Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Ode To The #Restore44 Movement

My Ode To The Restore 44 Movement
Orange Chuck

Syracuse fans are on a mission to restore a tradition
We're forming coalitions and signing online petitions
Choosing to no longer be ignored and right a wrong forevermore
Trying to finally restore the prestigious number forty-four

People say, "Yo, Orange Chuck, they retired that jersey!
It's such a great way to honor it; so what's the worry?"
I'd say I love Brown, Davis, and Floyd as much as any fan
But the jersey on the field was how we honored those men

Maybe not everyone who wore it lived up to the legacy
But honestly it wasn't about that but about our history
So let's bring it back so we can embrace OUR tradition once more
Please Syracuse University, do what's right and RESTORE 44!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

What If The Government Gave You One Million Dollars?

So today on WBT radio on my way home from work, I heard the host John Hancock bring up a fun scenario but did not hear him elaborate on it much. I thought I would take some time and explore this question but a but further than he did. This is not a sports topic sorry but it is not as though I am blogging sports much lately. So here is the topic but with my curve on the question. On your 18th birthday, the government gives you one million dollars, what would you do with it?

Under my rules, the government gave you a million dollars so you will no longer be allowed any more aid from the government. You can never apply for any food stamps, unemployment or anything else; only tax returns if you paid more than you were supposed to make. You are only eligible for any retirement options that you paid into when you do retire. What would you do?

Would you spend it all on a top college and make sure you secured a job you could make a lot from for the rest of your life? Would you invest it in a business of your own or some form of investment? Would you work a low paying job and use the money to help buffer your everyday costs while putting some away hoping the interest would build up over the years?

What would you do?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Recent Syracuse/Orange Pictures

Here are some recent pictures that I hope some will enjoy. The first two are from my daughter's wedding last weekend. She is also expecting and yes, I do have the manual "How To Grow An Orange" handy to read the baby at night before bed.

The rest of these pictures are from my trip to Syracuse last month. I learned next time do not go to Marshall Street during Spring Break and expect things to be open. I never really did the Spring Break thing so I don't always think of it as a big deal. I also had no choice as that was the weekend I had to go back up and take my grandmother home.

And of course, my trip to Tully's.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Big Orange Bloggers News And Notes

- Syracuse men's basketball season is over and so is my desire to follow along with the rest of the tournament. Congrats to the players on a good season even though many of us had them cutting down the nets in Houston. The Orangewomen however are in the NIT tournament and have advanced to the quarterfinals to play at Toledo today at 2pm. Please support this team and check out Orange All Access at to listen to the game. If you are still into the tournament and curious about the odds and trends for the games, check out College Basketball Odds .

- Great job by Dan Lyons with his posts on Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician lately with his spring football updates. He also broke some of the best news of all in the pursuit to finally restore the 44 to the Syracuse football field as more than a banner and a sideline marker. Check out Dan's post here as I promise you if you have not read it yet, you will enjoy it. Dan is a current student and member of Otto's Army and a great addition to the TNIAAM team as he bleeds Orange just as much as anyone else I know and does great work breaking down the practices by position. I am glad to see so many fans on Twitter also agree that the 44 tradition should be restored one day soon and have no issue with Coach Marrone wanting to make sure it is the right person to reissue it. Maybe OrangeChuck will return to Twitter sooner than I thought.

- How about that SU men's lacrosse team? 7-0 to start out the season which includes victories over Virginia, Johns Hopkins and the team that beat them in the tournament last year, Army. Some of the games have been a little too close at times but sometimes close games make teams better as well. This team is loaded with talent like #22 Morasco and Desko as well as senior goalkeeper Galloway.

- Not sure how many of you enjoy free contests but if you enjoy entering them, check out this link for a variety of sports related items I go to the site almost daily and enjoy some of the stuff they offer. Check out the main page if you are into more than just sporting contests as well.

- Some of you may know that I spent a weekend in Syracuse recently. Unfortunately it was the same weekend most people started their spring break activities so most things on Marshall Street were closed but it was fun exploring the names of places I hear referenced often. My family moved away from the area the summer before my senior year in high school so I never got to enjoy many of the off campus hangouts.

