Jamie Dixon appeared on the Jim Rome radio show this afternoon. His overall message about his team this year: You can't get too up after a win and you can't get too down after a loss... especially in the Big East.
Thank goodness the Orange players haven't reacted like some of the Orange "faithful" I've heard talking since Sunday afternoons loss to Louisville... at least I hope they haven't, because then maybe we should panic. However, anyone that has followed this team for as long as some of us have can remember much, much darker days.
The bottom line is that teams lose games, especially in the Big East. This isn't college football. The Orange didn't just lose a shot at a national title. They didn't lose their shot at anything. But, like Sean posted earlier, if you've read some of the things fans have written or heard some of the things they've said over the past couple days, you might think the season was doomed for failure. On the way home from the game on Sunday, during the post game show, I heard one caller make the point that certain players needed to get more playing time. I assure you, Syracuse did not lose because Mookie Jones or Brandon Triche did not play enough. I like to think Jim Boeheim knows A LOT more about his team than all of us do, so I leave the personnel debates up to him. Another caller belittled the fanbase and said their effort wasn't up to par. yet, no other team has had a crowd bigger than Syracuse's 4 biggest crowds this season.
Lets not disappoint the players. I've been going to games since i was in the whom, over 25 years ago. I was there for Adrian Autry and John Wallace and Jonny Flynn. No team I can remember has been as fan friendly as this one has. Before almost every game K-Jo and Scoop walk over to a crowd of fans to talk to them before the game. At the USF game Kris Joseph walked up to my girlfriend and I standing at end-court watching them warm up and told us it was fan appreciation day. he thanked us all for the support. Real fans support their team whether they win or lose. I drive 2 hours both ways to watch the Orange play at the Dome. Nothing gets me more upset than hearing about my friends from high school (who were Duke and UNC fans until this year) or other people I know complaining about how poorly this team is playing when last year they couldn't have cared less about the state of Syracuse basketball.
So, to all the "fans" that casually show up when Syracuse plays well, or show up when they have a season like this one, I ask you... PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, for the real fans who go to all the games we can, and fight the emotional battles of each game as if we were actually on the team, do not ruin all of that by slandering former players and condemning current ones. Don't bring us down with your negativity, and don't ruin this year for us. If anyone out there is like I am, then they know how much joy Syracuse basketball brings to my life, whether they win or lose. I go to games to see the team play, to spend time with my father, to drink a beer, and cheer on the Orange.
I'm not trying to sound like there aren't other great fans out there. I know there are. There are so many great Syracuse fans out there. There are plenty that read this blog each and every day. I guess what i'm trying to say is that, for some of us, being a Syracuse fan is a priveledge, not a right. And that stands whether the team is 24-2, or 2-24. Root on Otto-man Empire. Lets finish this year strong. G'Orange!
P.S. Sean, I'm sorry if this is piggy-backing your piece from earlier today. I merely wanted to express how much I agreed with pretty much everything you said. Write on, always.