Hoya Suxa is aiming to attend 10 of Syracuse's 12 regular season football games this year. He'll be filing short travelogues from his journeys.
I DRANK LABATT'S BLUEBAZ AND GENNY CREAM ALE, ATE SMOKED MEATLOAF AND TESTICLES: SATURDAY IS FOR MOVING THROUGH SPACE AND CRASHING INTO AS MANY GALAXIES AS POSSIBLE
There are lots of cooking shows on TV. Many of them are very good, featuring feats of culinary achievement that make you want to chew on your flat screen, the impulse to bite through your set stopped by only the persistent sting of an electrical charge rushing through your face as you slowly make your way through the LED screen and into the circuit-organs of your television. None of these shows, though, speak exactly to me -- Where is the show that pairs a perfect barbecue sandwich with liquid poured from a sewage beer spigot? I need shows that I can relate to, and there's nothing I can relate to more than my suspect attempt at being a living human operating in a contemporary society.
ACT I: Our guide eats a smoked meatloaf sandwich with Doritos and Genesee Cream Ale. Critics go wild over the no-mayonnaise cole slaw put directly on to the sandwich as if it were an attempt to open a door into a new dimension where people are only happy and internet comments don't exist. The dramatic twist of our guide drinking Genesee Cream Ale instead of Genesee Light is massive, causing audible gasps from everywhere between Rochester and some other fungible dead-tree town on the Thruway. The rising action caused by our guide drinking a Genesee Cream Ale with a carefully smoked and grilled concrete block of meatloaf is the genesis for serious Emmy talk just five minutes into the show's pilot episode. Our guide is in talks to appear on the cover of Tiger Beat magazine.
ACT II: The scene shifts to a football game where our guide encounters Wacky Dad in the wild, a creature usually spotted at family picnics or family vacations to various Orlando-area resorts and amusement parks:
Wacky Dad is here to do two things: (1) Wear a visor in a manner consistent with being Wacky Dad (upside down instead of back-and-to-the-right like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air); and (2) Get wacky. Our guide then turns toward the camera as a spotlight highlights his face, the background bleeding to black as he earnestly pleads with viewers to appreciate the beauty of Wacky Dad. "Who else can we trust to embarrass his family in public places? How else will we know that companies are still selling cell phone belt holsters? Wacky Dad is our stone-washed blue jeans soul. He is us and our dream for a perfect union." Our guide takes a slug from his Labatt Bluebaz as the camera pans out, framing our guide as he cheers a good football thing instead of sobbing quietly and blowing his nose into a used Dome Dog wrapper.
ACT III: Our guide, at this point, is well sauced and buoyed by the strength of listening to postgame sports talk callers predicting bowl game appearances with only the finest payouts. With the moxie of Wacky Dad, it's time for a culinary adventure: Eating deep-fried pig testicles and assuming that this is how Blade got his powers.
Our guide approves of the concept of a Testicle Festival and awards Riley's his prestigious The Only Place I've Ever Eaten a Testicle Award. The end credits roll with a blooper reel in an isolated box, showing our guide (1) vacantly walking past Jim Boeheim as he races, with laser focus, to purchase two Labatt Bluebaz tallboys prior to kickoff, (2) cowering in fear at a handful of cotton candy -- the worst thing that humans have created in the last 300 years, and that includes Moby -- waved in his face, and (3) shouting "GRIZZLY EXTREME" every time Brisly Estime touches a football.
I AM A MAN OF NATURE AND PREFER TO EXPERIENCE IT WHIZZING PAST ME AT 80 MPH
Foliage is fucking lit.
WE'RE OFFICIALLY CLOSER TO THE EXPIRATION DATE THAN THE BORN ON DATE
Syracuse has five dates remaining on its football calendar and I'll, for reasons known only to our future robot masters, be at every single one of them. The football aspect of this pursuit has always been subordinated behind the true value of spending three-quarters of the fall on the road: Seeing family and friends, enjoying the weather, eating great food and enjoying fantastic/disrespectful lubricants, meeting new people and seeing places that aren't part of the daily routine, and having a shared experience with other knuckleheads that find similar heat in getting into the building rather than viewing it through pixelated furniture. Outside of the time spent screaming on the inside while traveling -- a nine-ish hour round trip for Carrier Dome games -- this agenda has delivered in every way that I had hoped.
The quality of the football was never going to dictate whether I was going to have a good time, and building that fail-safe has actually made the football being played under Dino Babers even better to watch. The strength of an experience is what you make of it; living a taut, vicarious existence or needing to be impacted in some tangible way in order to find joy would have ruined this exercise right from the start. This is no great discovery, but it is something that seems to get lost in the Northeast.
I will, however, love when this massive tour is over. I haven't bought groceries in weeks and the ones that I did buy are now a middle school science project in my refrigerator. I haven't vacuumed in at least a month and I think that the light film of dust on my floors is just a head start on new, free carpeting. I have a separate laundry bag for traveling clothes that I can almost pinpoint the bill for as it's basically the same two-week cycle of whatever dumb stuff I make look even worse by wearing it. A fall devoted almost entirely to going to football games is pretty stupid, but one that sits in the sweet spot -- all home games? all road games? half and half? -- is a kind of perfection that people should seek out rather than immediately deposit in the trash.
This is fun, even when it's a hot brand to the left butt cheek, and the coming month-and-a-half will likely be a bottomless pit of fun buffoonery even if Syracuse lines up a pile of L's.
Games Attended: 5
Syracuse's Record in Games Attended: 3-2
Miles Driven: ~1,915
Miles Flown: 0
Next Syracuse Game: Boston College
Next Syracuse Game I'm Attending: Boston College
Previous: Colgate; South Florida; Connecticut; Notre Dame