Before we get into The Quest For Beef, I thought it a good idea to understand how we got here. It's like my grandma always says, you can't understand the failed attempts to qualify for a bowl game of the present if you don't understand the failed attempts to qualify for a bowl game of the past.
In 2007, Syracuse's hopes were non-existent. Years removed from our last bowl game and with no real end in sight to the blight that was The Greg Robinson Era, I felt as though SU fans needed something to believe in. They needed to focus their attentions not on loses and embarrassment but on the chance of something better. A possibility.
The Quest For Toronto was born.
Six wins. That's all we were asking for. Six measly wins. We didn't need a conference title or a bowl game that's been in existence for 50 years. Hell, we didn't even need a bowl game played within the boundaries of the United States of America. Any bowl game would suffice. And since the worst Big East qualifier almost always ended up in Toronto's International Bowl...why not us?
Plus, if we made it, you wouldn't even have to buy a plane ticket. A bowl game in a nearby city even colder than ours against a 6-6 MAC team. Orange boys and girls can dream, I suppose.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be in 2007. We made it to the first week of October before shutting it down. In 2008, we made it all the way into November. In 2009, we almost lasted the entire season with our hopes high and arms outreached...but again we fell short.
And then it was gone. The Big East severed ties with the International Bowl and it ceased to exist. American college football in Toronto was no more. The unthinkable had happened.
With it, died our own dreams. The Quest would remain forever unfulfilled. We had failed. At the time I mused that no other Quest would feel quite as complete:
So what is to become of the Quest? Is it now a Quest For The Bronx? A Quest For Birmingham, Alabama? St. Petersburg, Florida? None of them seem to feel quite as good. Football was made to played at an indoor stadium in Canada in front of 17,000 disinterested people at noon. That's America to me.
But I was wrong. Because that was before I knew about Beef O'Brady.
Beef O'Brady was a chain of family sports restaurants in the Southeast. But that was before they became the title sponsor of the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Now, Beef O'Brady stands for a new tomorrow. A second chance at all that is good and holy and bowl-eligible. It may still be called the St. Petersburg Bowl...but we know better. We know it's The Beef Bowl. And we know we want in. We want to wade in that delicious beef all day and all night until we're saturated in its beefy goodness.
And so, this was all just a really long-winded way for me to officially introduce THE QUEST FOR BEEF.
Better late than never.
So what does the Quest entail? Seven wins. Due to our playing two FCS opponents, we're going to need to win seven, not six, games this season in order to qualify for a bowl game. And if that's the case, you can be fairly certain we will be Beefing it.
The inaugural Quest-O-Meter will make its debut following the Washington
game win. We should have a very clear picture of the road ahead and what it's going to take to fulfill our Quest by then.
In the meantime, Syracuse fans, the time for Toronto is done, the time for Beef is now.
H/T: Alex O. for his fine work