Today was a newsworthy day in the Syracuse, New York area. First, the Syracuse Chiefs officially announce that they have agreed to a 2 year agreement with the Washington Nationals to be their AAA affiliate. Then later in the afternoon, the Syracuse Orange football team pulled out a win 30-21 against that powerhouse.....win less Division 1-AA Northeastern University. Why am I linking these together? If you read the boards and blogs, both in their own way have forced many in the community and fan bases to have the lowest level of optimism I have ever seen. So what do I think?
Let's go with the one I actually feel more optimistic about, that being the Syracuse Chiefs choosing the Washington Nationals. I am a diehard Mets fan but let's face it, that didn't happen so instead of listing a bunch of "what ifs", lets discuss what is and that is they are now affiliated with the Washington Nationals. http://http//washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080920&content_id=3516106&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was This is a link to an article on the Washington Nationals website as to why they like the union of the two organizations and I really hope Chiefs fans read this article and their optimism towards their future. I personally would love to see before judging one way or another what ideas they have to improve the fan experience or is this just a case of new faces in the clubhouse. Will there be any changes on the field as far as how competitive the teams will be? Will there be different promotions that fans may enjoy more? Will they help make any changes at the stadium? I say for all your Chiefs fans to be optimistic like me and don't look at the negatives but embrace a new tomorrow and cheer on a team who not only wanted to be here so bad, they called the first minute they could but support them as best you can. They say the Mets went to Buffalo because they say the Bisons are a better organization and deserve it. I say, Chiefs fans show your passion and show the Nationals why they were smart in wanting to be a part of not only this ball club but this city and fanbase. I would also, even though I doubt anyone with the Chiefs will read this or care about my views, encourage the Chiefs to reach out on Monday and tell the fans exactly what you have planned and point out every reason why you think the fans should 100% support this team. I have been to Alliance Bank Stadium and I saw the passionate fans who attend these games regularly and I know you deserve the best and are some of the best fans in baseball.
As for the Syracuse Orange football team, I have tried not to post because I really do want this to be a more positive blog then most but honestly, as time goes on, I find it harder to be optimistic on this front. I have numerous Syracuse shirts I have bought from Manny's over the past year or so and my favorite Syracuse Orange football #44 jersey that I love wearing on Saturdays in the fall. Today, I wore orange but not the Orange because I am tired of people laughing at the state of this football program. I live in ACC country and Duke football fans(yes, they do actually exist) are having a great laugh at my expense. How can I hang my head high when they are not even competitive, well unless your a winless division 1-AA team and then its a close game that you pull out by a 30-21 margin? My daughter attends the University of North Carolina-Pembroke which just started playing football last season and right now, I am not so sure who would win if they played.
I will admit, I was one of those fans upset when the university decided to fire Coach P for Coach Robinson but I also was doing my best to be as fair to the new coach as I could but if you fired Coach P for his performance, how in the hell do you justify the last 3 years? Don't call it rebuilding either because when you rebuild, there is at least progress and Orange fans have seen none. I watched ESPN Gameday this morning and I am sure some will blast guys like Brent Axe or Jim Brown and say that they are not showing loyalty to the program but blind loyalty is simply blinding yourself to the reality of the situation. I hate to agree with the analysts Herbstreit and Corso ,which you can see here but both made some great points(and trust me, after Kirk's joke a couple weeks back about Syracuse football, I wanted to hate him). This is not USC East,this is Syracuse football and I am proud of the traditions that this program helped foster but right now, the only thing this team is bringing to people's mouth is laughter. I am not asking to be among the elite every year, though that would be nice, but I would love to at least see a competitive team on the field that when someone who is a Penn State fan wants to place a friendly wager(no money of course) on,I can at least have the strength and confidence in my team to put up a good, close game, not beg him to spot me 50 points.
And today's victory was enough to save his job, then I ask you what are your expectations for this program? To ask the Big East to allow us to move down in divisions or do you simply like being the butt of other people's jokes? Again, I have read other articles and blogs and I want to be optimistic and point to something to be proud of but honestly, I just can't find a reason to do it anymore. I actually for the first time today stared at my 44 jersey and did not want to wear it and your talking about a guy who bought a new car because it was orange even though I actually still owed more on my old car then it was worth and my love for orange is deeply routed in Syracuse tradition.
I wish Coach Robinson nothing but the best in his life and I do think he tried his best to make this program a great one but right now I just think it's time for this team to consider a new direction and to be honest, with much of the stuff I have read lately, I am not so sure he is the highest ranking figure to go. The guys at TNIAAM http://nunesmagician.blogspot.com/2008/09/definitive-article-on-syracuse-football.html posted an interesting article from the Orange County Register on Syracuse AD Daryl Gross recently and it made me start to wonder a few things about what is going on in the Syracuse offices, even though I do think some of the other sports programs are doing quite well. I just have to wonder though, how do you expect fans to spend money supporting this program when you won't recognize there is a problem and fix it? Am I the only one who thinks a winning or at least competitive football team will not only encourage the boosters to show their support but the everyday fan who even though they are struggling financially, want to be a part of something they believe in. Maybe I just live in a fantasy land and want to clank together my orange shoes(and yes, I have orange shoes) together and wish to return to the days of a better program and not have just the wicked witches laughing at us but the entire world. Politicians love to speak about change and now Orange fans are chanting for the same thing, "We Want Change."