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Doug Gottlieb, Syracuse Fans & The Ouroboros We've Both Created

Doug Gottlieb says he almost got into a fight with a Syracuse fan and it seems to underscore his feelings about the fanbase. But perhaps it's all one big cycle both parties perpetuate until the end of time.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

So let's get one thing straight right off the bat. No Syracuse Orange fan should ever physically or verbally attack anyone.

That's just bush league nonsense and embarrassing not only to yourself but to the entire fanbase and the school you represent. Be better than that. You're from Syracuse, not East Lansing.

That includes people who talk smack, or are perceived to talk smack, about Syracuse. You want to throw some shade someone's way on Twitter? Have at it. You want to make a snarky joke when SU wins after they said we'd lose? Go for it. Have some fun, but remember that it's supposed to be fun.

It's sports, right? Despite what Nike and Gatorade would have you think, it's not that serious. It's not a big deal. Get excited when we win and feel bummed when we lose and vent your frustrations in a healthy way but, as James Dalton might say..."Be nice."

"What if Doug Gottlieb calls my fanbase vile?"

"Be nice, until it's time to not be nice."

"How we supposed to know when that is?"

"You won't. Jim Boeheim will let you know."

All of this leads into Doug Gottlieb's story about being physically confronted by a Syracuse fan during the Final Four a couple months ago. It's not great and it certainly doesn't reflect well on us as a whole. Especially because the guy's explicit taunts were highly uncreative and basic. I think that's what offends me the most. If you're gonna bring it, bring it smart.

So we've established that you shouldn't do that. Not with Georgetown fans. Not with Colin Cowherd. Not with Doug Gottlieb.

*Stephen A. Smith voice*

HOWEVA...

Doug Gottlieb is not a victim. This is not a case of some innocent bystander being provoked in public without cause. And I can't quite tell if it's offensive or obnoxious that he's trying to play that card.

First, some qualifiers:

Many things Doug Gottlieb has said about Syracuse over the years were either correct or well-reasoned.

Many things Doug Gottlieb has said about Syracuse have been said by other people at the same time.

Doug Gottlieb is critical of many programs across the country, not just Syracuse.

But...Doug Gottlieb, whether he wants to admit it or not, has also kicked the hornet's nest from time to time.

syracuse

Interesting that Gottlieb runs into the Syracuse fan he described there back around 2012. He'd probably tell you it's validation but I'd wonder if it's a little bit of self-fulfilling prophecy. I mean, if you publicly talk about how "vile" a fanbase is, sooner or later one of those "vile" people is going to respond, right?

And while I'm sure Gottlieb spreads around his own special brand of love to many fanbases, he can't say it's an isolated incident.

Syracuse has gone to two Final Fours since then but who's counting. Boeheim took it in stride back then and he takes it in stride (while dishing it back) now.

The point being that while what Gottlieb often says rings true, you also can't deny that he does have a personal issue with Syracuse basketball and it's fans. And that's fine. He's a human being and he's allowed to have his own feelings and biases.

But then when someone calls you on your shit, don't pretend it's not there.

It reminds me a bit of Michael Moore. Michael Moore's movies are often full of factual information that can be backed up. But there's always one or two bits in there that end up being either incorrect or biased. And that paints everything else. His personal feelings seep in to the analysis and taint it.

That's what happened for Doug and Syracuse fans. He denies that he's influenced by the fact that his parents went to SU and Jim Boeheim didn't want him but that's so hard to accept. I know it'd piss me off. Hell, I still get pissed off about the way my middle school's basketball coach shunned me.

So I'd love to tell you that no Syracuse fan will ever get fight-y around Doug Gottlieb again and I certainly don't ever want it to happen again. But I know that Gottlieb is going to continue to throw barbs, warranted or not, in Syracuse's direction. So he'll only continue to stoke the fire. Maybe he won't say anything for a year but the fire will keep simmering. In sports, it always does. Then he'll do something like write 2,000 words on why Boeheim is overrated on the day he retires or tweet out a story about how Syracuse fans are obnoxious and the embers will grow bright once more.

Doug and Syracuse are stuck in an ouroboros that we both created and I'm not entirely sure he knows it. He dislikes a fanbase he's said he dislikes that dislikes him that he's said he dislikes. He's stuck in the loop with us and us with him. We can keep getting angry and letting each other get under our skin. But neither of us can claim to be an innocent victim.