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The Athletic tells former Syracuse punter Rob Long’s story after brain cancer

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Being cancer-free doesn’t erase what Rob had to go through — and still does.

Syracuse v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Sorry in advance for links being few and far between of late. Life’s interfered a bit on that front, and as you can probably tell, we’ve been busy around here just the same. But today’s top story deserved some further broadcasting.

The Athletic’s Matt Gutierrez wrote a great piece on former Syracuse Orange punter Rob Long, his work with Uplifting Athletes and his continued battle with the depression and anxiety that comes after living through the trauma of brain cancer. Rob’s healthy and cancer-free for years now. But that hasn’t necessarily reduced his concern that it could return. It’s a stress that follows him every day.

That Rob’s still able to do all of the great work he does with Uplifting Athletes despite all of that is commendable. It’s no easy feat to wake up each day haunted by the images of what’s happened or what could’ve, and still be yourself. I know from some personal experience. But Rob’s story is his, not mine, and it’s worth spending every second reading through.

I know the Athletic’s a paid subscription, so not everyone can check it out. But if you do, you won’t regret it. Even if Rob wasn’t a Syracuse grad, there’s still a lot to learn from him.

That, plus the rest of your Orange-related links below:

Ex-Syracuse punter Rob Long takes on cancer, survival and what comes next (The Athletic)

“My depression or anxiety was never geared toward that I was suicidal,” Long says. “It was the exact opposite. I wanted so badly to stay alive. I wasn’t so depressed that I had nothing left to live for. It was that I was so depressed I have so much left that I want to live for. Yet I feel like I’m on a ticking clock. I’ve felt that way for the last eight and a half years.”

It’s time for Syracuse University to honor female athletes with retired jerseys at the Dome (Syracuse.com)

On January 2, I issued a public challenge to Syracuse University Athletic Director John Wildhack that 2019 be the year it is established that female student-athletes get honored properly at the Carrier Dome with retired numbers or jerseys. With 22 days left in 2019, I figured a little reminder on this issue wouldn’t hurt to get something concrete in place before the new year.

Bourama Sidibe’s fouling an issue for Syracuse as its rotation thins (Daily Orange)

Frequent fouling teamwide has forced Boeheim to dig into his bench, giving extended minutes to Jesse Edwards, Brycen Goodine, Robert Braswell and Quincy Guerrier — players Boeheim has deemed “not ready.” “Sometimes (it’s) kind of frustrating,” Sidibe said on Nov. 23. “I don’t want to blame it all on the ref, but sometimes it’s what it is … You have to some way find a way to stay on the court.”

Buddy Boeheim was in a slump. Elijah Hughes helped him break out of it (Syracuse.com)

“I shot poorly a couple games, but as a team, we know what we need to do is make shots and we’re going to keep shooting those,’’ Boeheim said. “Whenever you can get out of a slump like that, it’s great. It takes a lot of stress off and you can just have fun out there and play your game.’’ Just as Hughes’ hot streak had spread to Boeheim, after Boeheim got hot, the shooting contagion led to back-to-back 3-pointers from Joe Girard, who had been going through a slump of his own recently.

The biggest reason Carmelo Anthony’s Trail Blazers tenure is working so far (SB Nation)

Giants lock up punter Riley Dixon on three-year extension (New York Daily News)

Syracuse ice hockey sets multiple program records in 13-1 win over Lindenwood (Daily Orange)

Former Syracuse player James Southerland returns to Japan (Syracuse.com)

Dino Babers’s final Coaches Poll ballot for 2019 (USA Today)