- During this visit, I did partake in my Tully's routine. Actually my family planned a family get together there just for me at the North Syracuse location. Sadly I did not learn that not only does Tully's have a Facebook page now ( but also that one of the new Tops Friendly Market locations on Nottingham Road has turned it into a Syracuse themed store. I guess we now have a new routine to add for my trips back home to #Syracuse.

- My last note is this, I will start caring about the NFL again when they start getting serious about solving this contract dispute. Until then, I do not care what or who said what and I am willing to enjoy college football if they can't but constant bickering does nothing to help promote the game, only makes both sides look worse.

Friday, February 18, 2011

It’s Time To Restore Our 44

This is not about complaining how things were handled in the past. This is not about my being disappointed in the Syracuse administration or AD Dr. Daryl Gross. This piece is simply about why I think the time has come to bring back a Syracuse tradition and restore the #44 on the field.
I love Syracuse football. I was raised on Syracuse football and it is the biggest reason I bleed Orange. I remember hearing stories as a kid about the greats who wore #44 and it made me appreciate the program even more. Mr. Jim Brown, Mr. Ernie Davis and Mr. Floyd Little are legends and nobody will ever replace them in our hearts no matter who wears the jersey. I don’t need to see the next Brown, Davis or Little on the field; I just want to see the next Syracuse player who chooses to embrace the fans and our tradition. I have watched footage of the great ones (or as I like to refer to them as the #44 Founding Fathers) and grew up listening to stories about these men and I would NEVER disrespect them or their place in history. I simply feel that the number 44 being retired does not honor the program or these player but simply appeals to a tradition that every sports program in this country adheres to.
However at Syracuse we had a different tradition and we loved it. We showed our love by talking about who wore it and watching someone else carry on the torch. I sincerely doubt the majority of the fans would have watched this past season and if Bailey or Carter wore the jersey, tried to compare them to the #44 Founding Fathers. Most fans would have just enjoyed watching them play while also listening to stories like I did as a kid about the legacy of this number. My grandfather was not even born in this country but when his family settled in the Syracuse area, he grew up appreciating their history and loved Ernie Davis as he told me often. If my grandfather were alive today, he would be rejoicing in the reviving of Syracuse football and encouraging me to keep those memories alive.
Check the stands in the Carrier Dome on Saturdays and count all the #44 jerseys that show up every week as a symbol of their love for this program. For that matter, check out the fans who attend lacrosse, basketball or any event (even walk around the Syracuse area on your average day) just out of respect and love for the program and school. We don’t hang it up in trophy cases with someone telling them not to touch it; we wear it proudly as a badge of honor to show that we are Syracuse and we are proud of our history. We also love seeing the players wear it on the field and for many, part of the excitement that surrounded the program had something to do with wondering who would wear the #44 this season.
I have been told that this is no longer a recruiting tool. These kids these days would not know anything about those who wore it before them. I beg to differ and think that with Syracuse Head Football Coach Doug Marrone in charge of our program right now, he is recruiting the type of players who would appreciate this honor. And even if some of them may not know about it, I promise you that the current upperclassmen understand it and appreciate it. Coach Marrone is bringing back an environment that many of us longer for when times got tough and what a better way to show Syracuse football is back than by bringing back the jersey and allowing the fans the thrill of seeing #44 back on the field.
I will end this piece by bringing up the film “The Express.” I have watched this movie several times and though there may be factual errors, it is a movie about a great man who was not only important in Syracuse history but also college football history as well since he was the first African-American to win the Heisman (though we all know Jim Brown should have won it as well). If you watch the movie, you will see the players recruiting each other (Brown to Davis and Davis to Little) and also see a discussion between “Coach Schwartzwalder and Ernie Davis” about wearing the jersey. I was not born when these interactions took place so therefore I was not present for any of the actual conversations however if passing down these traditions were so important then, why can’t these still be our traditions?
I love showing appreciation for the legends and that is why so many people took offense to the Ernie Davis statue when they found errors. We love these men and what they accomplished for our program and college football in general and take offense when others try to muddy their memories. I have no problems with statues or buildings named after them to remember them fondly. I think though that in haste to show our love and respect for these men, a tradition was ignored that this program and its fans considered sacred. Many fans were disappointed because they thought Syracuse football was being hijacked and their voices were being ignored. Coach Marrone is here now and fans feel like he is embracing Syracuse football and restoring it back to the glory days that made many of us wait in anticipation for the fall season in Syracuse. I ask you, why not help promote that by recognizing what many of Syracuse’s most passionate fans have been calling for over the past few years and RESTORE 44?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why ROH on Showtime/HBO Would Mutual Benefit Both Parties?

