Syracuse Orange football fans are fickle.
I don't need to explain that to you. You already know it. To be fair, most college football fans are fickle. The culture of college football breeds fickle thinking. Winning is paramount and as soon as you're not winning, you need to fix everything so that you start winning again. Whatever it takes to win, do it.
It's not "What Have You Done For Me Lately," it's "What Have You Done For Me Lately Cause That's All That Matters."
Doug Marrone went from savior to pariah to savior to pariah in four years. Ryan Nassib went from stop-gap to savior to overrated to properly-rated to underrated to overrated to sincerely-missed over the course of his entire career.
Drew Allen went from savior to scrub in the span of two weeks.
And then there's Terrel Hunt, who has gone from so-so to savior to scrub to savior and now back to scrub in the last year. Hunt, recovering from an injury, missed the Florida State and had to watch while one of his replacements, A.J. Long, had the best debut any SU true freshman quarterback has ever had.
And now Syracuse fans have their new shiny thing. A.J. Long is the savior. Long live A.J. Long!
That is, until he throws a pick-six in the first quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Then, we'll look to Mitch Kimble, our new savior. All until our previous savior, Terrel Hunt, returns, to prove whether or not he deserves to return to our good graces.
When I wrote up a hypothetical about whether or not Hunt should replace Long if and when he returns, my aim wasn't to say that Hunt is washed up and Long is the new hotness. I mean, he IS for the time being, but, all it takes is one bad game for SU fans to cast him aside in favor of The Next Big Thing. My aim was merely to suss out what's important to us. And clearly, what's important is winning football games, however that happens.
I've written before about how we have no patience as SU football fans. We've been mediocre (and worse) for so long, and we demand so much more from this program, that we can't stomach the idea of mediocrity even if we know we need to give people a chance to improve by playing through it.
Instead, we look at Alabama or Florida State or Mississippi State and we say, "Look at them! Be more like them! And if you can't, get off my field!"
That's not to say I'm above any of this. I get as frustrated as anyone every time Terrel Hunt float a slant pass ten feet over the head of a receiver. I started to wonder whether or not we needed to give Austin Wilson and A.J. Long some more time on the field even before Hunt got hurt. I'm as impatient as the next person. I realize this.
But I also remember what Ryan Nassib went through. How he played through some particularly horrible games, looking nothing like the kind of quarterback who would one-day be drafted into the NFL. He had to have those days in order to have the kind of days he had against Missouri or against West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl.
I'm not one for "no pain no gain" motivational quotes but when it comes to Syracuse Football and the growth of our quarterbacks, we're unfortunately in a position where we have to think long-term, as much as we don't want to. Suffering through the yips today might mean reaping the benefits next year.
I know, I know. I hate that idea, too. I hate that it works this way. I hate that we can't just plug a guy in and know he's going to be consistently-good. But, until we start recruiting like FSU and Alabama, that's just the lot we've been given. Insert Scott Shafer 'Deal With It' GIF here.
My point isn't to say that Terrel Hunt deserves better or that he deserves his job back when he's healthy. Or even that A.J. Long is or isn't as good as you think he is after one game. I guess my point is this...
Remember how excited you were about Terrel Hunt after the Wagner and Tulane games last year? Remember how quickly you turned on him when we started playing good teams? Remember how excited you got again when he led SU to the Texas Bowl victory? Remember how you gave up on him again a couple weeks ago?
Terrel Hunt isn't "done" anymore than A.J. Long is "the answer." I guess that's the point. Your sample size dictates how you feel and that's just something to keep in mind.
But seriously, though...when is someone going to give Riley Dixon a shot at QB? He's our savior. I know it.