In a modern reinterpretation of the rallying cry, Dino Babers’s time with the Syracuse Orange can probably be summed up in two words: “Our House!” Those words chanted after the Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State wins have gotten him new locker rooms, prime morning interviews in the sports talk circuit and a whole host of viral videos. And in true Syracuse fashion, it’s also a t-shirt.
But those were all reactive moments when the Orange were briefly in the national spotlight. No one was spending time previewing the Virginia Tech or Clemson games saying the Orange were going to be more than another team. The best I could find was the Shutdown Fullcast calling us “squirrely.” Those wins were crucial because they put Syracuse on the map on Monday and Tuesday, but this week we have an entirely different opportunity.
For the first time that I can remember as a Syracuse fan, (much shorter than most around here, I know) when the Wednesday and Thursday conversations came around, Syracuse was still being talked about. Hell, the last three Podcast Ain’t Played Nobody episodes have had ‘Cuse moments as they talk about Notre Dame’s future stumbling blocks and N.C. State’s desperate attempt at double digit wins. And they’re not joking!
That’s why seeing this angers me to no end. They’ll announce that the Dome is over 40K filled, but it sure seems like the actual butts in seats amount will be lower. Dino’s message can’t just be a Monday morning water cooling point, it has to be a rallying cry for the program moving forward. The Athletic Department is trying to on social media, and I’m not in Central New York so I can’t honestly comment on what they’re doing there, so I won’t.
But I know at least three season ticket holders from NYC going to this game. I know another two who are using my tickets. Because for them, this is what we’ve been waiting for: a chance to achieve something in bowl eligibility in a statement win that will lead to a top 25 ranking before November. That sentence is impossible to conceive at the end of the GERG era, and here we are.
So I get it: there are apples to pick and leaves to rake and weddings and whatever else keeps you from the Dome on Saturday. I’m guilty of it this weekend too. But I also know that if we’re just going to say “Our House” on Monday after a big win, we’re only going to say once a year. And we’re on the cusp of moving to something greater than that.
Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?