It has come to my attention recently that Ring Of Honor Wrestling’s deal with HDNet is ending. As someone with Time Warner Cable, I will admit that this channel was not available to me and so I did not watch their shows but I did check out internet videos from time to time. I may not know every wrestler on their roster but there is one thing I know, they have a great in ring product that many fans do not have access to on a regular basis. This made me wonder, why shouldn’t Showtime or HBO consider offering professional wrestling programming and if they do, wouldn’t ROH be the best fit?

Showtime and HBO feature boxing and MMA on their channels as well as a wide variety of shows and movies and I think this would be a great addition. I would not have an issue if TNA or WWE made such a jump but with ROH providing more in ring product than those two and less soap opera drama, ROH could appeal more to the same demographics who enjoy MMA and boxing. ROH has a very passionate fan base and offer great in ring talent/matches that would attract even the most casual of fans if they had access to the product. And no need to go out and sign big names just to make a splash, do what ROH does best and offer some of the best and hungriest wrestlers in the world and feature great matches.

Just think about how this could benefit ROH, the premium network that made the deal with them and wrestling fans for just a minute. ROH would get a channel that every cable or satellite service carries and thus get more exposure to their product. This would also benefit Showtime/HBO because I believe passionate wrestling fans would look into adding their channel to their cable/satellite packages and with the proper advertising/push, those numbers could grow in time. Showtime is a CBS company and both sides may benefit from cross promotion as well to build interest from those who are not already watching but might enjoy action packed shows. Fans would benefit because for less than the cost of a monthly pay per view, you not only get the ROH shows but you have access to the programming they already offer which in most cases includes multiple channels as well as movies, series and sports.

This would not hurt any credibility on either side and I feel as though it could be a great way to change the way wrestling is viewed by many. If ROH wanted to run pay per views, they now have a partner to do so but my hope is they would appreciate that fans paid for the premium channel and keep it to a limited amount per year if they get such a deal (this also makes the pay per views have more of a special feel when they do). I do not work for either party so I am not sure what it would take to make such a deal or what changes would have to be made to the product/company but I definitely see nothing but a bright side to this as a fan.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How I Grew To Be An Orange Fan

I am not sure if I have ever told this story but I thought I would share it either way. Many may not know this but I am not a Syracuse alum but someone who wishes I were. I love Syracuse so much that I love everything orange in life. I drive an orange car, my favorite candy is orange slices, 70% of my wardrobe is orange and my family has learned that if you want to get me a cheap gift, lean towards something orange.

When I was a young kid, I grew up around mostly casual Syracuse fans who were fair weather at best. They would root for SU and boast when they won but say they expected it when they lost. Me, I was the kid who tried to defend them but I was also the kid who's opinion did not matter because very few outside my family knew I existed.

I do however remember going to games with my family and watching Syracuse football with my grandfather who spoke the praises of the guys who wore 44. Needless to say, I tend to be more passionate for football than any other sport but I would watch Syracuse play a ping pong championship just to support the school.

I remember being a kid and sometimes I would sneak off to the library (I am 38 so we didn't have internet and it wasn't too far from home that I could not ride my bike). Many times while there I would look for Mark Twain books or sports biographies of playing I liked to watch on television. The one thing I never told anyone is, I would also look up Syracuse college to try and learn more about the only college I really cared about.

