It's a rite of passage for Syracuse fans to go see their Orange, in one shape or another, compete at the Meadowlands.
Used to be we'd play there every so often in the Kickoff Classic before that went away. Recently the lacrosse team started making annual trips there for the Big City Classic. And pretty soon, the football team will start playing "home" games there every other season.
The New Meadowlands might be 250 miles and a state away from Syracuse but it's arguably our second home (or at least will be).
I've never seen the Orange play lacrosse here, but I have seen the football team play there twice. The first time was at the beginning of my sophomore year. The Orange took on Ron Dayne and the Wisconsin Badgers in the Kickoff Classic and thoroughly annihilated them, 34-0. Dayne had a tough day in the Meadowland, which is something that would become his trademark in coming years.
The one I really remember, however, was the 2001 Kickoff Classic. Syracuse and Georgia Tech faced off this time. The Orange lost that game, an ugly 13-7 contest (a Pasqualoni team losing an early-season game against a decent opponent??? What? I can't believe it!!!)* Of my group of friend, a remember more than a couple falling asleep during the game. A lot of that had to do with the massive booze consumption beforehand, but the sluggish play didn't help matter.
My favorite part of that day took place in the parking lot. We set up shop and tailgated for a good five hours before the game. My Cuse bros came down from Upstate and Rhode Island to watch, my Jersey friends went to the game as well. I "crossed the streams" on my college friends and hometown friends, always a dangerous equation. Somehow, it worked. Even with one of my hometown friends recently starting grad school at Georgia Tech and sporting that ghastly yellow color all day.
A camera crew stopped by and filmed me and my friend doing that thing that they like to show rivals fans doing before college football games. You know, the "AAAHHHH, WE'RE NUMBER ONE, NO, NOT HIS TEAM, MY TEAM, LOOK AT MY SHIRT, I'M POINTING AT THE NAME OF THE TEAM I ROOT FOR AND I WANT YOU TO BE AWARE OF THEM, AHHHHHH." I've never seen the footage and I think we're all the better for it.
At some point, a couple guys set up shop across the way from us. They came to party, which was expected. They pulled out funnel, which was understood. And then they revealed a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade, which was...curious. Still, that was nothing compared to what they did next...
They started funneling Mike's Hard Lemonade.
To this day, it's one of the greatest things I've ever seen. Capped only by their post-funnel high-fives each time.
Chug that Mike's, bros. Chug it forever.
Anyway, here's some link related to the Syracuse-Duke lacrosse game taking place at the Meadowlands this weekend...
- It's Always Sunny at the Big City Classic: Official Fan Guide...Inside Lacrosse
- 5 years later: Duke rebounds from crippling scandal to return to top of college lacrosse...Daily Orange
- Syracuse University lacrosse midfielder Jeremy Thompson sits out Wednesday's practice...Dave Rahme
- Dynamic Duke attack provides steep challenge for Orange defense...Daily Orange
- Syracuse University freshman longstick Matt Harris gets some instruction at the faceoff X...Dave Rahme
- Big City Classic Profiles on every participating team...College Crosse