The Syracuse Orange football team isn't the only Syracuse University athletic program with a new addition to its collection of equipment this season to help performance off the field. Each Orange basketball student-athlete is receiving a state-of-the-art Victor Talking Machine Company Victrola to use during their time at Syracuse to help enhance their experience in the classroom, courtesy of Jim Boeheim.
"I've been using one of these since I was a boy and I don't see how anything could be better," rambled Boeheim. "It's a fine machine with a vulcanized rubber listening tube that goes into your ear real easy-like with some sort of lubricant like linseed oil."
The Victrola offers a variety of ways to appreciate recorded sound and acoustical recordings. The types of sounds that can be heard include player-favorites such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Willem Mengelberg, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra with Rudolph Ganz and even the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra accompanied by Alfred Hertz.
"Not many people know this, but I own the first radio in Syracuse," Boeheim continued to ramble. "Not much on the air then, just Edison reciting the alphabet over and over. A he'd say; then B. C would usually follow..."
The student-athletes are excited to learn how the Victrola can help them improve in the classroom and maintain high academic standings.
"Coach keeps telling us to check out Rachmaninoff," said C.J. Fair. "I think he played for the Sixers in the 80's with Dr. J."
"These things come with cabinets that allow you to store your books when you're not using them," added Brandon Triche. "I just found all of Fab's books stashed in his all covered in dust."
Boeheim added that while there have been many technological innovations since the invention of the Victrola, most of them do more harm than good.
"I watched Scoop and Kris spend all that time on The Tweeter. Just wasting time. I can't always get their attention, but I have my ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the bus over to DeWitt. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Wittsburg, which is what they called DeWitt in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to ride the bus cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say..."