In case you missed it in the post-traumatic victory cigars, Notre Dame and Georgia played each other in South Bend, Ind. last weekend. You might not have realized it if you watched on TV because there was a ton of red in stands.
Some people saw this as #DISLOYAL by ND fans for selling their seats, but SBN’s mothership had a great look into how in a highly commercialized environment like college football, loyalty has a price point that works both ways. For ND fans, $4,000 was enough to sell their tickets. For Georgia fans, seeing their team in-person play a once in a blue moon game was worth $4,000.
This made me think about the Syracuse Orange, because it’s always about us. Duh.
In two weeks, New Orleans is about to get a lot more Orange leading into the first ever SU game in Death Valley. We’ve got John flying out from California, alumni groups in Texas and Tennessee planning road trips and plenty coming in from Syracuse to watch what is presumably a loss. And while we as a TNIAAM family will continue to hammer home easier scheduling, there is a cool element for fans of the larger collegiate game outside of the 315 to enjoy with these games.
Notre Dame may not hold the same prestige for Syracuse fans as it did for Georgia due to recent scheduling, but I’m sure some of the Orange faithful are planning a South Bend trip for next year (Ed. Note: yup, and same goes for Madison, Wisc. despite my complaints).
Looking at our future scheduling commitments, I know I’m already thinking of 2020s party in Madison, Wisc. We may already be desensitized to it, but that first road Clemson game was a big deal for our fans. And I’m sure that if things hadn’t changed, we’d be looking forward to the Orange party in Happy Valley, even if we had visited recently.
And more poignantly to Syracuse, these games hold different esteem than playing in a generic NFL stadium. All respect for those who built them, but generic slabs of concrete that at best are meant to be an extension of luxury condos over a football stadium aren’t going to draw as well at the premiums they often charge. Syracuse found this out all too well while playing a game in the backyard of 50,000 Orange alumni.
I guess the rambling point here is that while the product on the field have been less than ideal, the last few years have been an interesting period of growth for the program. Winning is the best cure for national perception issues, so we should stop scheduling tough opponents. But our fans have also had opportunities to experience lands with a lot more history than Storrs, Conn. As long as certain people are in charge, we’ll probably have some more challenging road games coming up, too.
So is there any team/stadium you’d want to see Syracuse play next regardless of result? (hey, this list provides a good starting point) Or any fan base you want to see try to hang in the Dome in September? Let us know in the comments.