Winter is Coming.
It could be the tagline for the Syracuse Orange, or that of Dino Babers’s favorite show (and mine, too): the HBO hit Game of Thrones. Over the past few seasons, Dino has shown time and again that his fandom can’t be contained. In his first season as head coach, he dropped the gem during the ACC Kickoff event, equating Syracuse to Jon Snow, keeping the white walkers at bay, while the rest of [the ACC] sits down south, eating grapes.
Dino Babers on Syracuse: "I think we're Jon Snow, keeping the ice people out. The others are down south, eating grapes."— That's so David (@ADavidHaleJoint) July 22, 2016
This is how the conference was introduced to our fearless leader. It set the stage for many pop culture references and even partially led to our own cinematic feature on the Get to Know Your Orange profiles.
The next season, Babers and senior-at-the-time Zaire Franklin, caught up with Syracuse.com for the gem below —
Game of Thrones has been at the forefront of Babers’ mind year in and year out, and this season is no different. At the 2019 edition of ACC media days, reporter Lauren Brownlow asked Dino about Game of Thrones. I don’t know if Babers can get more excited than he seems when the question is asked.
Dino gets asked about Game of Thrones and I think Cuse is going Independent. Someone get Swofford on the phone. pic.twitter.com/wBpF7QsqkH— That's so David (@ADavidHaleJoint) July 17, 2019
In under a minute, the final season of Game of Thrones gets summed up in the most emphatic way possible, Syracuse is confirmed independent, but not leaving the ACC, and we’re going to chill up here in the north, not helping anyone out unless they come calling. How do you not love a Dino Babers press conference? I think the final season was summed up better by Dino, than it was on the screen. But hot damn does this man enjoy what he’s selling.
I’ll be curious if he can convince all of SU Athletics to adopt the House Stark mantra though. All I know is at this point, Dino Babers is definitively the King in the North.