Behind The Scenes At The Syracuse Athletics TV Commercial Shoot

SU Athletics, via Facebook and Twitter, invited the general public to appear as fans in a commercial to be aired during the football season this year. We were asked to show up at Drumlins Country Club in our Syracuse attire at 1:00 today. Since the info included something about coaches being there, I decided it might be worth checking out. How to get my 2 and 3 year old daughters to come with me involved a lot of Otto talk in advance.

With the 90+ heat today, the girls and I headed to Green Lakes for the morning, but I dragged them out of the water at 12:30. After a quick car-change into cheerleader dresses (them, not me), we arrived at Drumlins just on time. We were directed by an orange-clad guy to a parking spot very close to the pool and could see an orange tailgating-style tent set up on the edge of the golf course. I unbuckled the girls and we headed over to meet Otto.

 We received a warm welcome from an SU Athletics representative, and the girls were given 2 pom-poms each, clearly because they were the cutest fans there. There was a photo op with Otto and a litttle small-talk with the 30 or so people in attendance before the waiting under the tree began.


Through overheard conversations, I picked up that the coaches were going to arrive around 1:30, and that Coach Boeheim had some medical appointment so Coach Hopkins would be attending in his stead. Thus, a half hour of ring-around-the-rosy with a tree ensued.


However, according to my phone's time stamp on pictures, we saw the friendliest coach in America coming around the bend at 1:32. (Yeah, he's there. It's the guy in the middle with the white shirt and khaki pants.)


All of the volunteers waved and gave a few "Go Orange"s and then shyly backed away and let him sit under the tent and in front of the fan. A few moments later, Coach Hopkins arrived, via golf cart if my memory serves correctly, and he was given the same treatment.

Our friendly SU Athletics rep gathered us around to capture a picture for @suorangeempire. She explained that the commercial would be of the three coaches playing golf, and we would be the gallery. Then more waiting, with the coaches under the tent drinking the cold water. We took a trip to the car for warm sippy cups of water and the secret stash of lollipops that every mother has in case of waits in the hot sun type situations like this.

Slowly, the fans started getting the nerve to approach our heros. I waited a few minutes as not to seem too eager, and then dragged the girls over. The next few moments were the highlight of my life. (Nevermind the fact that I have experienced my wedding and the birth of two children.)

Coach Marrone got right down on my girls' level and talked to them about his daughters.


Coach Hopkins played the "gimme five" game where he pretended that his hand hurt from the power of the slap, and then invited them onto his lap for the picture.


As we walked away, I sent the pictures to my husband in order to elicit insane jealousy. It worked. Only later did I realize that I'm not in the photos. But that's a sacrifice we happily make as parents.

Sitting under the tree and waiting some more, I did experience a little dilemma. You see, I'm a Johns Hopkins graduate. (Gasp!) What was I to do when Coach Desko arrived? However, I didn't have to worry. As soon as he made his way to the tent at 2:05, we were all directed up to the golf course and staged some cheering for about 60 seconds. Of course, by this time, the girls were so hot and tired that they just sat on my lap and didn't even have the energy to shake their pom-poms. But we were in the front row. Then the coaches walked onto the green, we were given a cue, and we cheered for about 10 seconds more.

Done, and done. We were given a cold bottle of water for our efforts.

On our way out, I snapped a picture of the filming of the actual commercial going on. There were a bunch of huge cue-cards, but I didn't catch what the conversation was going to be. I guess we'll see during football season.