After further consideration, I have decided that I will no longer post any items on this blog pertaining to the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins or New York Mets (though don't think I have done much of anything about them anyway). Instead, I will concentrate mostly on Syracuse University sports as well as minor league teams in the Syracuse and Charlotte area and still mix in wrestling and MMA occasionally as well. Looking down the page, you can almost tell that I am moving that direction anyway so why not just commit to it. I will admit however that if someone with those organizations or other sports is willing to step up and participate in the 12 Reasons Why segment and I think it's an interesting person, I will do that regardless. I know that has been missing lately and I plan to work harder in the near future to secure more people interested as I was anxiously waiting on a couple people I thought would work out instead of continuing on to find others. My object is not to be the first to report something but try to bring you something you may not find as easy elsewhere or viewpoints not always found, especially those with jobs in or around sports. Anyway, for you faithful readers, I thank you and hope I don't lose anyone because of it but honestly, its so hard being back to work and trying to find news and stuff on so many various teams. Going back to work is making it harder then I thought to maintain this but I will continue to do my best to provide you unique ideas as often as I can or occasionally just share my view on certain topics. Thank you again and Go Orange.
According to Scott Kennedy at http://www.scout.com/, Syracuse University is ranked at 89 for the football recruiting class of 2009. The Big East is ranked sixth overall as a conference and of course, Syracuse is ranked last of the Big East teams. Take into consideration one thing though, there are only four players listed as recruits for them and one is listed as a soft verbal commitment. Of those four, there are no four or five star rated recruits but one listed as a three star. As you will see when I list the four, three of them are for the wide receiver position and the other is at linebacker. I usually don't follow recruiting too heavy, I like to wait until they prove themselves on the field but ranked 89 with only four recruits, that's a bit worth of being mentioned I think as we look at the future of this program considering many other teams already have at least five times that amount commited to attend their school. Here are the four they listed and if your reading this and you know the status of other, feel free to share the information but this is what I found on scout.com
-Derrell Person:Wide Receiver out of Coolidge H.S. in Washington D.C. who they ranked 61st overall at that position and is the only three star recruit on the list.
-Raheem Cardwell:Linebacker from Dematha Catholic H.S. in Hyattsville,MD who they ranked 58th at his position.
-Alec Lemon:Wide Receiver at Arundel Sr. H.S. in Gambliss, MD who is unranked
-Leavander Jones:Wide Receiver from Atlantic City H.S. Atlantic City, NJ who is also unranked and is the one considered to be a soft verbal commitment.
Well, at least we know the Maryland, DC area is well represented on our roster for next year. One has to wonder though, if a coaching change is made, how many of these young men will want to stay with their choice and how many other will they be able to convince to help change the program around,depending on the new system of course. I do have one issue though, why do I not see any Liverpool, C-NS, West Gennesee seniors on this list? Not one football player in the area good enough to play for the Orange?
Here is a video courtesy of Ryan Wilson from Fanhouse as former Syracuse Orange and current Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb compares being sacked by three Steelers to Bruce Lee getting kicked by Kareem Abdul-Jabar. Included in this is a clip from the news conference he first referenced the kick, part of an interview he gave to www.the700level.com and even the kick altercation from the 1979 movie Game Of Death. Not much newsworthy here but I used to love Bruce Lee's flicks so any chance I get to combine Bruce Lee and Syracuse, why not?
Found this video on Fanhouse of Syracuse grad and current Indianapolis Colt Dwight Freeney being interviewed by three women. I could not find the embedded code but here is the link including mini bio's on the three women who interview him and a note that part 2 will be posted next week but if your looking for major football insight or him to lay into the Syracuse program, this interview is not for you. This is more of a get to know Dwight Freeney type piece where you can see his view on movies that pump him up, him being cloned and why at one time he wanted to be Superman. http://sports.aol.com/nfl/story/_a/bbdp/sackmaster-wanted-to-be-superman/186786
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.
If you feel like this, check out http://www.vintagecotton.com/ and you can even order the t-shirt. Or head over to Three Idiots On Sports and get their "Greg Robinson Farewell Tour" shirt if you prefer to be more optimistic.
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 diehardMets 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 TNIAAMhttp://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."
For those not familiar with his work, here is Syracuse grad Adam Schein making his picks for this weekends NFL games on Fox Sports website. Schein is host of Sirius NFL Radio's Sirius Blitz talk show as well as one of the Loudmouths on the SNY cable network. I know he picked against the Panthers but I still like him and I enjoy giving people updates on things Orange grads are doing these days to help show them support and love (ok maybe not as good as Josh Shear on syracuse.com but I try) and really enjoy as you may have noticed when I can actually get one to do my "12 Reasons Why....." segment, which will return one day, I think. Enjoy! Go Orange!
