From the Press Box: Syracuse Dances with Seawolves

We have seen the future of Syracuse football, and his name is Ashton Broyld.

As part of TNIAAM’s efforts to provide in-depth coverage of the 2012 Syracuse Orange football season, Sean Keeley has procured press credentials for each home contest. In the words of the man himself, "We all growns up now." This is my View from the Press Box of Syracuse's 28-17 victory over Stony Brook.

- I almost didn’t make it to the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Sean was a guest on The Score 1260’s pregame show, and I nearly drove off the road when host Alex Plavin dropped my name on the air. My sincerest apologies to that elderly Liverpool woman who almost met her maker because I giggled like a schoolgirl at the mere mention of my name on the radio. I’ll try to hold it together from now on.

- Speaking of shout-outs, a heartfelt thank you goes out to the New York State Department of Transportation honcho who decided to close down a major interstate through Syracuse on the weekend of a home football game. My drive time to the Dome doubled because someone can’t look at a calendar properly. $50 says that person lives in Albany.

- The public address system at the Dome was playing dubstep during pregame warmups. I still maintain some DJ just strung all the sound effects from the Transformers movies together and called it a new music style. By the way, yes, I’m old. Get off my lawn.

- The PA announcer made it a point to tell us Saturday’s game was the first meeting between SU and Stony Brook. I found that amusing for some reason.

- I wrote down 48-20 Syracuse for a final score and 30,000 for announced attendance before kickoff. I should have taken the under on both.

- I was way off! The attendance was announced at 34,512. I know they count tickets and not actual bodies, but I think I’ve seen more butts in the seats for an early-season hoops game against Colgate.

- The SU marching band played a thoroughly enjoyable cover of Jay-Z's “Empire State of Mind” before kickoff. More band and less movie sound effects, please.

- Offensive guard Ivan Foy led the team out of the tunnel carrying a flag of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. That’s where the team practiced for one week during training camp. A very cool gesture to support our troops.

- The Dome gave out some of those rubber wristbands (think “Livestrong”) at the door for the first 10,000 people who wanted them. I happened to get my hands on some of that swag. They are orange, and say “Syracuse” on one side and “New York’s College Team” on the other. Yeah, I know you’re jealous.

- Is it ironic that we have had two beautiful Saturdays of weather and the games are inside the Carrier Dome, then the one outdoor ‘home’ game was almost literally played in a tornado?

- A vendor selling game programs was wearing a Donovan McNabb Vikings jersey. Really? Vikings? How does that happen? Were the Redskins jerseys all sold out?

- I noticed that SU put an #OrangeNation hashtag right on the field. Points for getting with the times, but the OCD in me cringes when I notice it is a different color white than the rest of the field markings.

- Everytime I hear someone say “Stony Brook” I wonder how many potheads enrolled at that school just because they thought it would be a great place to smoke up. Yeah, I’m weird.

- So they do the whole ‘kiss cam’ thing, and whatever, but this one dude was staring into the camera and grinning for about 30 seconds and was too oblivious to kiss the cute girl next to him – even with the PA announcer egging him on. I sense that he’s a broadcast journalism major. They never look away from a camera.

- All of my TV friends and co-workers just told me to go F myself for that last comment, then checked their makeup in the mirror. The guys too.

- Dion Waiters got a nice cheer from the crowd when he was introduced by the PA announcer. I couldn’t accurately gauge the state of his hunger or humility from my seat, but about 20 people around me made the “Can we ask him to return kicks?” joke after his name was announced to the crowd.

- Ross Krautman’s first half field goal miss that bounced off of the crossbar made a "bong" noise that echoed throughout the Dome. I made this joke on Twitter, but it sounded exactly like 34,512 Orange fans being kicked in the stomach.

- Ashton “The Highlander” Broyld had a nice midfield move for his first career TD with 6:01 left in the second quarter. I hope that’s the first of many. That kid has some serious talent.

- An “SBU” chant started up at the end of the second quarter during a fumble replay review. Who knew the Savings Bank of Utica was so popular out here? #UticaJoke

- At halftime Stony Brook led Syracuse 17-14. There are probably CIA interrogations that were less torturous than that first half.

- I must have drank three gallons of soda at the game. It’s like crack for me. I hit the restroom more times than at a Thursday two for one bottle night at Darwin’s.

- I have just been reminded that Darwin’s closed years ago. Man is that depressing… like the fact that 44’s/Konrad's is now a cell phone store and Archie’s is a Starbucks. Can we get a support group started about this? What’s next, they get rid of the Taco Bell and Burger King at Kimmel?

- They did? What the hell?

- It occurred to me that it is much more difficult to tweet and blog about 28-17 game against an FCS school than a 42-41 game against a Big Ten school. Maybe I should start drinking before the game.

- By the way, I should mention that for the Northwestern game I was in the last row of the press box. This game? Right up front. Is that indicative of the media interest of this game, or did Keeley have to give away sexual favors for the upgrade? I believe in both, actually. That man is DEDICATED to this blog.

- With a third quarter catch Alec Lemon vaulted into third on SU’s all-time receptions list. It’s pretty crazy that, statistically speaking, one of the best passers and one of the best receivers in SU history are on this current team.

- The crowd sang along to “Don’t Stop Believin” between the third and fourth quarters again. Is this an actual thing? It’s kind of enjoyable, but could easily veer into Boston Red Sox “Sweet Caroline” territory rather quickly.

- During one of my trips to the restroom I ended up next to none other than Dick MacPherson. It was more fun than it should have been. I wanted to make a Pat Dye or tie joke but I didn’t want him to kick my ass.

- Two weeks ago against Northwestern, SU shot themselves in the foot with dumb penalties and boneheaded plays. They seemed to have cleaned those up, but today it was terrible execution in the red zone and on special teams that did them in.

- The Dome started to empty after Marcus Sales caught a TD from Nassib with 5:53 left in the fourth. With today’s attendance, let’s just say lines in the parking lot weren’t an issue.

- I can’t stress enough how quiet the Dome was, outside of a few big plays. The SU women’s basketball team thought the Dome was quiet today.

- Some fans were hugging each other as they stumbled out of the Dome at the end of the game. I don’t blame them. I feel like we all survived a three-hour car crash.

Jeremy Ryan is a writer/editor for CNYcentral.com in Syracuse. Follow him on Twitter @JeremyRyan44.

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