, so I immediately didn't feel bad for bargaining with the guy. So I get into the stadium, and of course it's basically nothing but BC fans around me. I didn't care, I was wearing my blue-colored home 44 jersey and supporting my team. Syracuse -- check that -- Diamond Ferri went out guns a blazing. I think he was playing offense, defense, and possibly even special teams in this game, and just totally dominating all of it. The 43-17 Syracuse victory that day earned the team a 6-5 record, a share of the Big East title, a bowl berth in the Champs Sports Bowl, and exorcised the demons from my 2000 trip.
So, if there had been a rivalry up to that point, and BC's defection to the ACC was going to end that rivalry, well then Syracuse certainly ended it in prime fashion. But of course, the competitor in me was just elated to hear a couple years ago when the schools announced they were signing on to a long-term deal to start playing each other again. That travel bug is still with me, so of course I'll be making those drives out to Boston every other year. But it starts here, and it starts now, with tomorrow's game in the Carrier Dome. The Saturday after Thanksgiving. November 27, to be exact.
And now, just because I want this to be all over the Interwebs so that nobody can claim to not know it, here are the real words to the Boston College Fight Song:
For Boston, for Boston,
The Outhouse on the Hill.
For Boston, for Boston,
You suck and always will!
So here's to the Outhouse on the Hill:
For Boston, for Boston,
The Outhouse on the Hill.

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