After watching Impact last night, I thought I may comment on the show, especially the last segment. I won't promise this to be a weekly segment but on occasion, you may see me voice my opinions. Last night, TNA fans saw the show end with Sting, Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett in the ring as Jeff introduced Mick Foley to the crowd, though not really by name, just pointing to him on the screen above the entrance ramp. With those 4 legends in the same segment, what is TNA trying to accomplish and what impact will Mick Foley have on the TNA product?
Let's face it, TNA is not as big as WWE and trying to say they have that popularity is humoring yourself. However, I must admit that though I don't always like the direction they take, I prefer TNA to WWE because I think their younger talent is more exciting then WWE(even though they do have some great future stars as well). So TNA is looking for anything that gets wrestling fans to notice their product and I can't blame them for that one bit. Beer Money is a great tag team, the MotorCityMachineGuns are exciting and AJ and Joe are the brightest future in wrestling there is but if nobody is watching, nobody will notice. So you take Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, Team 3D, Booker T, Kurt Angle and now Mick Foley and use them to gain any exposure you can as long as you also give time to the young guys, which I also think TNA does better then WWE. Mick Foley is not only a legend in the wrestling business but he is also a best selling New York Times best selling author(hey, I once was ranked in the top 100,00 on Amazon.com with my book haha) so he can help sell your product with more mainstream exposure.
This brings me to my other point, what exactly does TNA have planned for Mick Foley? I don't have inside sources, I never wrestled a day in my life but as a fan of almost 30 years and someone who loves being creative, this is my view on what I would do. You can point to Mick not being in the best shape of his career but if he can at least get in shape enough to handle a couple matches, I would do that but make them special attraction matches. I think it's inevitable that we see at least one Sting/Foley match and I would love to see that but I would also love to see him and Joe in a highly built up match that not only shows how good Joe is but also helps protect the legacy of Foley/Cactus Jack without damaging Foley's well being. Use a story line to help build these two and avoid Ultimate X or big theme style match but I think a street fight type deal would be entertaining with these two. I also think like most I have heard speak about Foley's return that you must find him a role either in the booth or somewhere that he can give the fans exposure to that great personality of his (like his days as a former commissioner which lead to great Foley, Edge and Christian segments every week or maybe a consultant type deal like Nash did with Joe where he helps work with any of the young guys who want his help). The acquisitions of Kurt and Booker T were great in ring decisions but Mick is one of those people who can help you in so many ways. Let's face it, the Rock was electrifying but without Rock and Sock and their feud, I don't think he would have been as popular as he was(This Is Your Life segment is still one of the highest ratings in history and discussed occasionally with fans of that era). Mick is at his best when he helps show potential stars how great they can be in the ring and outside of it and I think this could go down as their best signing of former WWE talent so far, even if he doesn't see the in ring time that Kurt or Booker T do.
TNA Impact was a good show this week with the Beer Money/LAX stuff, Traci Brooks finally getting air time in her new role and making an immediate impact, and the elevation of the young guns/veterans storyline including more guys in the locker room when MCMG showed respect to AJ but flipped off Christian. I think it's especially great when TNA focuses on their in ring product and even better because they have the best tag teams in wrestling and are not afraid to focus on them as well. I also like when they take a guy like Jay Lethal and when he is angered, drops his character while explaining it well as they did (a tribute to Macho Man) to show how serious they are about something but have no problems with adding personality to some, especially if that's what it takes to get a talented wrestler airtime and the fans can get into it.
I would rate this show, on a scale of 1-12 with 1 being skip it unless completely bored and 12 being, if you missed this, you missed the best show ever, I would give this week's impact a 9. I highly recommend any wrestling fan to check out at least the last 15 minutes or so with Jarrett, Sting, Angle and Foley especially and the MCMG/AJ&Christian match and don't fast forward through the Beer Money&Jackie/LAX& Hector segment especially if you plan to watch again next week, which according to the spoilers, should be another good show.
Though he will not mention any details, if anyone sees this before tomorrow morning, Brent Axe will be appearing in one form or another on ESPN Gameday. With the state of the Syracuse Orange football team right now, I highly doubt this will be a fluff piece to promote Orange football. Axe is never one to hold back though so if your up and your wife doesn't have the remote control, tune in tomorrow at 10am(though not sure how far into the program his spot will be).
