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The Infinite Syracuse Football Road Trip Diary: South Florida

Hoya Suxa's second diary entry in his endless Syracuse football road trip.

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.


It was late in the second half that I tried to reconcile a temporal impossibility: Why was I sitting in the Carrier Dome, watching Syracuse engage in amateur surgery against its own history, drinking a sewage pipe of Canadian beer themed in a bad American nostalgia -- bad American nostalgia with a defined and contemporary social media plan -- seemingly brought east from New Era Field on an express truck purposed explicitly to pull back on the grasp one has over reality? The confluence of iterative blips within this ostensibly tethered dimension shook my skull to the point of blaring dissonance.

There is nothing painful about each aspect of the Labatt Blue Brought to You by Zubaz, Sponsored by the Buffalo Bills and Proudly Served at a Syracuse Football/Dark Performance Art Game/Theater Show. When each comes together, though, the conflict should resolve itself naturally, but this can of beer at this moment in time and space featured no piece fearing actual or potential erosion. This is synergy bending toward coalescence where it should move in the direction of deterioration -- how is it possible that a garbage beer emblazoned in a garbage brand can find its way into a garbage game when it appears originally intended to fit into another football fan's universe? -- yet it permeated reality with a vigor that actually caused reassessment of the continuum.

All moves forward, though, throwing or absorbing blows, until the equilibrium is reestablished or ionized into dust. The foundation for this was found in a Narragansett just a few hours after blood leaked from my ears in a fruitless harmonization effort.

A Narragansett lager -- a reboot of an old classic, spurred into re-imagined existence, partially, due to the gravity of nostalgia -- served in a Narragansett glass sporting the "Hi, Neighbor!" slogan so familiar to generations of New England natives, enjoyed in concert with an almost-perfect pizza from Ironwood in Manlius. There is nothing especially drastic about a pint of mediocre beer in a glass with a brand that is archaic in current culture, but it affirmed a truth: Sideways is not permanence; it will all make sense if you keep pressing forward, finding the level that is almost assuredly awaiting discovery.


I spent most of last season acting as little more than decorative tailgating scenery with a colorful vocabulary. My friend Dave operated the grill for all of our pre-game face-stuffings, managing to somehow turn a pile of nooners into a series of non-repeatable breakfasts that ranged from egg sandwiches to grilled french toast sticks. My only responsibility was to monitor our inventory of beer by drinking as many as possible to ensure that we had, in fact, purchased beer and not been the victim of an awful con perpetrated by local retail establishments. This was an important task -- consumer fraud is a very real thing and not something that I made up so that I could rationalize being half in the bag before Saturday morning cartoons ran their final end credits -- but it also drew dark clouds over the fact that I am a capable, if not distinguished, open-flame cook.

The pursuit for South Florida, then, was simple: Be a contributing member of our tailgating society rather than a parasite with a beer belt that operates as a bottomless abyss. With Collin Sherwin of The Daily Stampede visiting our parking lot utopia this week, we figured that this would be a good opportunity to uncork an upstate feeding bonanza: Spiedies and salt potatoes, complemented with various accoutrements both local and from afar.

There is something brutally simple about spiedies: The combination of time and high-grade meat that has been carefully cut and marinated over a few days yields a result that could move the earth if a lever isn't handy. As far as regional feats of incredible human achievement go, spiedies are among those with the widest openings: Lamb, chicken, and the ability to mix things in a bowl and transfer it all into a plastic bag allows for science to provide a delicious safety net, assuming that you don't set fire to your refrigerator before putting these cubes of concentrated light on a hot grill grate.

Pairing the spiedies with the salt potatoes was a stroke of mild genius, marrying the Southern Tier with Central New York, a shotgun wedding that blended "Have you ever had . . .?" into one bloated response. The review from our strictest critic -- one that had not heard off these things prior to landing in Syracuse just three hours prior, a anthropologist examining our culinary cave drawings -- wasn't awful:

I am going to compete in Spiedie Fest next year, win, become mayor, and replace the education cirriculum with mandatory spiedies diplomacy training.


This is Bilbo, a corgi wearing a Syracuse football jersey:

You, however, may know him as the Newhouse Corgi or, more likely, as the corgi that can't deal with a mini pumpkin:

Over three million people have watched Bilbo bark at a gourd as if it were wrapped in an invisible forcefield that keeps dogs with tiny little Twinkies for legs from touching its shell. This made Bilbo the most famous thing at our tailgate, somehow having a stronger following than me (you know, a human that can speak and type words and do clever things like paint black lines on the skin of a gourd and say, "Ha! It looks like a butt!"). Bilbo, however, has not let massive internet fame go to his head: He's good with drinking plain ol' Wegman's bottled water in his dish and he's more than happy to scavenge for fallen potato chips instead of demanding expensive treats made by hand in a special Belgian kitchen that makes only the finest doggie snacks. He is a very good dog.


Games Attended: 2
Syracuse's Record in Games Attended: 1-1
Miles Driven: ~1,020
Miles Flown: 0
T-Shirt Tucked Into Jeans Sightings: 1
Next Syracuse Game: at Connecticut
Next Syracuse Game I'm Attending: at Connecticut