It's Taco Time In The Salt City

Tom Pennington

Author and Syracuse alum Aaron Goldfarb is brings a new weekly feature to TNIAAM in which he tells you what's stuck in his craw and then somehow ties it into Syracuse basketball. This week, he takes issue with all your dead horses.

The Top Five Observations Syracuse Fans Need to Stop Running Into the Ground

Us Syracuse fans love to run an observation into the ground. Take something mildly amusing we’ve noticed, and we’ll continue to repeat it ad nauseum until it becomes yet-another-Kenan-appearance-on-SNL lame. I don't believe Richard Dawkins was thinking of Syracuse fans when he came up with the concept of memes, but we're a perfect paradigm for how inside humor can become viral, then quickly waaaay annoying within a niche community. Sometimes, after yet another "Gottlieb sux!" pops up in my Twitter feed or in this esteemed blog's comments sections, I wonder whether us Cuse fans are extremely unoriginal and unfunny, or just incredibly, almost-psychotically vigilant at lampooning media members and those select others who are totally hacky...and who obviously HATE US. Perhaps it's a little of both.

I'd love to be a supercilious jerk and ask for a moratorium on the below dead horse observations, but I don't need to, for as you'll see, most all will soon be phased out by happenstance.


5. "It's ____ O'Clock and Georgetown Sucks" sucks

THE quintessential 'Cuse joke for people who aren't even quite sure what makes something a joke. In fact, it’s less a joke than our dorky frat-handshake catchphrase. It's the GIT 'R’ DONE of Orangedom, having created its own cottage industry amongst the Shoppingtown Mall set. You can now even get a novelty clock for your "man cave," if you're the kind of adult who still needs a no-chicks-allowed place that reminds you of the room you used to live in back when you were a virgin with a curfew. Alas, after this year, we'll be done playing the Hoyas and though I hope we're never done making fun of that Sunday school masquerading as a private research institution, I hope we're done gittin' ‘r’ done with this dead horse joke. There's so many more sui generis and poetic ways to tell the world that Georgetown still truly does suck.

Image01_medium


4. Chipotleameness

I get it, our basketball players eat like shit. But a daily faux Mexican diet is still better than what I ate in college, back when the Domino’s on Erie once named me Employee of the Month...and I didn’t even work there. Yes, hoopsters should not be eating 1500 calorie rice and beef bombs hours before an important home tilt, but they probably shouldn't be having Sheraton sixsomes with five chicks from that whore sorority on Walnut the night before either. As for Chipotle having "cursed" us--starting with that infamous 2010 Big East Tournament in which we were upset by Georgetown, saw Arinze injured, and our national title hopes dashed mere hours after players made a midtown Manhattan sprint to the burrito-porium --I say...pure coincidence? At least, as an atheist skeptic, I sure hope so. Remember, to paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald: basketball players are not like you and I. They can take part in 24-hour Madden and bong hit marathons and still perform admirably in the evening. Curses only exist cause we continue to believe them. Now having said that, if a Cheesecake Factory ever opened at Carousel I would be TRULY scared.

(Ed. Note Whoever started that is an a**hole...)

3. Jim Burr/Tim Higgins is a fat/drunk/terrible referee who HATES Syracuse

This is the dead horse observation for the dilettante Cuse fan who wants to appear expert. Oooooh, not only do I know that THIS REF IS SCREWING US...but I know his actual Christian name too. It’s Higgins. Or, wait, is it Jim Burr? Let me help you out: Tim Higgins is the TALLER towheaded, beer-bellied dipsomaniac who loves to histrionically call floppy charges. But, he’s now retired to a life of officiating Carnival cruise ship shuffleboard. The only ref you’re going to know these days is Jim Burr, and yes indeed, he does ref an amazing amount of our games. But, considering we also win an amazing amount of our games, wouldn’t that mean, ipso facto (Latin, bitches), that we WANT Burr to continue reffing an amazing amount of said games? The advanced stats linked above indeed bear that out. Fact is, Jim Burr is not the worst ref out there, just the most noticeably and memorably terrible. Orange fans, save you scorn for the true zebra-striped bozos who HATE US, like Jim Breeding, home-court-disadvantage Mike Roberts, and tech-happy Karl Hess.