I have watched recently while some of my favorite minor league sports teams endure many changes. The Charlotte Checkers finally get a radio deal and when I interviewed Jason Shaya, he hinted that he also thought a television deal could be forthcoming. The KannapolisIntimidators finished the season a few games short of making the playoffs and we can't wait until April to see them again and what new team is on the field then. But the biggest news makers seem to be in the Syracuse area where the Chiefs and Crunch are facing huge changes like who the Major League Team that will be affiliated with the Chiefs and why the Syracuse area government is willing to risk a new scoreboard on the future of the Crunch staying in the area. I have read quite a bit on these topics so why not share my insight on these things, especially since it's my site and I can do that I guess(my wife says I can as long as I don't mind stopping to take the dog out from time to time).
Let's start with the Syracuse Chiefs situation since they have been mulling over just who will be the major league talent supplier. Many speculate that the Chiefs ended their relationship with the Blue Jays due to a lack of supplying a winning team and I have to agree. I have family who are season ticket holders up there and I think occasionally the frustration kicks in watching your team lose(ask Syracuse Orange football fans). So who do they select now? It looks now as though the Mets are going to go with Buffalo but the Nationals have visited and the Marlins plan to visit soon to pitch why the Chiefs should take a chance with their farm team (thank you to the crew at www.syracuse.com for the top notch news they have provided on this situation). I would offer this advice though I am sure the answer from the Chiefs management will be "DUH" but I would go with the team who you think has a great farm system in general and is willing to help invest in their team, not the one who likes to trade prospects often for name players because this will allow you to have top players playing at AAA level and the only time you will see good players are during rehab stints for a couple games before they get back with the major league team. I do think that the Chiefs offer a lot to their fans and if partnered up with a good system, you will see attendance rise with a new team. My pick if I had to, I would select the Washington Nationals and let me briefly explain why as well. I will admit, I don't know much about their farm system and they may not contend as much in the NL East as say the Florida Marlins but Florida scares me as far as selling prospects when their owner gets desperate for a championship. I also like that Washington has been aggressive in wanting to be with the Chiefs and if they offered some top notch incentives, take the ball and run to the bank with the announcement. The grass turf is finally set and the local government is dealing with the scoreboard issue and maybe we can get the Nationals to step up and help with this as well since they actually want to be here.
Speaking of scoreboards and the local government's persistence to prove that politicians love to piss off sports fans, the Syracuse Crunch are in desperate need of a new one and seem to have a problem getting it, despite the fact that it's actually in their lease. To me, this makes them more like a slumlord who even though he has it in writing he will make improvements on your apartment, he basically says, "Make me". Owner Howard Dolgon is understandably like you would be if you were a tenant and getting to the point where he is considering finding another landlord who will be more grateful for their presence. I have heard him on Axe's On The Block radio show discussing this issue and it infuriates me that a guy who is giving the local fans a great product and doing everything to help can't get something contractually obligated to him. I don't think the local politicians there think enough fans will care what they do, even if it means the ownership moves elsewhere. To me, I would write the local officials and tell them why this team is so important to the area and you fans. I would even reach out to Syracuse University and say, I know you are starting ice hockey at your school and what can we do together to maybe provide a top notch facility for both teams and let the government officials find out the hard way that their band aid approach to repairing the arena is disgraceful. I am the first one to complain when I see major league franchises bullying cities into paying millions or billions on new stadiums but in this case, I find it sad that a new scoreboard which could help sell other events as well, is the selling point that could cost the Syracuse area a team. As I mentioned, I live in Charlotte and like to get down there to see the Charlotte Checkers ECHL level games when I can and am enjoying them just now getting radio and possibly TV but guess what, they play in a top notch NBA arena with the Charlotte Bobcats and I can tell you first hand that it helps the experience more then most would expect. Make some improvements now and heck, get Syracuse University on board to host some of their college games there as well as concerts and so forth and I promise you that the investment you make today will not only keep the team in Syracuse but secure the future of the area. The economy is hurting and I understand being cautious but there are ways to keep Mr. Dolgon happy while meeting his lease requirements, the area resident happy without raising their taxes excessively and also give them a better place for sports and other events. Why is it that a simple blogger like me can see the problems this will cause if they leave all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina but yet locals will wait until it's too late to do anything? By the way, those who think it's not my money so I just don't care should know I have a lot of family in that area and I don't want to see their taxes raised either, especially my lovely grandmother who could use more breaks then additions. There are answers in front of you but you have to stop playing politics and party line BS and think about what truly is best for the community and that is to not only score the goal by getting that scoreboard issue taken care of but provide a better facility in general.
