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Maureen Green: Syracuse will weather the storm of the Bernie Fine scandal


I thought this article merited posting in full. It should be noted that Maureen Green was an anchor at one of the local Syracuse TV stations for a long time she's not a Post-Standard hack...

syracuse.com

Maureen Green: Syracuse will weather the storm of the Bernie Fine scandal
Published: Saturday, December 03, 2011, 2:00 AM
The Post-Standard By The Post-Standard
green1.JPGMaureen Green
2011-11-30-MeloCenter-EMB.JPG
Ellen Blalock / The Post-Standard ESPN reporter Mark Schwarz reporting on the Bernie Fine investigation Wednesday outside the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center at Syracuse University.

By Maureen Green
Contributing columnist

One of my friends was in New York City last weekend when the investigation into possible sexual abuse by Syracuse University associate head basketball coach Bernie Fine blew up.

It was one week ago, when we learned of a possible third victim and also of a taped telephone call between Fine's wife, Laurie, and his accuser, Bobby Davis.

The news went national, but in New York City it went bright. In brilliant red lettering, the familiar ticker tape flickering across the buildings in Times Square blurted out details about what was happening in our city. When asked where he is from, my friend replied "Manlius. It's about 50 miles west of Utica."

Our source of pride is under attack. For the 30 years I've lived in Syracuse, we've been all about our ability to move snow better than any place on the planet — and our basketball team.

We don't even qualify it as a college team, or the SU team. Pretty much from November until March each year, we don't even call it basketball, it's simply the "game," as in "are you going to the game tonight?"

I still hear people talk about our NCAA national championship when I go out of town, even though the 2003 title grows more distant in the rear view mirror every year. That image of Head Coach Jim Boeheim taking a victory lap in a wondrously goofy and oversized orange fedora is something I will never forget. We had the Nobel Prize for Bliss.

Which makes what is happening now all the more upsetting.

We're getting a "correction" we don't want and many of us don't think we deserve. We pack that Carrier Dome like no other fans in the country, and we fight brutal winter weather and big league traffic to do it. We should not be rewarded for that loyalty with betrayal.

Some wide-eyed teen basketball fans believed in the dream, too — perhaps to a fault — because if the accusations about Fine are true, these now-grown men carry scars of a profound personal betrayal. For the rest of us, it's civic.

We've been gathering at the Dome, in the bars and in friends' homes, to watch the basketball games all these years. More than any other sport, I think ball games are best witnessed in the company of others. A cheer of one always sounds like someone is getting attacked in the other room, but the roar of many — now that's an experience.

It makes sense then, that we come together to process recent events, too, only the collective is different. Our conversations are quieter, more circumspect. We post comments alone in our homes onto message boards and social media. We're still being heard by the masses, but this is no roar, it's more of a yelp, like a dog whose paw just got stepped on.

In the yin and the yang philosophy of relative contrasts, we've had the joy of rising to the very top with our team, and now we're in a slippery descent downward. How far down we go remains to be seen as the investigation plays out.

Our name is a little tarnished but we'll find the polish again.

We are not a city of scandal. You can keep your Hollywood and Vegas. Somewhere west of Utica and near a place called Manlius is Syracuse, home of the illustrious Golden Snowball, some decent barbecue, and a wonderful university poised to do us proud once more.

Maureen Green, former news anchor with WTVH-TV (Channel 5), is an occasional columnist with The Post-Standard. Her blog is MaureenGreenCNY.com. Contact her at cape657@yahoo.com.

© 2011 syracuse.com. All rights reserved.

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