Opponent: The Louisiana State University Tigers (2-1)
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
It's Quaid Bowl Week!!!
Syracuse University and Louisiana State University are not known to have many things in common. Sure, SU's maniacal fans travel in droves to nearby New Orleans to drink themselves unconscious and buy all sorts of weird crap while local vendors take said proceeds and drink themselves silly in Baton Rouge on fall Saturdays in a bizarre Tom Collins-fueled “Circle of Life.” But aside from that, there aren't too many other things that connect us.
But if you dig deep, there is one man who single-handedly brought our proud fan bases together. A man whose greatness is a central part of our school's history. A man who, in the late 1950s, achieved perhaps the greatest feat in athletic history by leading Syracuse University to The National College Football Championship AND achieving All-American honors as the star running back for LSU's 10-1 Sugar Bowl Champions.
Yes. Dennis Quaid. The son of a Houston electrician and a real estate agent, and perhaps the greatest sports film actor of our time. Quaid's accomplishments during that magical decade are now the stuff of legend, and have given generations of Orange and Tiger fans a shared sense of pride that will live on forever... or as long as Netflix continues to stream! And as such, it was only fitting to honor him with the one of the nation's newest trophy games: The Quaid Bowl!
What's at stake? Beside silly regional pride, The Quaid Bowl bestows the victor with the pride of knowing that their trophy case will be adorned by something that transcends generations and gender. Nebraska and Minnesota can fight over some crappy broken chair, but Syracuse and LSU fight for something that all men and women want, and want to be. The ridiculously good-looking face of The Greatest Sports Film Actor of All Time: Dennis Quaid.
A Filmography Like No Other
For nearly 40 years, Quaid has been a leading player in of some of films greatest sports movies. In 1979, Quaid played "Mike" in "Breaking Away", which chronicles the journey of The Cutters — a local group of young cyclists who compete in the annual 'Little 500' cycling race at Indiana University (the movie is truly great, and the actual Little 500 is even better). Quaid also played the lead role of Jim Morris in the 2002 baseball classic "The Rookie,” where his phone call late in the movie to tell his wife and young son that he made it to the Major Leagues takes me to an emotional Dad level that just thinking about it, I can't even talk about it witho...
Okay. I'm back. His true crowning glory is his work in football films which includes a performance as 'Cap' Rooney in "Any Given Sunday,” but is most notable for his work in the two films that tie LSU and Syracuse to this day: "Everybody's All-American" (1988), and "The Express" (2008). Both films are notable in that "Everybody's All-American" was released during Syracuse's greatest era of sustained excellence (No. 19 LSU actually lost the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl to No. 12 Syracuse by a score of 23-10), while "The Express" was released during our worst era of sustained suckiness (warning: contains graphic image) .
To wax poetically about the greatness that is these two films would take too much space, so I'll simply leave you with the "Tale of The Tape" to compare Quaid's roles. If you are a fan of either school and haven't seen these films: why??? If you are among this group, film reports will be due a week from this Friday:
Six Degrees of Dennis Quaid
So great was the gravity of Quaid's performance in these films, he created his very own Kevin Bacon-esque gravitational pull for every football film ever made. Indeed, you can find a quick tie-back to Quaid within six degrees of separation (far less in most cases) between he and any football film you can imagine (feel free to try others in the comments section below):
So on the gridiron and at the tailgates, let us jointly give thanks to the great man for whom this great trophy game will be played. A man who blessed both fan bases for eternity with his ever smiling presence on the silver screen.
This is what we play for. And G*d damn is he handsome...
The #FakeNunes Statistical Index (#FNSI)
F&B: (Food and Beverage). The food and beverage scene in Baton Rouge is very good, and extremely different from what one can find in the northeast, so try to save some room from the tailgating scene to enjoy a Southern Seafood or Cajun spot like Tony's Seafood, Louisiana Lagniappe, or Sammy's Grill. ADVANTAGE: LSU
Tailgate Efficiency: The best tailgate in America is a straight toss-up between LSU and Ole Miss. Seriously, from the dedication of the fans, to the food (Oh my lord the glorious food), a football Saturday in Baton Rouge is close to heaven. But beware, they can be a rowdy bunch, so show your colors but be unfailingly polite. You'll stay out of trouble, and may just get invited to dip into one of those piles of clawed-gold! ADVANTAGE: LSU
Adj. Uniform Coolness: The #FNSI is a sucker for classic looks, and LSU's is a tried and true classic. 1990s Syracuse was a match for LSU. Right now? Forget it. ADVANTAGE: LSU
4th String F.I.: (4th String Familiarity Index) LSU has entire blogs and radio shows on their 4th string. Hell, on the Middle School kids that are likely to be on their 4th string in 2024! ADVANTAGE: LSU
Hot Seat: A loss to MSU was forgivable, if hard to handle. A loss to The Orange? Oh Oh Da Coach O. ADVANTAGE: LSU
FACEPALM: If you are a Syracuse fan at this game, and we are about to win? Just Run. Fast. Don't stop until you hit the Mississippi border, and take your chances with the local wildlife. ADVANTAGE: LSU
Grandpa Edgar: "Hell, it's great and all that you took care of a team that you were supposed to, but that doesn't win you any trophies. Those are handed out for teams that beat the Big Boys. And the Big Boys get their trophies handed out to them in January. And when does LSU usually get their trophies handed to then hotshot? January." ADVANTAGE: LSU
Swift/Perry Index: He bleeds Orange. He gave it everything he had. He NEVER forgets ADVANTAGE: SU
Iso #DISRESPEKT: The Tigers are seriously wounded following a surprisingly-big loss to SEC rivals Mississippi State. This isn't some "revenge" game against Syracuse, but LSU will need to right the ship quickly and convincingly to gain some pride back. ADVANTAGE: LSU
Narcissism+: There is an inevitable narcissism that comes from being a historically great program in a sport that is the pride and joy of an entire region. If you are feeling a little bit like our modest Northeastern program doesn't register with the folks down in Baton Rouge, well its because we don't. It's all about the SEC, and that's okay. ADVANTAGE: LSU
East Coast Bias +/-: The East Coast media is distracted by the utter garbage fire that is the Jets and Giants. That Syracuse may be the best football team in the entire state won't matter much. SEC teams get SEC-levels of love. ADVANTAGE: LSU
Tradition/Culture Index: Welcome to the Big Leagues, Syracuse fans. This is SEC country, and LSU does tradition with the best of 'em. Take your pick between he tailgating, The Pregame Show, March Down Victory Hill, Songs of LSU, Golden Girls (no, not THOSE Golden Girls), etc. Hell, don't take your pick, TAKE IT ALL IN!!! ADVANTAGE: LSU
LSU is vulnerable after a deflating and comprehensive loss to Mississippi State last week, but the #FNSI calculates that the Tigers have too much strength across the board. The Orange fight hard, but fall short. Syracuse 23, LSU 38.