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Only At The Dome

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So it can't host NFL games and it's likely to come down at some point sometime. But, damn it all, the Carrier Dome is still one hell of a place.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

THUMP...THUMP...THUMP....

Or maybe it's more like THWACK...THWACK...THWACK...

Hmmm? Well, however it technically sounds, I LOVE that sound! Those drums pounding away throughout the Carrier Dome before kickoff or tip-off. But it's really the first few thumps that get me. The other instruments join in, and they're apart of it all. Yet, those first waps of the drum, man, are all I need. It's like the rumbling of the calm of a mostly empty dome before the storm of another football or basketball game. For whatever the reason, that noise is forever in my mind.

THUMP...THUMP...THUMP...

Marching bands, of course, are the soundtrack to college sports, heard at all levels of play at all stadiums and arenas across the country. But there's just something different about that drum in the dome, piercing the silence and reverberating around the concrete blimp. It's one of those noises that can send you into a wormhole of memories the second it rings in your ears.

THUMP...That night Dwight Freeney continued his assault on the single-season sack record against B.C.? It seems like the last winnable Big Game at the dome.

THUMP...the crowd rushing in to grab a seat before Gerry McNamara's last home game. Such a strange setting.

THUMP...The way it felt before No. 1 Miami took the field. The last of the true Bad Guys in football.

You can definitely hear this sound elsewhere, but you can't hear it anywhere else like you can at the dome.

You can definitely see sports elsewhere, too. But you can't quite see them like you can at the dome either.

Frozen. Dome.

That's center ring! That's where John Thompson Jr. was ejected! Where Hoyas and Blue Devils and Johnnies and oh so many others were knocked out. But for about 24 hours, the court became a rink and it was stunning to see. Who cares if you don't know a lick about hockey, the Frozen Dome experience was a must attend or, at the least, a must catch on t.v.

And it captured our attention because it was at the Carrier Dome. Putting down a rink at a regular arena, even one that houses football and basketball, wouldn't be too over the top, right? But putting that ice down underneath the big ol' bubble? Well, that changes things.

For football, there are flaws, but when the place is packed? It's on its own level. And don't even get me started about how perfect a setting it is for big-time basketball.

Now, this isn't another love letter to the Carrier Dome. I've done that before, I know. This is mostly just a reminder that the Carrier Dome, the "it's too big," "it's too tiny," "it's too hot," "it's too cold," "there's no parking" football stadium that may be best as a basketball arena, or vice versa, is still one helluva place to be. And that was certainly on full display when the Syracuse Crunch, and company, took over.

(Okay, so maybe it is another love letter to the dome. But it's not a petition to keep it, it's just a refresher for anyone who may have forgotten its value. Yeah. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. )

Everything looks impeccable -- a credit to the staff of the dome, of the crunch, and to the setting that is the Carrier Dome.

So the NFL says the old girl isn't up to snuff? Like Sean writes, does that even matter? The technology and the "wiring" aren't sufficient enough, evidently. It sounds damning, but it's really not.

You're telling me, on the off chance an NFL team gets snowed out of its home once every thirty years, the dome won't be an option for said NFL team? Who. Cares. Hardly the straw breaking the camel's back. The Carrier Dome's death is coming, but the cause will certainly not be Roger Goodell's passing it over for one random game.

The death certificate will list all the other issues, some of which I mentioned, most of which I don't even have the space here to list. But the end is coming and it will bring some crazy new stadium/arena/hybrid. It'll make some fans happy and other fans angry, but eventually it'll fit. Eventually.

Which is fine.

That's for then, for now we have the ice being cleared out, another round with Duke coming, and who's ready for lacrosse to get back into the national swing of things? And there will certainly be other attractions, eye-catchers coming, too. I know my son Brady and I have plans to check out the monster truck show there -- a pretty crazy event in its own right. I mean, they clear out the dome and bring in tons of dirt and big monster trucks to rip around in there!

It's all apart of the sights and sounds that the dome offers. Creating and also triggering memories for all of us.

THUMP...THUMP...THUMP

That's one of mine. But whatever the memories are, maybe even the "clink" sound of a puck hitting the post, they're certainly special to you. And they're unique to the Carrier Dome.