It's a bye week, so naturally we've got a little down time to deal with. So I thought it might be a good time to break out a conversation-starter that I've been noodling around for a while now (that sounds way dirtier than I meant it).
What if, back in the days when we were pink and green, it never occurred to them to change the color scheme to orange and blue? What if, way back when, the nickname of Syracuse University's athletic teams never became the Orangemen? Ergo, what if that didn't later morph into the autonomous Orange?
If we never became the Orange, what would our nickname be today?
My initial though turns to the Salt City moniker. Especially if we're thinking in old-timey terms, that would have been right up their alley.
Obviously the Saltine Warrior came from that, so how bout if instead of just being an old mascot, we were the Syracuse Saltine Warriors? God knows the kind of fun our rivals would have with Saltine crackers at away games. I'm thinking our colors would have been white (for the salt) and blue (for the water in Onondaga Lake where the salt was coming from).
We know how well Native American nicknames go over and Orangemen was originally a part of that. What if we had been more specific? As in, the Syracuse Onondaga? It would be our version of the Illinois Fightin' Illini or the Florida State Seminoles. Obviously its not the most PC choice but clearly no one cared about that kind of stuff back in the day (except for, you know, the actual Native Americans). From what I can tell, purple is big color for the tribe, so that probably would have been our color as well.
There's also the Erie Canal connection. Back in the day, cities like Syracuse owed their massive growth to the creation of the Canal. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that folks would want to create a nickname that paid homage to this. The most obvious name goes to the hard-working folks who moved cargo up and down the Canal each day...The Syracuse Boatmen. I know, it sounds weird, but it's a little like the Brooklyn Dodgers. And imagine our mascot...a sort of Purdue Pete-type in seafaring gear. I suppose there would have to be Boatwomen as well.
For the Erie connection, there's also the Syracuse Lockmasters and Syracuse Quarrymen.
What about going the more traditional animal route? Take your pick, the area is or was home to bears, wolves, foxes, moose, deer, coyotes, bearcats, cougars and lynx. What a difference it would be if we were rooting for the Syracuse Gray Foxes (colors gray and red?).
You've probably got some ideas as well. Share them below or let me know if any of these sound good. We'll put them all to a vote later this week and figure out what could have been, as well as what you'll be naming your next EA Sports NCAA '11 Dynasty team.