Look, I know in many people's eyes if it's not major league or affecting their gas prices, they don't care but many do. I also think you need to remember the number of area people dependent on jobs with these teams in the area(the jobs may not be all high paying but even the lower ones are wages that make a difference in their lifes and the life of their families). I simply ask you to research top notch programs and see what you think is in the best interest whether your a Chief or Crunch person. Syracuse is a great city and many times I miss it more then I could mention here but then I see issues like some of these and wonder what the future will hold for the younger generation of sports fans and residents in general. In contrast, Jerry Jones is build a 1 BILLION dollar stadium in Texas so it could be a lot worse. I know the economy and jobs in that area need a big boost to help but there are options in that city to help. Syracuse fans show your support for both teams and show them you care. Don't just buy the t-shirt (I do need more of those myself) but write your local politicians and newspapers to vent your opinions and even email the teams to let them know what you think about the current state of their programs. And to those who think it's just minor league team and who cares, I ask that you go out there and experience it for yourself and I bet the majority of you if you are open minded will enjoy it and become a fan. You may not see the names on ESPN right now but some of them you will in the future and you can say you saw them before they got their break and in the meantime enjoy some great games and promotions which minor league is known to occasionally sponsor great ones. Please, support it now before it's too late and it's either gone or you feel ripped off by the choices made because there is nothing worse then wishing you had.
My black lab recently had surgery on his stomach and the Vet recommended we put a shirt on him to help prevent damage to the area until it heals. I found this shirt and wanted to show that even my dog loves his sports talk in Charlotte and showing WFNZ some love. I thought about putting my Orange #44 jersey on him but its actually too big (they wanted nothing bigger then a large to prevent him getting caught in it and this was the best sports shirt I had at the size except my daughter's crappy Cowboy stuff, I use that for when the Vet asks me to collect a certain sample).
12. You have more wrestling t-shirts then any other shirts in your closet.
11. Even though you have a TiVo or DVR, you can't miss a show no matter what the occasion is and if its a pay per view event, you have pizza and wings and nobody best disturb you.
10. You hear a conversation at the store or among co-workers about a wrestling show or storyline and your laughing to yourself because you already read the wrestling websites like http://www.pwinsider.com/ and know exactly what is happening and fight the urge to look psychic and ruin the show for them.
9. You use words like shoot, mark, heel and slobberknocker in your everyday conversation.
8. Wrestling is in town tonight and you take the whole day off so you can not only prepare your signs and other things but get there early to stand outside the arena in the hopes you can catch a glimpse of the wrestlers as they enter.
7. Sometimes as you walk into a room, in your head you hear what your entrance music would be and consider acting what out your entrance if you were a wrestler.
6. You have been married and witnessed the birth of your children but the most emotional moment of your life was when you favorite wrestler retired.
5. You spend time when you are alone or in the shower working on your promo as if you are part of the story line on the next show and maybe even cut a promo on your pet.
4. You constantly rewind and replay that split second you and your sign where shown on television and if anyone else is around, you love showing it to others.
3. You inform your boss or wife that if they don't do as you ask, you will give them a stunner and flip them off which probably just cost you a job or sex for a long time.
2. You refer to people as peeps, rooty poo candy asses, jabroni, brother or even for the really hardcore fans, slapnuts.
1. You can actually list 12 signs and know exactly what they all mean and probably have actually done many of them( unfortunately guilty as charged).
Today's Orange Spotlight is my favorite store for purchasing Syracuse Orange stuff which would be none other then Manny's. A year or so ago, I asked my cousin Jeff for the best place to buy affordable Orange merchandise because he lives in the area and is a sports nut like me so I figured he would know. He led me to http://www.mannysonline.com/ and since I live in North Carolina, I looked and was hooked soon after. I found their prices very affordable, a wide variety and my favorite section called Manny's Bargain Basement which is basically a closeout/sale area. If you live in Syracuse, they have two locations, one at 504 Mitchell Ave and the other 151 Marshall Street. I have ordered from their website a few times and not only was I satisfied with the products but also received them within a timely manner (and you know I have to have my Orange as quick as possible too). You can also purchase $5.00 gift certificates, Nike and Under Armour gear and even sign up for their free newsletter or check out their brand new kids department. I highly recommend if you live outside of Syracuse or even in the area and have not checked them out, head over to http://www.mannysonline.com/ or locate one of their stores and visit soon. Matter of fact, I need to get over to the Bargain Basement area myself, I need that $6.95 Manny's Orange Cuse Hat to match the shirt I have with the same color and design I bought last year.
