Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Open Letter To Dr. Gross

Dear Dr. Daryl Gross,
I am a lifelong Orange fan to the point I am even borderline obsessed with the color orange, in case you didn't notice it by this website, if you actually read this. I am writing this because of the lackluster performance of the Syracuse University football team and many public but not so positive reports about this team and the university. I watched the ESPN piece and though it was not perfect, it said what many of your fan base are saying about this program right now. I also just sat through Peter King on Mad Dog Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio where they discussed Lane Kiffin, the head coach of the Oakland Raiders possibly looking at a college coaching position. Mr. King also mentioned Syracuse as an option but then contributed a comment about "maybe wanting a school he could win with right away" which at first frustrated me but made me wonder why I was mad when it will take a lot of work to turn this around. I don't know what your considering even with your newly attributed comments to ESPN and Brent Axe about the team since I don't read minds or try to but I hope you are ready to make major changes.

After King's comments sunk in, I started to wonder, how bad do you want to hire Coach Kiffin or make the big change for anyone period you feel can make this situation better. I understand Coach Kiffin is under contract with the Raiders but I also have heard that his only reason for remaining in his position is that Syracuse grad and current Oakland owner Al Davis is wanting a financial way out. So do you want this bad enough to reach out and ask what it will take to make both sides happy or are you willing to wait and see what happens if Coach Kiffin gets on the open market and up your offer, if you even get a chance to listen. Every year, top coaches in this country make coaching changes and I can tell you that right now, unless Coach Kiffin just owes you a favor or loves the snowy, cold weather of winters in Syracuse(hey, I love them sometimes too actually), I doubt Syracuse will be number one on his list. I don't fully understand tampering rules as far as college and professional coaching but I am sure that with a contract in place, it would normally be considered tampering UNLESS you have permission and maybe just reaching out to Al Davis in a "you scratch my back, I scratch yours" type ideal, isn't it worth a try? At the very least, if this is the guy you truly want on the sidelines in the near future, why not at least talk and see what it would take.

I have heard some names like Coach Holtz at ECU, Coach Gill at Buffalo and many others as possible replacements. If you prefer to wait until after the season to find the best candidate, are you willing to take the risk that the top choices you want may consider schools that as Peter King worded it "can win with right away"? As ESPN pointed out and many other mainstream media outlets basically laugh at the football team, this team needs a change and quickly. I do not know Coach Greg Robinson personally nor do I hold a personal grudge but this can't go on for much longer without bleeding dry your fanbase and financial base. I bet if I sat down with him I would have a great time meeting him but to be truthful, the time has come to make a change and the sooner the better. I like that Coach Robinson is optimistic and wish him nothing but the best but it's obvious this is just not working out. Let's assume somehow the Orange beat the Pittsburgh Panthers this weekend, does this mean we should hang on with anticipation and hope that two wins in a row means we have found the answers? I am not Tim Green or Donovan McNabb or have expert knowledge of this team and what it takes to win but I know what is going on now has to be changed if we expect to line up against even a struggling Big East Conference and hope to be competitive. A loss to Akron and squeaking out a win Northeastern would be fine, if we were an average Division 1-AA team and not a once great football program who may not have dominated the NCAA but at least were competitive and winning.

I am not writing this to embarrass anyone, trust me that is the last thing I ever intended. However, I am tired of hanging my head embarrassingly around while people laugh and snicker about where this program has fallen. We have some at ESPN making somewhat valid criticisms and others making asinine, incorrect statements about the area and the history of the program. I know we can't stop some of this but do you understand how hard it is to defend this program when the best you can point to is a win against Northeastern or even stretching back to last year with one of the three wins in the season against then ranked Louisville, basically grasping at straws. I still have numerous Syracuse shirts, hats and even a #44 jersey that I wear but I miss at least being able to walk around in them with pride. Recently, I had a Penn State fan trying to antagonize me into "showing my support" for Syracuse in their game and I just could not find it in my heart to have that much confidence and I never thought I would ever back down like that. I am sure your job is difficult and doubt I would want to be in your shoes for even a day but I also thought you should see the viewpoint that some of your fans are feeling so that you don't think it's just ESPN teaming up on you. I still bleed Orange and always will but as all this continues, I find it hard to show my pride and support publicly and financially. Thank you for your time and Go Orange.

Orange Chuck


Josh said...

You've got a lot of good things to say, but... Coach "Patterson"? You kind of undercut your assertion of being obsessed with All Things Orange. I'm sure it was just a brain fart but you may want to fix that to maintain the credibility of the rest of your argument (which is thoughtful and well-spoken)

Orange Chuck said...

Thank you for the note, I can;t believe I actually did that twice even. Now you see why my book sold 30 copies(I have a big family). Thats what happens when I write out of emotion straight to the blog instead of planning out my thoughts or a draft on paper. Hey, maybe SU will hire a Patterson and I can claim psychic ability? I am just glad this blog has spell check haha.