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Enough Disappointment To Go Around

Seriously, have you stopped to think about what the graduating class of '08 has been through? Or more precisely, not been through? The Daily Orange gave a somber tribute (or is it an obituary) to the graduating seniors who will leave SU without a bowl appearance or an NCAA Tournament win.
The freshmen who arrived with hope four years ago leave with something different. They are realizing what to do, where to live, how to lead a life that doesn't start at noon and doesn't feature $3 pitchers. But they're also trying to figure out where the four years went. They're trying to determine why an athletic department that appeared so promising left so much disappointment. They're trying to piece together what happened after Syracuse went Orange.
The article tackles the subject from a few different angles and each one is as depressing as the one before it. That is, expect for the one about, Nick Natario, the guy who played Otto. That was slightly humorous:
Natario even held meetings with the other Ottos to discuss how to handle disgruntled fans. It was a struggle between performing their jobs and performing for their fans. "We had to bring our 'A' game," Natario said, "even when the football team wasn't."
Were they all in costume in the meeting? Was it a secret meeting underneath the Hall of Languages that required a password for entrance, and if so was the password "Crouthamel?" Who are the "five families of Otto The Orange?" Is there an initiation process involving the Otto suit, a live weasel and peanut butter? Are Ottos graded by a quorum of shadowy individuals and executed when they do not honor the suit? So many questions...
SU football player Max Maisel chimes in as well, none-too-pleased yet understanding of the frustrations on campus regarding his coach:
"Look, I know we're not the talk of the town right now," Meisel said. "You take a lot of negativity from people. … When it comes to talking with students, usually the first question I'm asked is, 'What do you think of Robinson?' In the sense of, will he stay or will he go?' Of course that has a negative connotation."
The third part is actually the part that disturbed me for real. It's the part that I hope DOCTOR Gross is reading this morning, possibly during his conference call with the people at A-1 Halftime Entertainment to see if the Rappin' Grannies are available for the St. John's game next year.
The shift into apathy is most evident in football, Edmunds said. When she started at the Dome, she prepared to hand out wristbands for the overflow sections of the student seating. As the team struggled, the overflow seating was the least of Edmunds' concerns. She received calls on her walkie-talkie to put students behind the endzone for the mere hope that the attendance would not appear so depressing on television.
The article ends with a discussion with Darryl Patteson, founder of Otto's Army. Even he lost hope during his time here, but does manage to find a little perspective:
"I would have loved to carry goalpost out, or win a national championship," Patteson said, "but I had a lot of fun."
Sadly, this class leaves behind a legacy that had nothing to do with creating. They were quite simply in the right place at the wrong time. They'll move on, graduate, move to strange, faraway places like Hoboken, NJ and New Haven, CT, start their marketing jobs and wonder why they ever bothered with that minor in Geology, and they will wait. Wait for the Orange to be great again. Wait for the chance to cheer for a championship. And I'm willing to bet they're the loudest ones in the bar that night. God knows they'll have been waiting long enough...

(By the way, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that phot of Robinson in the article. It's like someone has backed him into the corner of one of those bathrooms in the Saw movies and they're showing him all the messed-up torture devices they have at their disposal.)

Photo Credit: Kris Wilson, D.O.