Over the past couple years, I have heard an issue debated that drives me crazy. The issue is whether Carolina Panther fans are bandwagon riders who only get on when they are winning or simply lack any passion for their team. I take exception to this as a Panther fan myself since I fall into neither of those categories. I know there are fans who do but I also know every team has fans like that as I have traveled around and even here, I see it everyday when they only talk about their team or wear the jerseys when they win. However, now is the time for Panther nation to reach down and stop being so reserved and force the NFL and other teams to hear us roar.
I know we are a new franchise in comparison to other teams with strong fan bases but together we can be just as strong. It's time to rise to the level of those elite teams and their fans in the NFL and show pride in our team. Don't wait until we have multiple Super Bowl rings otherwise you are just as bad as those Cowgirl fans who only support their team because they are front runners and bought into the media whoring hype of "America's Team". By the way, unless you lived in Dallas, Texas or have family there and root for Dallas, you are just as much of a bandwagon fan as those Panther fans some of you knock for not supporting. They point to and brag about their championships because they don't have the courage and spine to support a local team and grow with it. I too was once a Cowgirl fan back in the era of Landry, Staubach, Dorsett and even as late as Aikman but I realized having a home team in my backyard was so much better then just latching onto a team because they win a lot.
I am also aware of the fact that not only do we face being new so we have to deal the time it takes for generations to grow with the team but also in this area we have many transplants (former residents of other areas moved here). I know especially the New York and Pennsylvania fan bases who are passionate now must realize they are here in the Carolinas so it's time to embrace the Panthers as your new team. Help make this environment similar to those stadiums and give this team not only home field advantage but a great atmosphere to play in with fans who cheer and cheer loudly. Think back to when you lived there and what happened when fans of other teams showed up at the game and that's what we need here only it doesn't help because many of the serious hardcore fans here are wearing other team's jerseys. I know we don't have the rich traditions of your teams but together we can dictate our own great future and set the example for other generations to follow so drop you allegiances to teams in cities you no longer live in and join Panther Nation.
One last point I hear referred to often and that is the environment on game day at the stadium. With no tailgating rules in effect, I know it hurts the feel of making a whole day and festival out of game day but there are ways around that. Area facilities and stations are holding their own tailgate parties which I know is not the same but can help feed the appetite of Panther fans waiting for that first snap together. And for those loud fans who are disturbed when ushers ask them to calm down because Biff and Buffy can't enjoy their tea and crackers, I recommend the upper deck and find the passionate fans and unite. Show the Richardson's that we care about this team and we are not out to ruin anyone else's time but damn it, we will have our voices heard and show the players our appreciation. This is not the opera or a golf match where we must hush before a putt, this is the NFL baby and we want Jake and Julius to hear us yell when they make a great play. Learn the rules and work your best to be within them so your not tossed out but show your appreciation for those men out there who want to play for fans like us.
We can change things but we need the help of Panther Nation. Don't be bitter because we have only been in one Super Bowl, rejoice that we got so close and that Coach Fox could take us back there again soon. Don't let Cowgirl fans take up our stadiums and sports talk airwaves, stand up and let your voice be heard. Don't be depressed by the oppression of some, find ways to make the whole experience enjoyable for yourself and all of our Panther fans. Don't only wear your Panthers colors when they win, wear those jerseys and other Panther gear proudly. If we lose then we wait for the next one but we at least stand up with our team and go down together. Don't hate Jake when he makes a bad pass, root for him to make a better play next time. So come on Panther fans, let's show that together we can make this area and love for this team better. And for those who are fans of other teams, it's not too late to join now but it will be when this team has the rings that they will get soon and it's you who proves to be the front runner while we supported them all along. Go Panthers and let's show them that Panther fans are loyal fans.
Then how about this league http://lflus.com/ which is the Lingerie Football League. That's right, not only is the Lingerie Bowl back(and they have a running countdown as to when that will be) but they have formed a whole league. Check it out for clips and schedules, many of which are still being worked out apparently. You will be able to follow the 10 teams which are as follows:
Atlanta Steam Chicago Bliss Miami Caliente NE Euphoria Tampa Breeze Dallas Desire LA Temptations(hey, LA has a team? about time) Phoenix Scorch San Diego Seduction Seattle Mist
So if your bored or so hardcore into football that you will even watch women in lingerie playing it, or like my buddy T-Bone and this is your only chance of seeing a woman in lingerie(you know I love ya T-Bone), check out their website for more information.
Welcome back from the holiday and I hope you all had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend while recognizing the working class who deserved to be honored with such a date given the many sacrifices people made to make the work environment safer for men and women everywhere.
