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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bad Press

I have written posts before about how Gottlieb and Parrish love reminding us that SU games at MSG are in fact home games and therefore don't count. I have also written diatribes while stroking out over how Dana O'Neil wasn't sold on the team's talent because we didn't play a true road game until NC State, and for whatever reason if we were to win (we did) that wouldn't really count either. Ron Morris. Davis says we're a violent fan base. Georgetown won't sell us tickets. The overall sentiment within the Big East is that we are traitors.


I'm okay with this and here's why:

With regards to national media we are a fluke. Being a private school, we shouldn't get the fan base that transcends alumni and gains support of an entire state (ie: UNC, Ohio St., kentucky). It snows like 9 months of the year, so we shouldn't get quality recruits. Our geography should preclude us from having a natural large media market. We don't have a mile-long list of players who went on to be NBA superstars. Yet, we have a huge and intensely loyal fan base, get quality recruits, are consistently in the top 25 rankings. Not to mention a hall of fame and living legend coach.

I am reminded of the saying, "I don't care what they write about me, as long as they spell my name right." The more Syracuse wins, the wronger the talking media heads prove to be. The only reason we would have to be mad at them is if their opinion mattered. This isn't football. If we are in fact good, we get the opportunity to prove it. Its nice to remind myself of that. Not to mention, its always fun spoiling the party.

As far as how it seems that every game is a home game, no matter where it is, well we're not idiots. As Syracuse fans we know how hard it is to win on the road. We understand that the home court advantage is truer in college basketball than in any other sport at any level. We also understand that this is where we can help the team. As a fan we cannot actually shoot the ball or block a shot, but we can try to level the playing field on the away court. If other teams and fan bases get mad at us, good. Rivalries are what make college sports so great. If you are mad at us for taking over your court (I'm looking at you SJU, RUTGERS, GTOWN) then don't get mad, get even. Send some buses up to Syracuse and try to occupy the dome. Wear your colors proudly and show your team some support. The worst thing that can happen is that we just hate you more. That is how rivalries become iconic.

I will not apologize cause I cheered for Syracuse loudly after flying to Raleigh in December. Nor will I to the lady next to me at the game last Saturday who told my mother (who is alum too) that I was making her reconsider sending her kid to Cuse because I was too loud (note: I did not curse the entire game). If you want to use that as a reason to hate me, good. I want you to hate me. It makes me hating you a lot less weird.

This is what makes college sports great. The haters, the critics, the non-believers, and the devoutly faithful fans. I'll admit I watch more college basketball games rooting for a team to lose than I do rooting for a team to win. But us fans understand that this is a BIG part of being a college basketball fan. If someone wants to go off on Syracuse fans for being disrespectful, loud, or angry then fine. But we are what makes this great. And we hate you too.

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