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The infinite Syracuse football road trip diary: Florida State

Ate stuff, drank stuff, wondered about stuff.

Florida State v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Hoya Suxa is aiming to attend 7 of Syracuse’s 12 regular season football games this year. He’ll be filing short travelogues from his journeys.


With Syracuse planting its flag at the northern edge of the ACC’s territory, much of the league’s cultural touchpoints are, at best, only somewhat relatable and, at worst, the assumed consequence of aliens living in plain sight in the Southeast. I have no idea what a Mellow Mushroom is or why a gelatinous blob from Universe X10024 that has assumed the form of an Earth Human would want it, but the ACC has had no problem firing the gospel of this joint — it could be a front for an alien assimilation center, but the lying government hasn’t even opened an official investigation yet — at Syracuse fans for the last five years like it was totally normal that actual humans would want to eat what I can only assume is a very large english muffin pizza made in an industrial kitchen at Greensboro Middle School (Go Fightin’ Illiterates!).

There is nowhere to hide from this propaganda: If Mellow Mushroom doesn’t make you want to eat upcycled car tires, there’s Food Lion to feed your need for pickled tar balls. Yet, there is one ACC corporate champion — I think there should be a corporate champion tournament so that we can definitively crown “One True Corporate Champion” — that broke our brains: Bojangles. Biscuits are awesome, and eating biscuits and gravy at a breakfast tailgate? Aw, hell yeah!

We baked the biscuits before heading out for our 8:00 tailgate and made the sausage gravy the night before, heating it up on the grill and squaring up our stomachs for the annihilation that awaited. All of it was homemade — biscuits in a tube is apparently a non-starter for aliens that have marked Brooklyn as a hostile planet — and everything came out as expected: Delicious, even if our skulls have been permanently invaded and the gooey stuff on the inside replaced with an acceptance of seeing a pool of urine on Aisle 6 at a third-rate grocery store that sells spoiled meat as “pre-jerky.”

That wasn’t the end of the day’s Southern lap, though. Needing a dessert to close the tailgate, we grilled our take on peach cobbler:

Splitting and de-pitting whole peaches, we grilled the fruit and topped it with crumble, heating indirectly until we had a child’s fist of sweet delight. Eating all of this almost made me want to buy an authentic Bill Elliot fire suit and look up plans to build my very own backyard still.


Tommy DeVito has a story and will create a story. What that story is and what it will become, though, doesn’t matter to me. What I care about is how I want to talk about Tommy DeVito’s story, past, present, and future, which means that I have incredibly dumb things to think about Tommy Devito. Everyone wants to talk about Tommy DeVito as heir to the throne currently held by part-time quarterback and full-time lunatic Eric Dungey, but worrying about that now deprives us of the opportunity to build a stupid structure around the basic existence of Tommy DeVito. The imagined universe of Tommy DeVito — the language we use, the scenarios we put him in — is infinite and, as we discovered at some point in the third quarter against Florida State, difficult to pin down.

For example:

  1. The Universe Where Tommy DeVito is One of an Entire Family of Tommy DeVitos: Tommy DeVito, son of Tommy (Thom) Devito and Tommy (Tomacella) DeVito, brother to Tommy (Tommaso) DeVito and sister to Tommy (Toma) DeVito. His grandfather on the paternal side of the family, Tommy (Tomas) DeVito, gave him his first football and his grandmother on his father’s side, Tommi DeVito, used to drive him to and from Pop Warner games. The family dog, Tom Tom, is precocious.
  2. The Universe Where We Only Talk About Tommy DeVito Like an Italian Pizza Chef: “Tommy DeVito throw-ah the touchdown pass-ah! [italian pizza chef finger-kissing gesture] Oh! That was a spicy meatball! He’s a good-ah boy but his cannoli needs some work! Oh! Gabagool! He-ah make them go-go-go like-ah when I make-ah da garlic knots! Oh!”
  3. The Universe Where Tommy DeVito Only Talks About Partying on the Shore and His Playbook is Just One Page That Says “Gym, Tan, Laundry”: This is a dark timeline and ends with him DJ’ing a county fair in Des Moines in three years.
  4. The Universe Where Tommy DeVito is a Wise Guy Because Joe Pesci’s Name in Goodfellas is Tommy DeVito: “Oklahoma Kid. That’s him. He’s the Oklahoma Kid. Dance. Dance. YAHOO, YA MOTHER******! [throws a touchdown]” Tommy DeVito once shook Frank Sinatra’s hand! When he gets his first start he earns his button and can be made a made man. Babers’ ‘ohana — Hawaiian for “family” — takes on a whole new meaning.

I am not proud of any of this.


I’ve wanted to try Willow Rock’s Congress reboot for a while now, but the house’s hours have made it difficult to get over there and put some in my belly. (Unrelated: One of Willow Rock’s flagship offerings is its Orange 44. Was this named after a blog I started 13 years ago? That’s a question for the Supreme Court to decide unless I’m given free, ass-rocking beers every day for the rest of my life.) As luck would have it, when we made our way to Stout Beard on Wescott postgame for some pops, it was on a guest tap and I guzzled a glass. The verdict: It was a beer, and one that someone probably drank with alacrity 50 years ago, so it accomplished its ultimate goal of not killing me.

I also gave the Patty — a ginger root ale — a trip and my pal Dave sampled a flight of [check notes for accuracy] four beers. As an alternative to Marshall Street for postgame time-killing, this was quietly a solid option: Clean and amiable, the spot isn’t big but it was a nice place to relax until traffic cleared out of the area.


Games Attended: 2

Syracuse’s Record in Games Attended: 2-0

Miles Driven: ~1,024

Miles Flown: 0

Next Syracuse Game: Connecticut

Next Syracuse Game I’m Attending: Connecticut

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