By now, we know how Syracuse football head coach Scott Shafer rolls. He is an intense guy that gets #hardnosed players to play #hardnosed, and one of the way he does that is by speaking honestly in whatever setting he is in.
Because of his honesty and natural ability to say awesome things, the Syracuse media has seemingly made it a priority to cover any Scott Shafer speaking event in the CNY area -- and we here at TNIAAM are very thankful for the commitment.
On Monday, the new headman of the Orange visited the Links at Erie Village to speak to a Rotary Club about the SU football program and, as he always does, he didn't hold back. However, by the end of the engagement, it sounded as if Shafer tried to convince people to send their kids to a low-budget, poorly administered Fat Camp that has awesome camp counselors.
I'll use this quote as an example:
‘Once you make the decision to come to Syracuse, embrace it. Don’t be apologetic for your choice to come here.’
Then there's this quote, which basically is Shafer admitting every recruit is here to slim down, get a bit more athletic and gain some self esteem.
Let’s find that ugly kid who’s not quite big enough, not quite as sexy as some of these other big-time recruits. Let’s bring them in here as 18-year-olds and get them to play with a purpose."
Because SU is the Fat Camp of college football, its biggest weakness is technically its biggest strength -- listen to Shafer use the Jedi mind trick on the Rotarians.
"The strengths are, I think the kids have bought into the idea that we can win games we’re not supposed to win. By out-toughing people. By having a great attitude. By having an unbelievable effort. And by understanding that if we put our head down and try to beat that guy across from us for 60 minutes, we’ll have the chance to win just about any game we play..
...by the middle of the fourth quarter they panic and say, ‘Holy cow. We’re getting our butt kicked by Syracuse.’ That’s going to be our formula."
Heck, Shafer even admits SU isn't the best Fat Camp there is. However, it doesn't matter if our Fat Camp doesn't have the best dinning hall, gym equipment or that big blob thing you jump on and launch other campers into the lake. It is the mindset of our campers that really matters.
"I would say we do lose kids because the facilities aren’t good. But we also say that if we do a good job with the kid and we get the passion of my assistant coaches to be seen by the recruit and his parents . . . and we then lose the kid because of a building? I probably didn’t want him, anyway, to be honest with you."
"This is a broken record, but it’s attitude. Just give me attitude. Give me effort. And we’ll try to put you in position to make plays. Give me attitude, give me effort . . . and see if we coaches don’t screw you up too much."
I don't know about you, but by the end of the Summer, I am positive Syracuse "Camp Hope" Orange will be able to beat any of the more athletic ACC Summer Camps in a scene-stealing relay race.