Dave Rahme has never been shy to voice his opinion on Syracuse students at SU lacrosse games. Rather, he voices his concern about the students NOT there. Here's what he had to say during a chat earlier this week:
The student support is pathetic.
Stop mincing words, Dave. Cut to the core already.
I get it. I remember when I was at Syracuse in the Casey Powell heyday. It was pulling teeth to get my friends to join me at a lax game. The student section was more of a student couple-of-rows. Meanwhile, the NIT-bound basketball team was pulling in 20+K a night. That's just how it's been and that's just how it's always going to be (not the NIT part).
Friday's No. 1 Syracuse - No. 1 Virginia showdown has a chance to undo all of that, at least for one day. The Orange drew 16K and there's good reason to think that number will be easily surpassed. Whether or not SU students show up in droves could be the difference.
I asked TNIAAM good buddy and Otto's Army brigadier general Dan Lyons about what he expects to see.
We didn't have UVA at home last year...but two years ago we set our lacrosse student attendance record. I don't have any official numbers, but we had easily over 1000 kids and our section stretched well into the upper deck. It was probably the size of a lesser Big East opponent bball student section, and that year (G-Rob's final year) it was probably bigger than any of our football student sections. We definitely have the ability to bring a ton of kids out, its just takes a huge match-up like a #1 Syracuse vs. a #1 Virginia.
This year we do have t-shirt giveaways and SUA sent out an e-mail blast which they rarely do for Lacrosse. The game is being billed as "pack the Dome night" or something along those lines, and they expect a similar attendance as the game in 09.
The lacrosse attendance issue is one that usually just goes round in circles. Dave Rahme understandably sees the best program in the nation and a perennial national contender and wonders why fans WOULDN'T come out to each game.
But the simple truth is, lacrosse is still a 2nd tier sport in terms of awareness. I grew up in Central NJ and we never even played it until 1995. Even then, aside from the 40 or so guys on our high school team and our imaginary girlfriends, no one else cared. Just because lacrosse is big in Long Island, Upstate and Northern NJ, that doesn't mean everyone from those areas care. In fact, 90% of them don't. And that's before you throw in students from other Northeastern places that don't care, not to mention the ones from places that really don't care.
It is the way it is. That said, seriously, if you've ever wondered about lacrosse, what the appeal is, how it's played, what "good" lacrosse looks like...go to this game. You're basically guaranteed a high-scoring, well-played game that will come down to the final play and will be won by one point. Chances are the upcoming National Champion will be on the field Friday as well, one more talking point when you go home for the summer and want to brag about your Cuse lax knowledge to those D-bags you went to high school with and now play lacrosse at Montclair State and think they're better than you (but they're really not).
There will come a time in the not-too-distant future where you'll be living in Boston or Philly or Toronto or Chicago or Seattle. You'll go online to check some sports scores and you'll see a banner ad for the local Major League Lacrosse team. They'll have some dumb name like the Rockaz or the Blaze or the Shockers, but that's not important. What's important is that you'll recognize the guy featured in the ad. He'll be Jojo Marasco or Jovan Miller or someone else from this game. And you'll be like, "I know that guy!" And you'll think about buying a ticket to the game. And you'll call your friend and say, "Dude, look who's playing this weekend? Let's go!" And your buddy will say no, he/she has better things to do. And you'll be bummed and you won't go. But the fact that you considered it, well, that's what it's all about.
1 Day until Clash of the Titans...College Crosse
Palasek's slow start doesn't concern Syracuse...Baltimore Sun
UVa Heads to Syracuse Friday for Clash of Titans...LaxPower
No. 1 SU faces 1st true test in No. 2 Cavaliers...Daily Orange
Cavs aim to knock off Orange...Cavalier Daily
Syracuse University lacrosse team's midfield situation forces coach to examine his options...Syracuse.com
Bratton duo slated to suit up for Virginia vs. Syracuse...Baltimore Sun
Co-No.1's SU And Virginia Face Off Friday...SUAthletics
Cuse-UVa highlights weekend action...ESPN.com