Speaking of hard working men, I found another http://www.syracuse.com/ employee who took a few minutes to show how much work goes into that website and the blogs that keep sports fans informed. I have followed his work extensively as a former Orange resident who wants to keep up with former local athletes as well as in depth coverage of the Chiefs. Not only did he take the time to answer the questions I gave him but I think you will find some very enlightening and honest answers. Orange fans and Syracuse area fans in general, here is the man who keeps you up to date.....Mr. Josh Shear.
12 Reasons Why.....syracuse.com Is The Best Source For Keeping Up With Former Central New York Athletes
1.Who is Josh Shear and what do you do?
I’m an unapologetic media and stats nerd (media stats? even better). My job title is Producer, which means basically I’m responsible for stuff (I don’t think that’s the formal job description, but it describes what I do).
In my “spare time” I write a personal blog and a new blog about media; I’m an amateur photographer and even more amateur musician (guitar primarily, plus piano, percussion and some clarinet), and I enjoy reading fiction – Chuck Palahniuk, Tom Robbins, Elmore Leonard and Kurt Vonnegut are favorites; I’ve also recently enjoyed the debuts from Liz Moore and Jesse Ball.
I majored in English with a communications focus at Western New England College (Springfield, Mass.), where I wound up co-editing the student newspaper, quite by accident. I went on to be a general assignment reporter for Reminder Publications, which publishes three newsweeklies and a monthly magazine. I also edited a biweekly arts publication for them.
I later went on to do some masters work in media studies at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication, and then landed the job here at www.syracuse.com.
3. What is a busy day at work like for you and can you walk us through a sample day?
A busy day is very much like busy, I guess. We’re a really large site and a really small staff, so we’re all responsible for everything to some extent. My specific duties involve overseeing our blog platform (we have something on the order of 140 blogs), keeping track of emerging technologies, making sure we respond to all Facebook friend requests, making sure our high school sports platform is operating correctly, and pretty much whatever else needs to be done.
A typical day will start with making sure everything The Post-Standard (our local newspaper) meant to send to the site got here OK, and will progress with going through the e-mail (I probably pass 250 or so in and out during an average day), and tackling whatever happens to be out there.
That’s one of the great parts of this job – just like it was being a general assignment reporter – I’m not doing the same stuff day after day, and each day is a new challenge. And frequently a surprise one, at that.
4. You sometimes write about the Syracuse Chiefs games. Do you enjoy going out to the games and what's your favorite part of it?
Doing the Chiefs games is dessert to me. I’m a baseball freak, and really, all other sports just get me from late October to early April. I’m not required to do the games, so I’m never pressured to put in the time, but it’s a 15-minute walk from my couch to the right field bleachers, if you figure in a stop for a hot dog. Given a pleasant evening and the opportunity to watch a brilliant sunset over the game, I try not to pass that up too often.
This year was the first season I was credentialed, so I spent some time in the press box. I learned a lot from that, but I did spend at least as much time outside the press box as well, since I’m really there to enjoy the game more than anything else.
5. There has been a lot of talk about the New York Mets taking over the affiliation of the Chiefs, including local political figures. Do you think it will happen and what is your opinion of the situation?
I think there’s a good possibility of it happening, because it makes sense for both teams. Chiefs fans are increasingly unhappy with the product Toronto is putting on the field in Syracuse, and if fans are unhappy, team officials have to be unhappy. As for the Mets, they wound up being affiliated for the past two years with a Triple-A team in New Orleans, which means if they had to call someone up to replace a sudden injury, pretty much Houston and St. Louis are the only two places they could be playing where a player would make it that day.
That said, there’s a lot of shuffling that’s going on; it happens every two years. Cleveland is rumored to be signing on with Columbus, but nothing’s confirmed there, and the Nationals are rumored to be looking for a new affiliate, too.
It’s always a crap shoot what you get with a minor league team, though – as a fan, you’re subject to the parent team’s needs, so you get situations like what happened with the rotation this year: John Parrish and David Purcey were both really strong in the first half, so Toronto called them up, and it weakened the Chiefs’ rotation.
6. If you owned the Syracuse Chiefs, what changes would you make whether its on the field, in the offices or with the stadium?
I’m really not any sort of expert on the business side of baseball, so I’m going to stay away from the first two questions, other than to give two thumbs up on the grass.
If I had my way with the stadium, it would be downtown. Where it is now, it’s a destination; you have to be going to a Chiefs game and only to a Chiefs game. You put your car in the big parking lot, you catch a game, then you leave. If you put the stadium downtown, you can be down there for dinner or for a beverage after work, and decide, “it’s a nice night, I think I’ll go catch a game.” Then after, maybe you stick downtown for dessert or a nightcap. It makes for a full evening out, and it does well by other local businesses.