2. Doug Gottlieb is a smarmy/formerly felonious/hook-nosed-though-I'm-not-an-anti-semite provocateur who HATES Syracuse

You know why Syracuse fans hate Doug Gottlieb? Because he calls it like it is, and actually appears somewhat bright too. Someone like that is scary in a world of talking (air)heads. It’s easy to dismiss the ramblings of a Digger or a Hubert or even Dickie V...those guys watch less basketball than you or I and are still stuck on a fourth grade reading level. But Doug Gottlieb clearly does his homework, knows the minutiae, and isn’t afraid to go against the "Everyone’s a winner!" party line. So, yes, sometimes he’s going to BASH us, just like sometimes he’s going to criticize every player, coach, and team out there...when they deserve it. Better to not get angry at Gottlieb, and just start thinking of what he says as constructive evaluation. But even if you can’t repress your loathing, Douglas now works for CBS Sports so you’re going to be seeing far less of him this year, though he’ll still remain one of the most accessible sports pundits in the Twittersphere. @ him and he'll @ you right back, even if you tritely call him a "credit-card stealer." (God, I’m glad no one Tweets me about shit I did in college: "@aarongoldfarb sux ur still just a quad urinator lol.") Or maybe I just defend Gottlieb because I’m more of a biased Jew-lover than I thought.

1. Syracuse never travels/leaves New York state/plays a true road game

The first time I landed at Hancock International in the late summer of 1997, I assumed my Delta connection had somehow crash-landed at a bus depot. The terminal was as long as a stiff 5-iron, the only "international" flights were to Buffalo, and the security checkpoint simply consisted of a guy from Auburn who owned one of those metal detectors you use to find stray coins at the beach. So perhaps it’s no surprise our esteemed coach doesn’t like to often fly the friendly skies. Yes, I get it, it IS aggravating when da’ media, or worse, our non-Cuse friends, tweak us for never leaving "home." Or don’t count games in Manhattan, New Jersey, wherethef***ever as roadies. We all know the company cover-up lines, able to quickly spout them off like a politician and his rhetoric ("Our SOS is frequently top 25 by season’s end," "Duke never plays true road games either," "MSG is 249 MILES from campus!!!!"). But, I think it’s time to finally relax and put this one to bed. We’re playing in the Pacific Ocean in a few days, we’re joining a Confederate Flag conference in a year, so let’s give this one a rest until...DID GOTTLIEB REALLY JUST SAY AT U.S.F. ISN’T A ROAD GAME?!??!

Hancock Int’l security, circa 1997


Dishonorable mention: Jeremi Grant is wicked tall, Lunardi’s Bracket-NOT-logy, "Dynasty"/Don'te Leave, Doc Gross and his metrosexuality (although being a "metrosexual" in Syracuse, NY would simply refer to any man who owns a non-braided belt and shaves his upper lip), "You know, SU makes a t-shirt for a lot of mundane things!," Humble, Hungry, RTs, our new Nike jerseys suck and as a lame old white man I think I know better what fashions hip black kids born in the 90s like.

It's Taco Time in the Salt City is going to my weekly running-of-a-joke-into-the-ground in which I’ll try to talk about pretty much anything EXCEPT what happened on the court for the past week, aside from, of course, in tabulating the previous week's #TacoTime statistics. Think of me as your foul-mouthed Nate Silver.

Chris Rock once famously said "Why don't you go out and get kidnapped, have some new shit happen to you?!" so I thought for this opening column I'd discuss three NEW observations we can beat into the ground (with appropriate hash tags to create #viralness) for the 2012-2013 season. God, I hope Keeley retains a good First Amendment lawyer. Here goes...

3. Brandon Triche's hmmmmmus quandry

I completely understand why Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine were the social media superstars of last year's team, but what I don't understand is why mild-mannered Brandon Triche's online presence is never more lauded. BSwish20’s Twitter account is a rapid-fire compendium of deadpan hilarity: "Ihop flow.. Bout to go home tho..," "this world is filled w/ a lot of dumb ppl using smart phones," "Michael Myers theme music is legit.. Idk how a man walkin can move so fast." But I forever became a fan of his Steven Wright/Mitch Hedberg/Demetri Martin-esque comedy stylings after this off-season gem:

Now, less so than being worried about all our basketball players EATING Chipotle, I wonder why Triche has yet to have hummus. It's not that expensive. It's healthy. It's totally accessible. Is it really that good, Brandon asks. Why yes, yes it is. Several hundred million swarthy semites can't be wrong. In fact, it might be the only thing they agree on. If you're forced to stick with gas station brands (or SU Bookstore brands, secret way to use SUpercard!), Sabra is vastly superior to Tribe, creamier and smoother, though you'll always fair much better with your local shawarmery. Or come over to my apartment, Brandon, and I'll make you some, heavy on the tahini and garlic (recruiting violation?). Just please, Brandon, join the rest of the world and have some hummus this year, it doesn’t matter if you use crackers, toasted pita points, or "w/e." I wish Donna Ditota would get to the bottom of Hummus-gate. #Trichemmus.


