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.
THE GREEN LINE
12:30 PM: Chestnut Hill
Syracuse-Boston College was a vision quest.
Instead of achieving some form of enlightenment or knowledge, however, Orange-Eagles yielded all the self-torture associated with journeying into the unknown but failed to return the benefit of a renewed spirit: Drenched socks that were attempting to waterboard my toes; two teams resting at the bottom of the middle third of the country working together to assemble a dynamic agenda of "Which team can eat a porcupine last?"; cold coffee and a concessions list torn directly from an eighth grade dance; a half-empty building in the middle of a campus that actively attempted to bury all signs of football atmosphere deep within the earth where only the sins of former Boston politicians could find it; an impressively apathetic student section that long gave up on esprit de corps and instead opted for the much easier fucketh thiseth; and the fervent requirement -- not a desire but a hard rule that would not be ignored through 600 minutes of live Syracuse football -- to sit through all of this until one team finally expired because all things must eventually die.
This was not, of all the things I have witnessed in my laughably sideways existence, a time of important internal development. This was, contrastingly, trying to do amateur self-surgery on my eye with a screwdriver. Sitting in the rain, saturated, I wanted everything in reality to happen in fast-forward until I was pantsless, dry, and warm.
7:00 PM: Boston
The opposite end of the Syracuse-Boston College spectrum was Quinnipiac-Boston University at Agganis Arena: Two top ten teams; a pretty full house with a band and a student section willing to smoke a cigar in a dynamite factory; a building that actually sold beer because it's 2016 and if you don't sell it I'm going to bring it in anyway, likely through means that the CIA would find worthy of a classified rating; no rain thanks to the incredible human achievement of something called a roof; and the feeling that everyone that was in the arena actually wanted to be there.
There are only 60 Division I men's college hockey teams -- that is fewer than the number of men's Division I lacrosse programs -- but the sport is infinitely desirable. The fans care, the game is highly potent, and you won't leave with wet socks unless you pour beer into your shoe because you're bad at things.
MY NIECE IS ADORABLE EVEN WHEN EATING SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE A BLUE SPONGE THAT WAS USED TO WIPE BLOOD FROM THE WALLS AFTER AN EPIC SERIAL KILLING IN A SEPARATE ROOM
This little pile of rainbows is my niece. When she isn't uncontrollably crying whenever I try to pick her up, she is a pretty perfect niece: She has never vomited on me, mostly because she turns into a European police siren whenever I even think about putting my hands within 10 yards of her person, and she laughs at all of my silly faces and jokes (unlike every other female I have ever met in my life). There is one problem, though: I'm not exactly a banger uncle.
I will miss her first birthday this year because I will be at the North Carolina State game. This would be reasonable if, you know, Syracuse wasn't gunning for a backdoor bowl invitation on the strength of five wins and Writing II scores. But, I am a mutant and locked in the trip to the Carrier Dome without thinking for 30 seconds about whether my only niece will be having an important moment in her family's life that day.
This, however, isn't even the worst thing that I've done as an uncle: I skipped her birth because I was at the Clemson game last year and even managed to make my mother wonder what she did to deserve such a turd of a son:
I give myself credit for requesting a baby update prior to kickoff but I have no excuse for thinking that Syracuse was going to do anything other than perish against Clemson. Then again, the kid couldn't wait a few more hours to appear in a world in which Syracuse almost did something against an alpha predator? I blame this on her Connecticut-diploma'd parents.
A SKANNECTICUT SKANKEE IN SKA KING CRAB'S COURT
The only reason that I can surmise that I am not on a United States Senator is that it is an open secret that I still like ska and that this fact -- unlike other youthful indiscretions, like driving a car off of a one-lane bridge and into a tidal channel, killing a woman -- is somehow a massive blotch on my candidacy to create policy (notwithstanding being a mediocre uncle). Ska infected my brain in high school -- Reel Big Fish, Mustard Plug, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Less Than Jake, and any other vehicles for sweet, hyper-quick off-beats -- and somehow hasn't killed my ability to operate in society. This isn't something I'm proud of, but I wouldn't mind if the United States national anthem was Spring Heeled Jack's "Jolene."
Apparently because I voluntarily sat through the running toilet of Syracuse-Boston College, reality bent in my favor and bestowed a beautiful gift on my Third Wave soul: Walking out of Agganis Arena following the Quinnipiac-Boston University game, planning to call an Uber and call it a night, Paradise Rock Club's marquee glowed "Big D and the Kids Table." I knew that my Saturday wasn't over until I tried to press the stage and skank as if I wasn't a dopey-looking 36 year-old with a bad back and even worse taste in music.
I'm sure that my buddy Mike was less than enthused to have to sit through this nonsense, especially as he had to wake up at 5 AM and catch a flight to Pittsburgh for Patriots-Steelers, but I will always love him for letting me blow off six weeks of steam pent up from traveling almost 3,000 miles with even more remaining on the rest of my tour.
Games Attended: 6
Syracuse's Record in Games Attended: 4-2
Miles Driven: ~2,370
Miles Flown: 0
Next Syracuse Game: at Clemson
Next Syracuse Game I'm Attending: at Clemson
Previous: Colgate; South Florida; Connecticut; Notre Dame; Virginia Tech