For the record, this is the county’s shortsightedness; it has nothing to do whatever with the Chiefs organization.
Post-Standard columnists Sean Kirst and Bud Poliquin have also weighed in heavily on that.
7. You also do a column called "CNY In The Pros" which keeps sports fans up to date on players they followed from the area and what they are doing now. How much work is involved usually and what type of research is involved to track down some of these guys?
I started working for www.syracuse.com in September of 2005, and I had strong writing and blogging experience. At that time, the site had three very difficult-to-maintain pages that followed Mike Hart (at Michigan – he was drafted by the Colts during the off-season), one following Donovan McNabb and one following Carmelo Anthony. But there were lots of other locals who were playing pro sports, and we didn’t have a place to report on, say, a Dwight Freeney. So, we created the concept and I think people enjoy it.
There have been four primary challenges for me with the blog:
(a) I am not a local, so my institutional memory for sports in the area doesn’t go back very far. A reader once sent me an angry e-mail saying my blog had absolutely no credibility because I hadn’t ever mentioned Utica Proctor grad Will Smith, who was playing in the NFL for the Saints. Thing is, for the most part, my finding out someone is from the area comes from reading pro team rosters and people sending me e-mails like that. (b) I have never followed college sports. I grew up in Springfield, Mass., and dutifully followed the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins (until they sent Ray Borque off to win a Cup without them). Which means that all the fan favorites here – your Roosevelt Bouies and your Billy Edelins – were people I had never heard of. (c) They didn’t start playing lacrosse hard-core in my area pretty much until I was in college, so I knew nothing about the sports, and it’s such a huge part of the landscape here. Even the name Powell meant nothing to me in 2004. (d) There are *so many* professional athletes who grew up here and/or went to high school or college in the area. It could really be a full-time job following them.
I do, unfortunately, take sort of a lazy man’s approach to the blog. I could call agents and teams and get interviews with players, but really what I do is I check up on stats and do Web searches, and do write-ups from what I find. On the one hand, I’m not getting awards for my work, but on the other hand, I manage to find some cool stuff. The best part about it, I think, is that there’s really no other place to find all this stuff at one go.
8. Is there any one athlete you have not been able to track down and if so, who is it?
I wouldn’t know, frankly, but I’ve got to tell you, having a fan favorite like Gerry McNamara playing in Europe has been a killer. Not only is news hard to find out of Greece or Latvia, if I do manage to track down some information, chances are it’s not in English or Spanish or any other language that I pretend to speak.
9. What is your dream job or the one thing you would love to at least attempt professionally? And what was your favorite moment in your career?
As a writer, my favorite piece is one I did for a small weekly paper called The Chicopee Herald. I rode in a cop car in a high-crime community for eight hours. The officer said that Mondays were usually slow, but the day started with a foot chase before 9 a.m., included several arrests, having to go into a daycare facility because a 4-year old was uncontrollably biting the caregivers, and ended with an accident that wound up killing a child. It was really intense, and it took me about 10 hours to write the piece and trim it down to be readable.
I’ve also had the opportunity to interview some really cool entertainers. Some favorite interviews include Joan Jett, Bill Morrissey, Bruce Campbell and David Clayton-Thomas, who surprised me by wanting to talk at 8 a.m., and who kept me on the phone talking music and books for darn near two hours.
One of the great things about being in online media is, my dream job, or something that I’d want to attempt professionally, probably doesn’t exist yet; I could even be the first person to do it. I know it sounds corny, but if I can change the world – or at least a few people’s world – for the better, I’ll have done my job.
10. What are your favorite sports? Favorite sports teams? Favorite source of sports news? Any of the above questions have something you dislike or hate within those categories?
As I mentioned above, I’m a baseball fan. I get into football sometime in late October, and I’ve started to really enjoy watching hockey lately – that might be a product of getting to see Syracuse Crunch games, because the fans at the War Memorial are awesome.
I’m a Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics guy, and I try to root for the locals (Crunch, Chiefs, Syracuse University and other colleges in the area), but my mood’s definitely swing with how the Boston teams are doing.
My boss would probably show me the door if I didn’t say www.syracuse.com was my favorite source of sports news, but other than that, I tend to prefer sites that are easy to get around. Yahoo! Sports probably has the best usability from my point of view, though maybe it’s because I’ve been using it so long that I know exactly where to find everything. I also find myself using ESPN Mobile quite a bit; I don’t have home Internet access, and I don’t have cable TV, so having a good mobile page helps me out.
