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Syracuse Spring Game: Just So You Know, You're Going

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Do you live in a 2-hour radius of Syracuse University? Well congratulations because you're going to the Syracuse spring football game. Enjoy yourself.

No, seriously. You're going to be there. What's that Yankee and Red Sox games being on TV? They play 162 of them, I don't think you'll miss too much if you skip one. You have errands to run? Wal-Mart's not going anywhere? Your kid is having a birthday? They'll have plenty more. Just drop them off at Carousel Mall with $30 and pick them up at 9 p.m. Win-win.

Bud Poliquin opines on the topic of spring games and attendance today. First, a refresher on what kind of numbers we're working with:

Fact is, only 5,184 curious souls showed up for Marrone’s first spring game in 2009 and merely 4,752 rubber-neckers took a gander at last year’s exercise. That’s an average of 4,968 . . . or the number of folks who’ll line up outside the Bryant-Denny Stadium bathrooms at halftime when the Crimson Tide plays its "A Game," also on Saturday, down there in Tuscaloosa.

So, curious souls and rubber-neckers, who will show up in 2011? The Lookie-Loos? The Passers-By? The Quietly Judging From Afars?

Bud references other schools that finished with better records than us and saw far less attendance while some schools had much worse records than us but saw massive spring crowds. Of course, throwing Nevada and Tulsa into the mix as the schools with better records and lower spring attendance is a little...baity. But I see the point. Spring attendance does not define a football program.

That said, it sure as hell would feel really good to get 7K, 8K, hell how bout 10K, out to the spring game this year.

Making things a lot more interesting this year is the fact that the game will feature two actual teams (Orange vs. Blue? Orange vs. White? Blue vs. White?) playing one another.

"We are really looking forward to the Spring game," Marrone said. "A number of people asked me when I took the job what we were going to do with the Spring game and when we would go back to an actual game. So this year we will have that format. We are a little thin (in the number of student-athletes on the roster), so if someone gets injured, we might have to go both ways, but (smiling) that is what they did here in the 1950s. The players will enjoy it and so will the coaches and it will help the coaches in their development."

Some of the notable notes about the Spring Game include...

  • The event begins at 11:00 a.m. No excuses.
  • For those who can't make it (which doesn't include you), the event will be broadcast on 97.7 FM Syracuse.
  • 2011 SU football posters will be available at Gate A. Exciting cause we'll learn what our slogan is for the year. I'm predicting something with the word "Glory" in it.
  • Fans can experience Club 4•4 at no charge and concession stands will be open.So get your responsible drink on.
  • At halftime one lucky fan will have the opportunity to participate in a ‘Field Goal Kick’ contest to win either $100 or a $250 cash card from Empower Federal Credit Union. Wow, really shelling out the big bucks...

    Following the game, the Orange football team will host an autograph session on the Carrier Dome field.

And while we're on the topic of game attendance, remember this little nugget by Doug Marrone next time you're thinking about letting your regular-season game tickets go to waste:

"I think some people point to big crowds at spring football games to show how much the fans care about this sport," said Marrone, who is coming off an 8-5 campaign. "But for me it’s more important for people to come to our regular games. People have used our attendance against us in recruiting. We have lost recruits because of the attendance at our games. But we have never lost a recruit because of what we draw to the spring game."