2. Actionless in the Lane

It sounds like the title of some Carrier Dome softcore ("Billy Celluck IS The Seven Footer"), but Dunk & Bright’s "Action in the Lane" is actually a TV timeout contest at the arena in which a local lardass plunks himself into a pleather barcalounger and tries to make a foul shot in order to win said La-Z-Boy from the furniture giant. I’m not exactly the kind of person who gets into the on-the-fringes hoopla surrounding a Syracuse game--especially with the Orange in the midst of a 22-game home-winning streak--but this contest always tickles me to no end. In fact, it’s the perfect contest for an American culture so lazy we can’t even stand up while trying to win fame and fabulous prizes. Yet, for some reason, there does not seem to be a single Google mention of this contest (when it truly merits a 10,000 word Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker piece). How is that possible? It’s been going on since at least my freshman year. I want to know so much more about it. Do you have to take the furniture then and there? Strap that grimy pea green chair onto the top of your Subaru and I-81 it back to Mattydale? I MUST know more. OK, maybe I just have a weirdo fantasy about actually getting to try this contest myself. Perhaps this powerful blog can help Make A My Wish. #ActionintheLane

1. Pete Thamel is a Self-Hating Orangehole

Kentucky fans call him Thamel-toe. LSU fans have accused him of bribery, trespassing, and harassment. And no less than Jimmy B (according to an unnamed source of mine) lists him as one of his five most hated reporters. Yet, most of us call him a former classmate. Yes, it's Peter Richard Thamel, not Doug Gottlieb, who is the media member we should most hate and direct our anonymous online scorn at. While numerous, far more successful media alums like Mike Tirico, Bob Costas, and Sean McDonough continually find ways to shoehorn positive Syracuse mentions into their telecasts and writing, this lover of "cold beer, hot yoga," and completely fabricated scoops loves piling more and more shit onto the school that made him.


Why exactly aren’t we @-harassing this douche? Or emailing tipthamel@gmail.com to tip him off that his Newhouse Wall of Fame plaque is now hanging above the basement urinal? An unquestionably-skilled writer, the funny thing is, for a guy who hates his alma mater so much, Thamel sure loves spending time on campus. Having finished up helping perpetuate the baseless Bernie Fine saga, one wonders if perhaps Pete is now doing an investigative piece on alumni creeps who spend their time slumped over a Blue Moon at Faegan's, continually embarrassing themselves by hitting on coeds. As far as I can tell, Pete has been embedded on this story since he graduated. Hell, he's making Morgan Spurlock look uncommitted. Being the Norm Peterson of a bar is theoretically cool and all, but next time you see Pete ordering a Long Island Ice Tea, casually remind him that Norm wasn't a regular at a Boston College bar that allowed 19-year-olds to flip a coin to win a beer. If this is part of an elaborate cover, Thamel might win a Pulitzer and become the Bob Woodward of teenage athletics he so clearly wet dreams of being. If it’s not, hopefully Faegan's might reward him one day by starting Senior Citizen Sundays in his honor. #ThamelToe

But, what jokes and observations do you want to run into the ground this season?

#TacoTime (Exhibitionists)

Not surprisingly, both exhibitions games last week hit Taco Time, both nearly by the half. And though one never wants to take too much away from events that happen in the preseason, here are your pertinent Taco Time statistics, including player shooting percentages with a chance to secure the starving, white-turtlenecked, Charney’s sweatshirt-wearing, CNY masses some Grade D ground beef carelessly dumped inside a federally-subsidized corn shell.

Player

2P

3P

FT

#TacoTime

Cooney

0-0

1-1

0-0

1

Keita

1-1

0-0

0-0

1

Triche

0-1

0-0

0-0

0


(Last year's Taco Time statistics, h/t: @KingOttosWorld)

Additional research and reporting courtesy of @BaseballPundit



Aaron Goldfarb is the writer of How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide and other things. Syracuse basketball is the only thing he would ever write about for free. Follow him @aarongoldfarb

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