When I was younger, I had an issue paying attention (no matter how hard I would try) and studying. Many in my age group will confirm that in our day, that meant you were lazy and just not trying hard enough for most. I think the reason I was good at math was it required the least amount of studying and just simply applying practical practices. I would study often but my mind wandered no matter what the subject (sometimes even Mark Twain books I would have to reread as I missed important details before).

At some point during my high school years, I just simply gave up on what it would take to become a Syracuse student but remained a faithful fan. I would take the Post Standard or Herald American and look up stats of guys who once played at Syracuse and now played in the pros, I would cut out Syracuse stories in the paper and hang them up. But I knew I did not have what it took to get in and had no idea what I wanted to major in so why waste my time trying?

Please do not mistake this post as some form of plea for sympathy because I have lived a life that has it's ups and downs and would not change much of it for anything because I believe it all happened for a reason. My 4 years in the Army (2 of which were spent in Germany) made me appreciate Syracuse even more being so far away and not able to see every game. I have a 22 year old daughter that I adopted and 17 year old stepson who I would gladly give my life for that I would never have been able to know had my life not gone the way it did. As Garth Brooks once sang, "Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers."

Some people have multiple teams they enjoy following and I have some other teams in professional sports I follow and like at times but nothing takes the place of Syracuse Orange. I spent many years hearing the stories, dreaming of attending and reading as much as I could about Syracuse and that passion still burns inside of me at times. I never realized how much I enjoyed writing until I was an adult and maybe that may have made the difference but regardless, this is my life.

I may not know what Schine looks like inside or the best bar on Marshal Street to get in with a fake ID but very little excites me as much as driving back to Syracuse for a visit and off in the horizon as I head down 81N is the glorious view of the Carrier Dome and I know I am home. I may not have attended a class or have a degree from Syracuse University but I assure you that I live, breathe and bleed Orange. And when the good Lord says it is my time, I hope those who love me will remember this and bury me the same way I live my life, surrounded by as much Orange as possible.

Thank you to those who share this journey with me and to those who have not yet but will. GO ORANGE!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top 10 Syracuse Related Topics The Fan Base Is Tired Of Dealing With Every Season

Top 10 Syracuse Related Topics The Fan Base Is Tired Of Dealing With Every Season:

10- Other towns complaining about the snow when anyone who has spent a winter in Syracuse knows snow in Syracuse is like earthquakes in California or finding a pub in Ireland, it’s a way of life. Snow hits NYC and people panic and roads close for a week whereas when it snows in Syracuse, the plows have already been on the road for hours and everyone is ready to go. I grew up in the area and half the neighborhood had snowmobiles and part of a young person’s driving was dad taking you to the store parking lot that had not been plowed yet and grabbing your steering wheel to teach you how to handle a spin out. We got snow and we loved it.

#9- Anything Hoyas, Huskies or Scarlet Knights related unless it involves Syracuse beating them. If this needs to be explained further, I will post a tutorial on teams Syracuse fans dislike the most at a later date.

#8- Can we please end this preposterous myth that Dino’s BBQ is better than Tully’s? OK, this may not be a huge issue amongst SU fans and I know many enjoy both but I had to fit in a Tully’s mention somehow per my deal with the Tully the Turtle on a cold Syracuse winter night when beer was involved. It’s not like I was trying to debate Chuck’s verses whatever new bar is opening on the Hill this week.

#7- The Big East is the worst conference in the BCS. Really, is the ACC that much better? The Big 10 went 0-5 in bowl games on ONE DAY while the Big East only bowl loses were WVU and UConn (First EVER Pinstripe Bowl champions’ baby, heck yes).

#6- Any mentions of Greg Robinson. The best thing Syracuse football coach has done for this program is winning so that we can try to move past those horrible years. I didn’t shave my head; I pulled the hairs out individually watching those years he coached with the sole purpose of making Syracuse “the USC of the east coast.” Can we please not have to hear this every football game as though we the fans forgot about him and the bad football played during his time here?

