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Gross Issues Statement on Syracuse's Football Day Festivities

Dr. Daryl Gross, director of athletics at Syracuse University, and Greg Robinson, head football coach, issued the following statements today regarding the University's football program:

"As the Director of Athletics for Syracuse University, it is my responsibility to evaluate, assess, and make informed decisions regarding the pre-game festivities at our University’s intercollegiate athletic programs. I have evaluated our football program festivities now that the 2007 season has concluded and want to make clear that Mini-KISS will return to entertain fans before Syracuse University football games.

"Nevertheless, I have set a bar of significant expectations for all of our pre-game events, and like our players, fans, and supporters, I was very disappointed with the outcome of their performance, along with the performance by our pre-game entertainers the past three years, including Orleans, Diver Down and even the SU Marching Band who, let's face it, is on autopilot these days.

"When evaluating a performer, I always seek input from our important constituencies such as current student-athletes, former players, fans, alumni and supporters. Over the past several days, I have talked with a wide range of people who appreciate the strong history and tradition of Syracuse football pre-game entertainment and the challenges we have faced before – such as former on-campus performers Carrot Top and Dr. Demento, and former midget band performers such as Little Crue, the world's preeminent midget Motley Crue tribute band. Everyone I talked with provided instrumental feedback, and not just the kind you get on stage.

(Wait for laughter. 1...2...3...)

"Despite our collective disappointment with this season's entertainment, those I talked with agreed with me that stability is tremendously important to our gameday atmosphere, specifically as it relates to stabilizing and building solid fan growth. We also recognize that as deeply as the SU community wants not only to win, but also to be mildly entertained for five-to-ten minutes before they go inside the Carrier Dome and make fun of the aging rock band currently playing on the quad for $500 and a free buffet lunch. We are a place of integrity and commitment, and it's important to provide our poorly-paid, over-the-hill entertainers with a legitimate and reasonable time frame in which to demonstrate progress and kick-ass licks.

"Next year Mini-KISS will have their second full performance as a band, assuming there is minimal turnover within the band and/or no band members die or move away. They are a talented group of experienced mini-performers who will have had another year to more fully mature and develop. Except physically.

"These past several days I had extensive discussions with Syracuse Head Coach Greg Robinson, and he is extremely disappointed in the outcome of this season's pre-game entertainment and it's inability to distract fans from the outcome of the football games. He wants to see off-the-field success in the next campaign, especially since the chances of success on-the-field remain questionable at best. He has agreed to seriously consider all options and changes that would improve the band’s performance, even offering to do a Google Search to see what other midget tribute bands might be available. Greg clearly understands that the pre-game festivities need to demonstrate significant progress next year, and he believes that Mini-Kiss can bring that excitement back. If nothing else, they'll certainly bring back the creepiness factor."

Gross said other factors in retaining Mini-KISS including their past success and the fact that "we signed a two-year contract with them and if you think the buyout on Robinson was a lot, you have no idea."

Coach Greg Robinson added his thoughts on the matter:

"Do I want to see quality, pre-game family entertainment on campus before all Syracuse losses, er, games? You're gosh darn right I want to see quality, pre-game family entertainment on campus before all Syracuse losses, er, games. I really do. The fans want it. The coaches want it. The administrators want it. The players want it. The folks down at the Applebee's want it. I want it. The coaches want it..."

Coach Robinson was tasered at this point and taken away. But before his twitching body was wheeled away, he added one more thing about the matter:

"Is Mini-KISS the best midget tribute band available? I don't know. But I want them to be. I really do. The players want them to be. The coaches want it. The fans want it...ARRRRGGGGG!"

Coach Robinson was then tasered again and the press conference ended.