Assembled at a co-working space in lower Manhattan were 11 of the ACC’s 15 mascots, sitting at a round table. And eating burritos. The four missing — Duke, Louisville, Miami and North Carolina — were busy attending the early session games at the New York Life ACC Tournament.
Trading “war” stories over the wacky places they’d been, the requests made of them as mascots and the differences in each mascot’s duties, it was fascinating to see the shared lore between them all. They share experiences so few people can relate to and truly understand. They inhabit personas without voices, yet represent entire schools and their alums. And they use that lack of voice to their advantage, as I witnessed in the streets of Manhattan.
A double-decker tour bus was our chauffeur to wreak havoc on the city. In Herald Square, the 11 mascots spilled out, immediately catching the attention of the local authorities. Passerby were confused. Children were thrilled. Big East fans were jilted (there were plenty around given their tournament’s own supposed residence in the New York as well).
They may have been on a quest to find Jim Boeheim’s favorite restaurant.
Jim Boeheim, as you know by now, teed off on Greensboro yesterday, and Greensboro (and its many defenders) teed off right back. The Syracuse Orange coach has been in the crosshairs of the ACC mafia before. He was fine to reignite the feud on Wednesday, though without a focus on eateries.
One might assume, given his previous Denny’s dislike, that one of Jim’s key differentiators between Greesnboro and New York is restaurants. But he’s never mentioned WHICH restaurants he prefers in Manhattan.
The ACC mascots were unable to figure out which of New York’s many restaurants is Jim’s favorite. But they did hear out my plan for Syracuse football scheduling. They were floored by its scope and foresight.
Despite a lack of words from everyone involved, save Notre Dame’s leprechaun, the ACC’s mascots imparted some wisdom during a three-hour jaunt around downtown.
From Roc the Panther, I learned that you can do anything you put your mind to — even play basketball without a rim. Otto the Orange taught me that Sean’s original characterization of him in the Octonion was pretty spot-on. And Clemson’s Tiger proved he was not the drug-addled fiend portrayed on Twitter. But rather, someone who was pretty good friends with Otto (still weird), and completely unaware of our on-and-off internet fued with Clemson.
Perhaps one day, they’ll figure out Jim’s preferred restaurant choice.