11. What one sporting event do you plan activities around so you don't miss it? And are you watching it in a sports bar or at home either alone or with friends?
I tend to be either at venues themselves or in a bar, where it’s easy to get caught up with the crowd. If I’m home, I prefer the radio for sports, since I can put it on in multiple rooms and walk through the apartment doing other stuff.
Other than the Super Bowl and World Series – which I think are gimmes – I don’t plan life around sporting events (or TV shows for that matter). I know I can always check in on scores, but I’d rather be doing something interesting and social than sitting in front of a TV or radio.
12. Your Free Space-Any last words Josh? Just remember to please keep it clean.
Fandom has always been a mystery to me. I’ve always rooted for and followed my teams loyally, but I’ve never been part of a constantly-caught-up-in anything, and I see there’s a big community like that around Syracuse University sports. I get the bumper stickers and the caps and the jerseys and showing off team colors, and I even get being able to rattle of statistics and history (which I think is very much a baseball thing that has expanded), but this is the first time I’ve ever been in a place where the mood of an entire city – and of everyone who ever passed through it – seems to revolve around how the team did over the weekend, no matter what the sport. You don’t even have to know how the team did; you walk down the street and you can guess the score.
It’s pretty exciting and pretty weird at the same time.
Thank you very much Josh and for someone not originally from the Syracuse area, I think you do a great job and those who want to belittle his work because he missed someone, how about simply asking him about that athlete and giving him a little time. I also must say that as a Met fan, I think it would be great to see the Chiefs becoming their AAA affiliate so that way I can stay on http://www.syracuse.com/ and track the Mets prospects that much easier. Josh does a lot of work and you all should show him some love when you can and thank him for the hard work he does with the website. I know living out of state but still bleeding Orange, I appreciate anyone who can keep me up with the local scene. And hey, if your on Facebook, track him down and go crazy on his wall.
As of right now, here is the card for Elite XC and their return to CBS primetime on October 4th: Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Justino vs. Yoko Takahashi Murillo Rua vs. Benji Radach Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobald Welterweight champion Jake Shields vs. Paul Daley Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock
I am positive more fights will be added soon. I know there were talks of a possible rematch between KJ Noons and Nick Diaz, which I am sure many fans would love to see. However, Noons has reportedly not agreed to it as yet and according to www.sherdog.com and writer Loretta Hunt, Noons is more then willing to fight Diaz again but wants better compensation for the fight.
The more interesting aspect of this card could be the fallout when it's finished as far as where do they go from there? Could we see Ken Shamrock possibly facing his adopted brother Frank who will be ringside announcing the fight? Maybe Brett "The Grim" Rogers finally gets his wish and gets in the ring with Kimbo Slice? And could we finally see what could be the best female matchup possible in EliteXC if both Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg win their fights on October 4th? And could we possibly see EliteXC or some form of their parent company ProElite enter the pay per view world sometime in the near future or work to simply extent their deal with CBS?
I also want to address those "hardcore" fans who love to bash matches like Kimbo and Ken and say they are not only pissed it's on the card but cussing mad that it's the main event. Ratings dictate everything and Kimbo has proven in the past that he is a ratings draw so EliteXC would be the foolish ones to deny that and keep building up to that match as the night progresses like you would any main event. The Jake Shields/Paul Daley fight should be a great fight for those hardcore fans and stop being mad because it's not in the main event slot. Kimbo is a name brand and attracts the mainstream audience and let's face it, Shamrock is no slouch either so I completely 100% agree with their choice to make this the main event. When you are on TV, it is about the ratings if you want to remain on prime time network television, you do what it takes to draw the best ratings possible. And to give away Kimbo/Ken as the first fight because a certain fan base is upset is crazy and would cost CBS and EliteXC ratings and ratings equal money revenue. What's more realistic, fans tuning in to see Kimbo tuning out early when his match is over in the first 30 minutes or loyal MMA fans staying tuned for the whole card just to see what happens? Sometimes I wonder if the people complaining are simply diehardUFC fans looking for reasons to take shots at EliteXC because I think EliteXC is simply trying to bring a more rounded card to all forms of possible MMA audiences. I will admit, on occasion, I will watch UFC shows especially their free programming on Spike and they have some of the top talent in MMA but to me, EliteXC is more of what I like, a mix of hardcore technical fights and personalities. If you like it, October 4th turn to CBS and check it out and if you want to just complain, they invented multiple channels for people like you so take advantage of it or tune out when the main event starts if you want to send a message and hope enough people agree with you to make a statement but I doubt they will.