#5- Mentions of Greg Paulus or legacy players every game. I understand Andy was Leo’s son and Brandon is Howard’s nephew and also understand there are casual fans who may not understand this fact as well as SU fans but do you truly think Rutgers or sports fans not of the Orange persuasion care about their blood lines. Though the Paulus conversation has calmed some and we no longer have to see his basketball clips (and we thank him for his year to help give Nassib time to learn the system), seeing Nassib have a great game in the Pinstripe hopefully solidified his position as the starting QB without meriting comparisons to his former teammate.

#4- I know some of you may tire of it but songs like Cotton Eyed Joe are part of the fun when you bring a family. I personally hate the Kiss Cam (as well as most forms of public displays of affection) but I do not go on a rampage every they do one at a game. Cotton Eyed Joe is a fun song that kids enjoy dancing to and I think it is a good idea to occasionally cater a song towards that demographic so that they enjoy their experience more. Ever take a kid to most sporting events and ask them to sit still the entire game? You will either upset them so that they throw a fit or just are so bored, they do not look forward to going back. Would you prefer the theme song to Hannah Montana or Barney? Admit it, if they played “Who Let The Dogs Out” knowing the kids liked it, you would be equally disappointed. And yes, I am not ashamed to admit I am probably defending this one because I actually think it’s an amusing song (oh please, I didn’t have any street credibility to lose anyway so admitting it won’t hurt me much).

#3- Do we really need to have the debate after each game about people leaving early? REALLY! Is the Dome traffic that bad? REALLY! Unless there is an emergency at home or the kids have just finally pushed your last button and you are taking them home to lay the smack down on them, stick around and enjoy the game (possibly the post game as well). You have no idea how terrible it looks when there is a mass exodus at the Carrier Dome when the clock is still running and occasionally the announcers even mention it and show those leaving questioning their motives. I have been to games with several thousand people in attendance at the old Charlotte Coliseum and I assure you, you have not seen awful parking situations until you had to leave that place and I never left a game early (and that was not even Syracuse whom we should support more). OK granted one of the exits from a WWE event during the “attitude era” allowed my, at the time, 11 year old nephew to witness two women taking turns displaying their nurturing devices for the whole parking lot to witness so that helped but still. I do understand that occasionally games end late on weekdays or there may be circumstances at home that require your attention but for the most part, you should stick around and show your support and love for these teams and plan accordingly when attending a game. Applaud the players or find out who is going to Chucks for post game drinks and make new friends.

#2- Restore 44. Do I really have to do my own top 10 reasons why retiring this number retired a Syracuse tradition? We all know Delone Carter is not Jim Brown or Ernie Davis or Floyd Little but it was about more than just three legends who I love and admire. I have nothing against when schools or teams retire jerseys as I find it a great tribute but 44 was more than a number, it represented Syracuse. It was our way of essentially naming an offensive captain to lead the charge. Watch The Express when Ernie discusses how it was Jim Brown’s number and is basically told that now it is his. It is about embracing a young running back and allowing him to grow in our hearts and minds. Look in the stands of the Carrier Dome and you will see a flock of 44’s that I assure you will outnumber Jeter jerseys in Yankees stadium because 44 IS Syracuse. Syracuse fans love this program and we loved seeing who would get the coveted jersey with anticipation. It was never about living up to those who wore it before them, it was a chance to recognize a special player and a recruiting tool for those who wanted to share in the honor or wearing that number. I promise you that as long as there is breath in my body, I will fight to have this tradition restored and see it on the field again. And if I die before it is done, I hope my tombstone contains the words “Live, Breathed and Loved His Orange. Restore 44.”


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Let The Doug Marrone For Coach Of The Year Campaign Begin Now

Last night on Twitter, I noticed a movement that during this political environment, I can fully endorse. I am not sure who to credit first but noticed that @Live315, @asmcnama and @PJASchultz all were being RT'd in this matter so I will let them fight out out either in some mud or a steel cage, whichever they see fit. No matter who started it though, I think many should start to support their idea and that is, Syracuse Head Football Coach Doug Marrone should be a leading candidate for National Coach of the Year.

