The last of my optimism

Heading into this season, I was sure that this was the year we were going to turn the corner. Even after an 0-2 start, I was confident that this bigger, faster and overall much-improved Syracuse football team could bounce back and reach a bowl game. Well, after suffering through the past ten weeks of disappointment, my supply of optimism--once seemingly endless-- is running out. That is why I am choosing to pour out the last drops of my Orange optism now, under my own free-will, before Syracuse can painfullt extract it from me next week against Louisville. Here goes...


I guess our raised expectations as a fan-base can be seen as some sort of sign that the program is improving. There has only been one game this year (USC) where I didn't think the Orange had a legitimate reason to believe they would win. And they actually gave the Trojans a scare. I know USC isn't as good as anticipated, but it is still USC. My point here is that I can now say with complete conviction that we are a competetive football team. I know we are to the point where moral victories simply do not cut it, but the program is obviously in a far better place that it was 3 years ago.


You know that feeling you have in the pit of your stomach right now? The feeling that makes you want to violently take out a decade of frusration on anybody who dares wear a color other than orange or blue; the feeling that makes you contemplate flying to Cincinnati to punch that goon tight end in the mouth and gladly take the ensuing ass-kicking? Well maybe thats just me, but anyway, the feeling is disappointment.

I have never seen a team that is capable of doing what Syracuse does on a weekly basis. They manage to clearly show that they are capable of blowing a team out while still shooting themselves in the foot enough times to lose. Don't turn the tv off though, because they will keep it just close enough that you don't lose hope until the final seconds are running out.

It is so disappointing to see a team that could realistically be sitting at 6-3 or even 7-2 right now, fighting just to finish .500 and reach a bowl game. However, fans who watch every week have to be able to see how good this team can be if not for the huge mistakes. My point is that I am so disappointed after a loss like this because I know they can do better. Four years ago, I wasn't disappointed after a 30-point loss because I saw it coming. I never expect to see this team go out and get their asses jacked like I used to.


In my 21 years as a Syracuse fan (14 of which I can actually remember) I have never enjoyed watching a player as much as Shamarko Thomas. The guy is good for at least three monster hits a game and is clearly the heart and soul of the defense. At least during the agonizing four-hour debacle we were forced to endure on Saturday, Shamarko mercifully gave us moments of temporary relief with a number of bone-crushing hits.

The Future

I'll admit it, the Cincinnati game caused me to break a vow that I made before the season started. I promised myself that I would not say the words that every Syracuse fan is all too familiar with: "Is it basketball season yet?"

However, when I say the future, I'm not referring to basketball season. Since I am exhausting every bit of optimism I have left, I might as well just throw this out there. This team will compete for the ACC next season. Yup, a team coming off a campaign where they might not make a bowl game, and will have a huge question mark at quarterback is going to compete for the ACC title in their first year in the conference. Finally, all of the building and suffering of the last few years will come to fruition and Syracuse will stop beating itself. And who knows? Maybe they'll even start now and surprise us all with a win against Louisville. Then again, I'm probably just setting myself up for another huge fall.

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