There are a lot of people who go into a good Syracuse win. Sure, there are the coaches and the players. They do their part. But there are so many other equally-important folks. The Sour Citrus Society...without them, who would even remember who the Blues Brothers were? The Carrier Dome ushers, who wield their power with a mighty, yellow-shirted fury that keeps order from turning to chaos. And the fans, especially the ones who go above and beyond the call of duty in support of their program.
In Saturday's win over Marquette, there was one such fan in the crowd who did just that. He rose above everyone else. Figuratively and literally. He is Big Head Boeheim.
I had a chance to speak with Big Head Boeheim's handler, Pat Manley (
no relation to the guy with the Field House, I think, actually, Pat's great uncle is Dr. George L. Manley, University trustee the namesake of Manley Field House. How bout that!), to find out more about our new friend and athletic supporter.
So where does the idea for creating a giant Jim Boeheim Head come from?
A lot of colleges around the country have had giant heads in the stands, particularly on College Gamedays, so I really can't take credit for the idea. Over the years I never understood why the SU Student Section didn't follow suit at games, so now that I'm an SU student myself, I decided to make it happen. Although the idea has been used before, I'm pretty sure there haven't been too many heads measuring close to 5 feet...it took up the entire jumbotron.
How does one make such an item?
I think the overall process took about 6 hours. I started with a high resolution image of Coach Boeheim that I found through Google and then uploaded it to blockposters.com. From there I was able to blow up the image and download it to a .pdf file of 30 pages. After that, I cut out all the individual pieces and glued them to pieces of foam board. The process was pretty simple and relatively cheap.
Did you have to clear it with the Dome beforehand or just when you got there?
I double checked the Dome policy and didn't see anything that prevented me from bringing a giant head to the game, so I just showed up with it. The hardest part wasn't clearing it with security, but physically getting it into the Dome--Giant Jimmy barely fits through the revolving doors.
Will we see Giant Jim Boeheim head in more games this season?
Giant Jim Boeheim will definitely be at the Georgetown game (I'm in class until 5:10 so hopefully I can get a decent seat), and as long as it remains intact I'll be bringing it to every home game.(Ed. Note: If you're a student and don't make sure Pat and BHB have a seat when he gets there, you're worse than Hitler).
Can we expect to see more big heads? Maybe a Big Wes?
If I can get my hands on the right images, I'm hoping to have a majority of the players, coaches, and some former players blown up by the time Villanova comes to town on 2/27. There might even be a few surprises in there. If I can get 20+ heads to pass out at the 'Nova game, the student section will look pretty ridiculous.
Who doesn't like ridiculous? Keep doing the lord's work, Pat. Every other Syracuse student...the bar has been raised.