I've never been an active member of the TNIAAM world, but I'm here almost every day. I'm a third generation SU grad. Bedtime stories as a little guy ranged from stories of 44 to Thompson "closing" Manley field house (that one never put me to sleep and my dad, who was there, still gets red in the face when he talks about it).
My grandfather, class of a long time ago, wouldn't talk to me during SU football games. He scared me then, but in time, I came to understand. Today, he's gone, but his now 88-year-old widow (at a whopping 4'11" and 85 pounds, tops) screams as loud as any Carrier Dome faithful at her nursing home television during any SU football, basketball, or lacrosse game. And lacrosse, mind you, is a game she has absolutely no understanding of. All that matters is that the guys on the field don an orange "S".
I'll never forget all the SU moments. First time in the dome (Syracuse-Army, McNabb at the helm). The '03 national championship (father paced in living room for 2 hours). First football game as a student (loss to WVU). Shaking Boeheim's hand that same day (he seemed uninterested; I didn't care). Standing on the Carrier Dome hardwood for the first, but not last, time (Georgetown sucks). Being 20 feet away for 6 OT's (Thank you roommate and friend of roommate's father for that ticket. Seriously, THANK YOU).
Okay, all that said, I've been thinking lately of a comment HCABHAFJB--figure it out--made some time ago about SU being a football school with a good basketball program or something to that effect.
Sure, I went to SU from '05 to '09. Yeah, doesn't get worse than that. It leaves me angry/jaded/biased. I'll own that. But look at us. Best 0-2 team in the country? Hey, don't get me wrong, I was drinking it, too. Northwestern was about as close as they come and there was hope after--AFTER--halftime against USC. But that's what we've become. Searching for a bright side in an at-the-time-winless campaign.
Let me wrap all this up into what I'm trying to say now. It's okay. The Orange have a proud football history. We're lucky we've got that. Right now, in this day and age, SU's a basketball school. Sh*t, I was bummed when they dropped from 1 to 4 after losing to Notre Dame last season. Oh, poor me--my alma mater is on the other end of the TOP FIVE IN THE COUNTRY. Hell, we're two centers playing through the tourney away from maybe another couple of championships.
I've found peace in the football program being what it is. My best football memory was getting Tanard Jackson's junk mail on Winding Ridge. Oh well. I'll always hope pigskin finds its way back to relevance, but I'm not going to let them ruin my Saturday's anymore. As a Syracuse anything fan, I'm damn lucky. We don't have anyone on this year's Heisman watch list, but at least we've got one. No way we're playing for a national championship anytime soon, but we've got one of those, too. While football struggles, the basketball program just cracked some ESPN top 50 programs list and was the highest ranked of any one-championship school. And lacrosse? Ever watch those guys play? You know you're doing alright when it's a bummer to just miss a national championship three-peat. I hear field hockey is pretty awesome, too. I wear my orange with pride.
Deep breath. You could be a Rutgers fan.