They say that basketball teams take on the personality of their head coach. That’s been said amongst basketball circles for some time and certainly something I believe in. How better to explain the Syracuse Orange’s fight, never-quit attitude and wild come-from-behind victories over the years than looking directly at Jim Boeheim’s persona? Boeheim came to Syracuse as a teenager and hasn’t truly left since. There’s just no quit in that guy.
But what about a fan base? Is it possible that a fan base can take on the personality of a head basketball coach? It’s certainly a thought I’m at least willing to entertain.
Over the weekend, one of the more remarkable tweets surfaced after Syracuse’s upset over Michigan State from the twittersphere, of course from one of the more remarkable twitter handles.
I never get mad when Syracuse wins, because save for maybe Sixers fans, no fan base loves to hold receipts and clown them more than Syracuse Basketball fans. They live for it.— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) March 18, 2018
Yep. That’s us! We have old takes and hate tweets filed away and stored for good use.
We’re a pretty sensitive group, routinely afraid to be judged unfairly with the underlying fear being that people just won’t see Syracuse in the same light as we do. People in media throw out their erroneous Syracuse takes (although sometimes they do hold water) and we take it personally. Then when we do experience success, we’re very quick to remember the times we were judged unfairly. We don’t just gloat when we succeed, we rub people’s noses in our success.
Maybe that’s just human nature and maybe that applies to anyone. But as much as it goes for anyone, it definitely applies to us and it also applies to Jim Boeheim. The only difference is that we love Jim for it while everyone on the outside doesn’t. Remember last season when Jim came into the post game presser and ripped apart the media for suggesting Syracuse was lucky to make the 2016 Final Four? We do, (of course we remember!) and we love it.
Jim has been on record saying things are always personal with him and that they always will be. He’s also noted in his book ‘Bleeding Orange’ that he has tremendous recall. Others around the game have suggested that nobody processes the game as quickly as Boeheim. I’m sure all of that comes with being a basketball lifer, having dedicated a near century to the game and having seen just about everything there is to the game.
But I’d also be willing to bet that Boeheim has a tremendous episodic memory. That’s shown itself through a number of Boeheim pressers. Saturday before squaring off against Michigan State we were gifted with another one of those moments as Jim spoke of his playing days at Syracuse. This time, Boeheim held that (mental) receipt like he was a 13-year old kid given a questionable birthday gift from a great uncle.
“I remember when I was a freshman playing on the freshman team one of my best friends said ‘Well you’re doing okay but why’d you come to Syracuse? You’re never going to play here.’ So he’s still a good friend of mine today but I do remind him of that about every time I see him,” Jim said.
Return to sender.
Come on, that’s just so Boeheim. Bringing up something from when he was slighted over 50 years ago? That’s in Jim and that’s in all of us that represent the Syracuse fan base.
Although I wouldn’t recommend applying that sort of behavior to life, in an entertainment and Syracuse basketball sense it’s purely comedic and downright hilarious. It’s all part of the Syracuse basketball charm that manifests itself from the top.
So where to from here? Well, we’re hopeful for another unthinkable Final Four run to further remind everyone just who we are. But however it goes down you can bet your bottom dollar we’re just going to keep trolling you. That’s what trolls do.
So don’t think you’re getting out of this thing unscathed, Omaha. And that goes for the rest of you pundits and geographical regions.
As for Greensboro, we haven’t forgotten about you either. We can’t wait until we win the ACC Tournament in 2020 and print our next damn batch of t-shirts.