This is not just Syracuse Orange fans drinking the Kool-Aid or some hyperbole based on one big win. After reading Brent Axe's posts on with this one ), I realized he had the stats to justify this contention. According to Brent, "Syracuse is 6-2 for the first time since 2001, when they finished 10-3.Syracuse is 3-1 in Big East play for the first time since 2004. Syracuse beat Cincinnati for the first time since 2004. Adding to a streak of beating South Florida for the first time ever and beating West Virginia for the first tine since 2001." And Sean at noted that Coach Marrone is now 10-10 as head coach at Syracuse and noted it took Coach Robinson 4 years to achieve that goal. Greg Robinson finished his 4 year tenure at Syracuse with a record of 10-37 overall and 3-25 in the Big East and yet, Coach Marrone has those 10 wins already in only his second season as head coach and matched those 3 BE wins this season alone with 4 more games to go (3 of them in the Big East) and the toughest part of their schedule in their rear view mirror and I do not foresee them sleeping on the rest of these games either with Coach Marrone at the helm.

How many of you have heard the little snide remarks from people when they talk about Syracuse being bowl eligible and having a shot at a BCS game should Pitt fall a bit and they win out? My first instinct is to boycott their sorry shows and write them a long email about it but then I remembered, they are finally talking about Syracuse being relevant again, even if it is while laughing. The fact that the fans and media are talking about this after how far this program fell is reason alone to mention Coach Marrone's name whenever someone wants to discuss who has done the best job coaching this year.

According to the experts, Syracuse has to win one more game in order to be bowl eligible, which hopefully they can do at home against Louisville this upcoming weekend. If this team goes from the obscurity to playing in a bowl game, to me that is more worthy of being coach of the year than those who were expected to win a BCS championship meeting expectations. Coach Marrone and this staff and players are above and beyond what most expected to see this year (I predicted 8 wins but expect now they could even surpass that and made my predictions from the heart, not my head).

As you may have read in earlier posts, I personally campaigned and even almost started up a website with my support for Turner Gill when Robinson was fired. I sit before you humbled and ask Coach Marrone's forgiveness as he has demonstrated he deserved this job beyond a shadow of a doubt. He won me over with the speech posted on my blog yesterday but continues to amaze me every game even still with his coaching on the field and his demeanor off it. And now I think it's time he win over the rest of this country and be awarded this honor for restoring a program many buried only a few short years ago. So Syracuse fans, show your pride and let's spread the word that in this election year, we want to see one man who deserves our vote get it and that is "Doug Marrone For Coach Of The Year".

Go Orange!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Post Game Speech If I Were In The Syracuse LockerRoom After SU #BeatCincy

Today, we are one win away from being bowl eligible. Today we are 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Big East conference. Today we celebrate our third Big East road victory this season(all of which were homecoming games for our opponents). Today we will head to Varsity and flip another banner. Today is another day for those who believed in this team and wore their Syracuse Orange with faith even when they were mocked for doing so. Today is a stepping stone on our way to rebuilding our program and regain the respect and dignity this program once had. Today is a day fans will look back on this team as more than a fluke or a lucky win but instead see into their hearts and determination and know they are worth your love. Today is for every fan who didn't leave early out of disgust or make negative comments publicly when times got rough(though at times were discouraged because they knew we could do better) knew that when SYRACUSE football was back, our faith would be justified. Today is the day Coach Marrone and his staff show those who doubted they could do it, thought they didn't have the resume to believe in, or doubted his emotion in leading this team were proven wrong (including myself who campaigned heavily for Turner Gill until Coach Marrone won me over with this halftime speech during basketball season).

Today, we the fans say thank you again for your blood, your sweat and your tears when many "experts" picked you to finish last or next to last in the standings. Today we hold our heads high, party like a rock star and know in our hearts that we bleed Orange and will enjoy our lives today because of you. I have said it before but you can never say it too much when you truly mean it and today I say to you Syracuse University, Coach Doug Marrone and the staff and players on this football team...THANK YOU!


And now today's party song: