Thursday, April 23, 2009

Been A Fun Ride But It's Time I Wrap Up This Chapter

After some long consideration and with a heavy schedule, I have decided to idle this blog. I figured it be best to do it now before the contest really gets started. I am also facing some major life decisions at the moment and the blog almost always seems to be a last resort lately if I have a lot of time. I will miss part of this but I just never could find the knack for it to live up to my expectations. I will continue to visit other blogs and not close this down in case someone would like to utilize links or anything else on here. Thank you to everyone who supported me and know that I will still support the Orange no matter what. Best of luck to you and your families. GO ORANGE!

Orange Chuck aka Chuck Fiello Jr.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anyone Else Remember GLOW?

Top 20 Favorite TV Themes Of My Chilldhood With Video (In No Particular Order)

My Latest Outing For Baseball

This is more of an experimental post but I took a picture the last time I attended a Kannapolis Intimidators game and want to see how well it will show up on the blog for future usage (the only camera I have is on my cell phone and not the greatest in quality). Intimidators start a homestand tonight and hoping to find a way out to one of the games this week, maybe the day game tomorrow if I can tolerate all the kids.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Huge Influence On My Love Of Baseball And My Childhood That Needs To Return

In case I have not explained enough lately, I love the sport of baseball. As a kid, I played it on the little league level every year until I turned 16. My parents knew I would enjoy it and pushed me slightly into it. At first, I will admit I was afraid of getting hit but then with some work (and a year of softball), I learned to love it. I enjoyed playing other sports as a kid but nothing was ever as natural and enjoyable as baseball. Sitting back tonight while thinking about TV shows in my childhood (I honestly considered a post on my top 20 sitcom theme songs but changed my mind, too many options haha), I remembered a major reason I love baseball.

Growing up in the 70's-80's, I was also a TV freak. I loved sitcoms and sports especially but the occasional Knight Rider or Quantum Leap would be fine too occasionally. And almost like a tradition in my house was weekend morning television. Most of the time, we watched Cartoon Express on USA network or other cartoons like Smurfs or local shows like Saturday Morning Showboat (which I was actually on as a kid once). But my favorite of them all was an instructional show about the proper techniques in baseball starring Johnny Bench, Tommy Lasorda, and one of the most popular mascots of all time, the San Diego Chicken on a show called "The Baseball Bunch."

For those who have never seen it, you missed out if you like sports and humor. The idea was to bring top MLB stars on to show young kids how to play. So every week you could not only see Johnny Bench, one of the best catchers to ever play the game, but players like Ozzie Smith, whom I have used below because of my respect for his ability. Then you could always count on the Chicken to do some silly stuff to make you laugh occasionally as well.

Now obviously this was long before steroids and paying huge fees for camps, instructors or instructional tools like dvds. This helped build my interest in baseball and could very well be a huge reason why I love this sport still today. I think if the MLB wants to continue to attract younger viewers, it is time to remake this classic show. This Week In Baseball (TWIB) can still be found on TV at times and I loved that show as well but nearly as much as I did Baseball Bunch. The Baseball Bunch not only entertained but you got to see for yourself how the professionals made the plays and practice it for yourself. It was because of the video below, I spent many hours playing wall ball to help my fielding skills.

If your scared that the original show is too corny for younger viewers today, then try a new format but the same formula. Maybe the Chicken is too old school and his physical comedy will not attract the younger viewers but you can use modern technology instead to help enhance it if you feel it necassary. I would however try to be as realistic as you can with the baseball scenes whether it be in a major league ball park or a local little league park near the production studio and actually get the players to interact with the younger kids learning the game. Maybe you have major league players show up at little league practice somewhere as a surprise to actually work with them to add to the anticipation factor that Derek Jeter could show up at your practice one day and show you how to play shortstop or Johan Santana showing them how to properly throw at their age without risking permenant damage to their arm. So many ways and not enough reasons to try it whether it's on MLB Network or syndicated/network stations across this country and even in other countries as well.

Sometimes we forget the simplistic things in search for the ultimate goal but in reality we find it is the little things that leave a lasting impression and to me, it was this show. Is there not one retired pro who kids would look up to (Ozzie, Cal, Piazza, etc.) that could be the lead player to help as well as major leaguers eager to volunteer a little time to help develop the game they love? And would the costs really be more then MLB is willing to pay when the end result could bring more fans to this game that we love? Especially now with as many black eyes as this sport has seen and with the economy struggling as player contracts and ball parks costs reach astronomical figures, why try to attract the younger generation who could bring back the popularity this game once knew? Bring back my childhood and encourage the youth of America to practice and get out and play.

My Favorite 44 Sports Drama Movies Of All Time

I have composed a list of the top 44 sports drama films based on my personal tastes. The ranking was primarily based on a long list and which one I would choose to watch verses the rest of the list. Your list may differ but here is mine without further ado.
44. Undisputed
43. Annapolis
42. Chariots Of Fire
41. Hoop Dreams
40. Gridiron Gang
39. The Champ
38. Hurricane
37. Pride
36. Everybody's All American
35. Best Of Times
34. Facing The Giants
33. He Got Game
32. Above The Rim
31. Glory Road
30. All The Right Moves
29. The Babe
28. Radio
27. The Program
26. Victory
25. Cinderella Man
24. Coach Carter
23. Heaven Can Wait
22. We Are Marshall
21. Remember The Titans
20. Blue Chips
19. Varsity Blues
18. Ali
17. Hoosiers
16. Cobb
15. Raging Bull
14. Invincible
13. Any Given Sunday
12. Legend Of Bagger Vance
11. Miracle
10. Rudy
9. The Wrestler
8. Brian's Song
7. The Natural
6. Friday Night Lights
5. Eight Men Out- this movie alone made me want to start my own Shoeless Joe Hall of Fame movement
4. Field Of Dreams- a film that breaks down the love of baseball
3. The Express- which had there not been so much Hollywood re-creation, would be #1)
2. Rocky- the film is iconic and this includes all the sequels
1. For Love Of The Game- which maybe it's because I can relate to a lot in the story and it is symbolic to me more so then others but I love the movie and think it's possibly one of the most underrated sports movies of our generation. I have the video below to see for yourself, the entire film brought to you by Hulu.

Humor For The Baseball Season

I love baseball and in light of the season being off to a fun start, unless your a Yankees fan, I wanted to add some clips from one of the funniest men in baseball, Mr. Bob Uecker. Enjoy.

I had to add this, it has my favorite Harry Doyle line of all the Major League movies, "He'll need a rocket up his ass to get that one."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Latest Edition Of TNA Spin Cycle Featuring MLB Player Dmitry Young Commenting On Philly Fans

Contest Corner 4-18 is your chance to win a ride with NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick before the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16th in a prerace victory celebration. is a link to a trivia contest presented by the NBA that could win you a trip for 2 to either of the conference games or the NBA Finals. is not exactly a sports relate contest but ESPNRadio is sponsoring it and if you have an Ace Hardware near you, these $250 gift cards or even the grand prize of $3000 could come in handy. is more of a giveaway but it has a funny commercial featuring Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer and involves giving away 500 Gillette razors for free a day. is for the work out freaks (or guys who just love to see Denise Austin working out) that could get you a treadmill, gift baskets from Smuckers, and the all important, workout videos signed by Denise herself. is a chance for the WWE wrestling fans out there to win tickets to a local live event, a championship belt and a meet and greet with a superstar. is for those in the Greater New York Metropolitan area and would like the chance to register with WFAN sports talk radio for a chance to win $10,000 or free TV, Internet and phone service from Time Warner for one year.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Best Syracuse Football Video Yet

I have to admit, I wanted to post on Jonny Flynn leaving and my thoughts about it but I have been mesmerized by this video of the Syracuse Orange football team doing the Oklahoma Drill for several reasons. I like the desire and intensity it portrays in this team. I like the interviews about how this team needs to play tough ball to in games. And I like watching as the coaches do not even flinch when these players are heading right for them and Coach Marrone even steps up to explain this is not buddy love but brutal ball where friends are for the dorm and the field is for battle (ok, those are more my words then his but the sentiment was the same). Anyway, normally I will not purposely repost anything the other blogs are covering to prevent overkill but I love this video and want to make sure every Orange fan sees it. Go Orange!

Donnie Webb's Orange Football Report: The Oklahoma Drill

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sorry For The Change But Hope The New Name Is Better

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to those of you who had to work to either find the blog or change things. I simply wanted a chance to make a more neutral name in case anyone is interested in joining the blog at some point or in the event I end up back in the military and someone likes the name,they can use it. I thought it would switch automatically but as you can see, I was wrong. Maybe if I was smarter, I would have just changed the title and warned in advance to see if I could learn more about what all was involved. Anyway, I truly am sorry for any extra work it caused you and hope the same people will still find me when they feel up to it.

By the way, if anyone is interested in contributing, I am always more then happy to accept applications. My only prerequisite is you enjoy sports, keep the cursing to a minimum, and try to be positive as often as you can. Especially if you have a good sense of humor or just want to write something without the responsibility of running a blog to help practice or build up your resume.

Oh and for those curious, the idea for The Big Orange is inspired by my idea to one day open my own sports bar and grill that focuses on pizza, wings, and sandwiches (essentially a one page menu). I have a dream to take a building close to the interstate in North Carolina and paint it orange and so bright that you can't miss it and when they ask where the name came from, I can say, "it's the big orange building you can't miss that does not look like Home Depot." I also will continue to use the Orange Chuck name only because, well, I like it haha.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Contest Corner 4-16 is for a dream trip for two to Hawaii to the Kapalua LPGA classic in Maui, Hawaii. is for a trip to St. Louis for the "2009 midsummer game" plus hotel and 1,500 cash. win ONE MILLION DOLLARS from Burger King and MLB simply by logging in every day and picking a player who you think will get a hit that day. The first person to get 57 straight days, wins the money. is for fans of minor league baseball from Lance Snacks and MiLB baseball. The winner will receive a trip and tickets to two minor league games of your choosing plus some spending money as well. is for you outdoors types who would want to go fishing with a pro.

Official Song Of Syracuse Orange Basketball Is....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Greg Paulus May Go From Duke Basketball Player to Green Bay Packer Soon

Central New York high school All-American Greg Paulus, who passed on his football career to play basketball for the Duke Blue Devils is apparently considering football again. I guess he saw Matt Cassel never play in college and become effective and wanted to one up him by changing sports to play in the NFL. Was Greg Paulus really on anyone's radar as far as draft picks? And, is Green Bay so hard up for players they are trying out basketball players? Remember Greg, they don't take kindly to flopping in the NFL.

Maybe he is tired of being used as a hurdle:

Another Reason To Dislike Lebron, Like I Needed More

As if his overshadowing of Carmelo Anthony was not enough for an Orange fan, now his fascination with Jonny Flynn has cost us Flynn. The Post Standard reported today that he has in fact hired the same agent Lebron James was trying to get him to sign with, Leon Rose, which you can find out more from the guys who broke the news here .

So your being the big man on high school campus taking away ESPN airtime and all your hype about being the biggest name the sport has ever seen wasn't enough when Carmelo was on the scene. Now you swoop in with your big endorsement deals and steal one of our best players who was a major reason the Orange were ranked top 5 for next season. Maybe it's simply because Lebron wants the best point guard on his Cavs team to finally get over that hump to win championships (which he won't this year because Kobe will take care of that). Or quite possibly his agent was drooling because of his play this season as well as his play at Lebron's camp. Whatever his reason, his mere presence in the situation just made me a huge fan of the Magic, the Celtics, the Lakers, the Mavs, the Nuggets and any other team that can beat his Cavs. Unless Flynn is drafted by the Cavs, then I have to root for them damn it because frankly, I refuse to deny the success of an Orange player because of my disdain for someone else.

UPDATE: Ryan Miller has this news on that he has not signed yet but intends to do so sometime this week, which you can click to read here . It's all the same, I still blame Lebron for this mess and will applaud the team that knocks the Cavs out of the playoffs. My biggest hope is, this agent did not break NCAA rules because if we learn later that he did, in order to get information for Jonny, I swear I will make my life mission about trashing Lebron James every chance I get, especially if the program is punished for it.

Nicknames For 2009-2010 Basketball Team Players

So as we all know, the great Waffle, Kristof Ongenaet, is a senior (and we wish him the best with his future endeavours) and so goes our favorite nickname from the team. And after re-reading a post on TNIAAM about team names in other countries, which you can find here, , jokingly I added a comment about AO fitting one of the names but then it came to me, this must be his new nickname. Rick Jackson already has "Action" attached to his so why not label the other big man.

You have to agree "The Tender Juicy Giant" is one of the greatest names in the world and we could have that name for our big man. Sure, we use his initials (mostly because it's quick and you don't chance mispronouncing his name haha) but this is so much more fun to say. Imagine hearing Dick Vitale, or better yet Jay Bilas, after a big play with the words, "And a monster dunk by the Tender Juicy Giant" for the Orange" and you know you would spit out your drink the first time he did too.

So what other nicknames should we look forward to for next season? Come on, you all know you love the nicknames for our favorite players and if AO goes pro one day, you can say you supported The Tender Juicy Giant back when he first earned that name. And you have that personal touch with the players as well as our own code names for our favorites. Let me know your favorite as well as any past ones you miss.

Friday, April 10, 2009

CitrusTV Central 4-10

What If I Could Be The Syracuse AD For A Month?

I have always had this idea for a screenplay (though I have no idea how to write one) about an average guy who gets a chance to be the NHL commissioner for a month after always hounding the guy about the bad choices he has made in the last year because he thinks they should be more popular. It would lead to a variety of marketing experiment and fun moments for a fan to encounter along the way. The process got me to thinking the other day about Syracuse. I hear many of us, and I have done it as well, second guessing decisions Dr. Daryl Gross often so why not ponder what we would do in his shoes and you could be the Athletic Director for a month?

I know the idea sound radical and in the idea for the screenplay, the character learns that it's not as easy as he thinks. So jumping all over Dr. Gross's every move saying I would do the exact opposite, probably would not be the best move. I have a lot of respect for that position because it's not just about the football or basketball or even the lacrosse but all athletic activities that fall under the Syracuse banner.

My first order of business would be an exploratory commission to research what resources are available to establish a baseball and hockey program. As I noted before, I know the hurdles and maybe it's because I love the sports so much but I would have to know that I exhausted all means before declaring it a dead issue. Reaching out to potential sponsors, alumni, and respected authorities of the particular sports to ask what all would be needed to facilitate a top notch program. I would also attempt to find sports to counter the Title IX limitations and what they would take to get started. My hope is that there is enough information to help at least get one of the programs started and then decide which one was the most viable option for the university if I could not do both.

Next, I would attempt to speak with media and coaches about getting some publicity and air time for the other sports as well. Maybe a deal with Time Warner or something to establish an all Orange sports channel so people could see there is more to SU then just three sports. Maybe get CitrusTV shows on there as well to help gain exposure for the potential they have in the Newhouse School in the hopes of getting it to attract more people too. I would also see about using corporate sponsors to help pay for to allow people who are out of state but want to follow the action to be able to do so, free of charge but maybe with commercials to help cover the cost. I do not personally have a membership because money has been tight over the last couple years so I can't watch and I know others who would do the same for free. I know it's not too awfully expensive but it's more then I can afford right now. The more publicity this school can get, the better we can become. I mean damn, we have one of the greatest players to ever play lacrosse coaching the women's team and why is it that we see so little about it?

Next, I would paint everything orange and live the experience. That's right, every building on campus and even the Dome would be orange. Maybe hook up a corporate sponsor (that's right, I am not ashamed to be a sponsor whore if it benefits program) like Powerade to make it the official drink to help cover the costs or even place banners on the building stating, "Orange Powerade, Paint Your Place Orange Too". I would make Orange-Outs a more regular event sponsored by the university with obvious exceptions to business attire. I would make that campus so orange friendly that people would know why we are called the Orange.

And last but not least, that's right, I would Restore 44. I have done posts on this issue previously and why I think it's actually the tradition of wearing it that honors those who wore it before you that is more powerful then hanging a banner. 44 is Syracuse and I want it out there so that every time someone wearing that number reaches a milestone or accomplishes something, we can be reminded of the power of that number, not have to look up at the sky to remember, or if your watching on television, maybe getting a quick peek on a camera shot to kill some down time in action. Watch the movie "The Express" and you will see why I feel it should remain a tradition as they show Mr. Brown passing it down to Mr. Davis who later passes it on to Mr. Little and that is what we should be honoring, their memories as well as the tradition. I understand how teams love to fly banners and jerseys to symbolize their accomplishments and how big of an honor it is but that is not Syracuse with 44 nor should it be. Restore 44 and end the controversy once and for all.

So those are a few of the things I would do if I could be the Syracuse AD for a month. I am sure I could think of more but for now, those are some things I would enjoy trying to make happen. So what would you do if you could be the Syracuse AD?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Strikeforce Saturday On Showtime

For those of you who are MMA fans, Strikeforce is back with a show this Saturday night with Frank Shamrock vs. Nick Diaz at the top of the card and featuring Cris Cyborg and Brett "Rip" Rogers from EliteXC fame as well. It will be shown on Showtime network or for $24.95, you can view it online including many interactive features such as choosing your own camera angle. Michael David Smith has provided some great interviews and breakdowns on the card over at ( ). I am looking forward to the show myself and think this could be the next step in providing some much needed competition for the UFC.

Contest Corner 4-9 is a link to win a trip to the Kentucky Derby. is your chance to win a trip to the 2009 MLB All-Star game and/or Staple gift cards. is to win a baseball clinic for 200 kids in your neighborhood with MLB alumni. could win you a 42'" LCD TV or a trip to Vegas just by registering and voting for the best video. I believe you can also add your own video if you think you have something funnier.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Orange Theatre Presents: What Is Your Dream Sports Job?

I was sitting down the other day trying to plan out ideas for the blog (and spend a few minutes away from the computer) and I had an epiphany if you will. As some of you may know, I love to write and sometimes my mind can get carried away into fantasy land when I do. As such, I have decide to debut Orange Theatre where I will discuss some fantasy topic just to appease my imagination and maybe you can add your view.

My debut in this genre is inspired by the start of baseball season. You see, a couple years ago on my birthday, Matt Dagostino, who I interviewed here and happens to be an Orange grad, allowed me the opportunity to do three innings of minor league baseball play by play for the Kannapolis Intimidators. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I wrote about the experience for a local newspaper which you can read here I not only had a great experience but out of it, grew appreciation for what these guys do. I always wondered what it would be like to do that job and let me tell you, there is a lot of work that goes into it that you don't know or appreciate until you try it for yourself. I would enjoy it but not sure that would be my dream job.

So now that I rambled a bit, I won't hold you in suspense for any longer. My dream job in sports would be another side of the journalism spectrum and that would be a journalist/beat writer for one of my favorite teams, preferably with an Orange flavor. Now, I don't expect Mike Waters to offer me a position nor do I expect Donnie Webb to light up my cell phone anytime soon, that's not my objective from this essay.

I love sports and probably always will. There is something pure about it when you break it down. The fascination we have with past great players. The awe inspiring wins or great plays made right before our eyes. The heroes who grow out obscurity and represent collectible items we can pass on to another generation. And it is always at it's best when it's kids on a playground or at a park trying to learn to play the game and enjoying it. How can you not love all that?

So why not want to be a part of all of that and be the person who helps tell the tale of what occurred. Maybe it's because in the past few years I realized I really enjoy writing but a little too late in life it seems to make an impact. Or maybe I just truly would enjoy being paid to do two things I love and be content with the life I lived. One thing I know after previous experiences though is to not take it lightly as something I could just casually walk in and do but it doesn't help me stop wishing and wondering what it would be like to casually encounter Orange greats, the coaching staff and players as though it's just another day at work. Imagine it for yourself, sitting amongst those in the Carrier Dome press row or being there to cover opening day at CitiPark when the Mets officially christen a new stadium and people base their impressions on what you wrote? Hey, doesn't hurt to dream though, right?

So what is your dream job in sports?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Contest Corner 4-7

I was going to wait a couple days and make this a bigger edition but I found some good stuff worth putting out there that I think you all will find is worth your time. is brought to you by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dick's Sporting Goods that could cost you, and probably knock me out of contention for, $500 shopping spree. I think the deadline is Thursday so if you read this after that, I am sorry but I just got word of it today myself. could get you a trip to Indy for the 500 from Macy's that also includes police escort, air fare and hotel, premium seats and all access garage and pit passes. If you are a fan, that one has to be a must enter (come on, when will you ever get a free police escort without passing away or being part of a chase). has some stuff for NASCAR, FIFA and outdoors stuff like bikes, camping gears for a little as one to three points to enter the sweepstakes or you can save up points to get stuff like baseball caps, backpacks, Nike Gift Cards, $20 of sporting tickets, and even your very own Coke Zero football can holder. To enter, all you have to do is save up lids from select Coke and Powerade products. is a chance to win a free adjustable backboard courtesy of Atlas Fence.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Syracuse Non-Sports Item That Pissed Me Off

Maybe it's because I am laid off due to similar circumstances or maybe it's because I know the history of Syracuse China very well but I was so pissed this afternoon reading this article. What made it worse was reading the comments left by a few who are either ignorant or simply promoting their political agenda. A Syracuse landmark of business is closing and instead of offering sympathies or answers, people are getting on their political horse finding who to blame. Do unions and outsourcing play a role in this decision as well as taxes and overhead cost to make things in the USA? Of course but we need damn answers and not more rounds of "The Blame Game".

I have been laid off and attended job fairs so I can attest to the fact that it is not a fun atmosphere out there right now. I have family in the same circumstance or close to it just waiting for the other shoe to drop. What we don't need right now is some jackass lecturing about how unions are out to bleed a country dry or how NAFTA killed our manufacturing industry, whether you believe it to be true or now? You know what I rarely see in there comments, actual solutions to the problem.

Here are some facts for all of us to consider. Unions help make many reach a wage level that they could afford to make a decent living on and helped to provide health/safety benefits in atmospheres where it was badly needed. NAFTA and free trade in general are the reason you can go to Wal-Mart or many other stores and purchase items cheap that you need. When American people are not working, income tax is not generated, more tax money is needed to help them maintain and more businesses lose money because people don't have money to spend forcing businesses to eventually shut down.

So according to many, we should make unions illegal, close the borders for businesses and the importation of cheap goods and everyone should have a college education. Is that about right? I am calling BS on that as someone who has tried college a few times with no success and it is not from a lack of trying, someone who has worked for a union, and someone who enjoys buying cheap goods when I can (especially if it is orange).

So as I sit here typing this, asking for answers, what would I recommend? Tax breaks for corporations based on the amount of jobs they create/utilize would be a nice step (although in all honesty, I would love to see the Fair Tax, for more information). Unions maintained but with a real expectation of what it cost to run a business and still balance the welfare of the employees and the ability for a company to make a profit, which is a goal of any business. I do think the program to allow adults to try college is a great idea and should be emphasized but not be promoted at the sole solution to cure our problems(trust me, it's not as easy of a solution as some of you may believe). The auto industry and others are now allowing tax break incentives to purchase American made products which is something we should have been doing for years now.

Let's face it, we can't expect to compete when other countries are utilizing child labor or paying their employees $2 an hour to do something we want to be paid $20 an hour to build. So instead of fighting over liberal or conservative labels, why not fight over the best possible solution in finding the middle ground and other incentives to help maintain the American manufacturing industry. I understand those of you who finished college should get some incentives for such tasks and I applaud your hard work and hope it is paying off for each and every one of you. The truth is though that the answers are more then just get a degree and find the next generation of technology to explore because the truth is, that also can be outsourced one day just the same. Let's promote the American worker and stop laying off companies that have been mainstays in our communities for decades. And if you have real solutions, please speak up and let it be heard.

OK, back to the sports talk now. Go Orange.

Syracuse Orange Pitcher Throws No-Hitter

Yes, I copied this story because #1, it involves the Syracuse Orange and #B, I get to say the words "Syracuse" and "no-hitter" in the same sentence. Congrats to SU softball freshman pitcher Jenna Caira on a great game. I still remember the no hitter I threw and heck, I was 11 years old at the time and still keep the game ball put away. Obviously Jenna's is a bit more impressive and I hope she has a great career in an Orange jersey and I hope the women's softball team is still in the Olympics years from now to appreciate the talent women like this have.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

If Title IX Did Not Exist, What Would Be The Best Addition to Syracuse Athletics, Baseball Or Men's Hockey?

Over the past couple years, I have debated in my head, in forums and other outlets how much I thought it would be great to see Syracuse University add another team to it's athletic department. The guys over at Saltine Warrior did a great job here pointing out exactly why baseball, or for that matter any other sport, would be too costly for the Orange to develop. But we see alumni like Carmelo Anthony donating enough to build new facilities and you have to ask yourself, will there come a point where we can explore another possibility and what will it be?

I love baseball and am excited as heck for tomorrow when opening day begins and the ump yells, "Play Ball" one more time. I played eight years of baseball when I was a young lad and I loved it, though I am sure my parents could tell you a few stories about how I had to play softball at first to get used to someone throwing a ball at me haha. I still look back to those days though with a great overwhelming fondness and look past some of the story lines that covers our media today because I love the purity of the game. I smell cut grass or drive past a baseball field watching kids practice and I smile knowing this tradition is still in good hands. I live 10-15 minutes from minor league team (the Kannapolis Intimidators, Single A Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) and every chance I get, I go to their games and do my best to win tickets anyway I can even though the cost is only $4 general admission or $7 reserved (layoffs and down time at work will cause that to be a bit expensive I guess). So I guess it is only natural that I pine for a day when I can support an Orange baseball team as well.

In the summer of 1989, I moved to a suburb of Pittsburgh named Plum and over time, learned to love and appreciate the game of hockey. Sure, occasionally in the winter when the lake and pond in Bridgeport froze over, we would lay loosely on the ice using sticks and crushed cans as a puck but it's nothing like the dedication the people in that area showed to the game. Not only was the street hockey fun and the passionate sports talk about the Penguins enjoyable but it was on a whole other level with the rinks and school teams that I knew little about growing up in Brideport, going to Cicero-North Syracuse. I now know more about it and enjoy it as well when I get a chance to view their games. Again, I think it's a natural impulse to think that a town like Syracuse that is as well known for their wintry mix would invest in hockey, which in fact they did by establishing a women's team.

So what is the future of forming a men's baseball or men's hockey team at Syracuse University? And which option is the most likely? Both sports offer minor league team options that could pose some competition in the area that if you have the chance to enjoy, is a great time out for you and the family with the Crunch and Chiefs respectively. Both would need a coach with rebuilding and recruiting experience (or at least the skills to demonstrate they can do it) to help build the program from nothing into a competitor in order to get fans to support it. Either option would require under Title IX that the university establish a women's team in some sport to match it and they already have great women athletic programs within their department. Both would need game and practice facilities whether it be new or time within someone else's schedule.

So it would seem to me that both would have the same uphill climb to get started. I guess the answer would lie in who came forward with the right money and game plan/staff to establish the best program as well as help fund the other scholarships/staff to help meet the Title IX rule plus ensure there was enough talent to help keep it running. For instance, you can't just throw a women's football team or women's wrestling team together when neither have much on the high school level to scout or recruit from, let alone get competition for games. And unless Cal Ripken Jr. or Bret Hull are looking for a way to start their ideal programs on a college level, finding the right person and funding is not as simple as you would hope just because the name Syracuse is attached to it.

The truth is, I don't have the answer but is there one out there somewhere. Is there a big enough fan base to help keep them going if it started? I would like to think those who bleed Orange like us and the alumni would support the school even if they started a puppet racing team but we will probably never know since this remains simply a dream in many fan's hearts. So what do you think? Hockey or baseball? And how could it possibly happen either way? I am not holding my breath but I have waited for years for the day when I can buy an Orange baseball jersey and wear it with pride during the spring/summer season.

UPDATE: As soon as I post this, I find an article about women's professional football leagues which you can read here One has to wonder, could these lead to a mini college league of sorts and a trend?

Sheffield Is A Met But Is He A Curse Or A Cure?

Yes, I know Gary Sheffield joining the Mets is not breaking news at this point but I wanted to let it soak in and read all the press around this one before I made my thoughts public. Now that I have had a few days to think about it and hear the mixture of opinions, I have to admit, I like it even more now then I did before.

I heard a Phillies fan rant on a Sirius sports talk show about how he thought this signing would make him so happy and be a bigger reason for the Mets eventual collapse again this year. I have read articles from those who have met him, known him or just follow the sport closely with most waiting for him to implode. I have also heard some Mets fans wondering where this will leave the team with a guy who has limited mobility as an outfielder and offensively has declined in the past couple years, with only one home run to reach 500.

I think it's a win, win deal for the Mets and I don't blame GM Omar Minaya one bit for doing this deal. You are paying him the league minimum which helps make it easier if you have to cut him. He is the nephew of one of the Mets greatest pitchers in franchise history, Dwight "Doc" Gooden and Mets fan have a lot of love and respect for those who played with their team. If Sheffield is truly accepting of his role and lasts the season, the possibilities are endless as to how he could positively affect this team. I remember people ready to count Delgado out a couple years back as well and yet, he still remains a major contributor to this team. Maybe, just maybe he also shows some of those in this clubhouse how to be a positive leader and could help form a melting pot where many are pointing to it being more of boiling point waiting to explode.

The truth is, the speculation will continue but until we actually see the true role he plays, we will never know. I think personally that the league minimum is a nice price to find out just exactly what he has left in his tank. One report had it costing us Marlon Anderson's roster spot to find out which I do hate to see but it's a long season and anything can happen between now and October. Right now, I think Sheffield could be the cure this team needs to avoid a slump and a locker room leader when and if a decline begins. And hey, if he is done physically or blows up, what did we truly lose besides a few dollars, it wasn't like it was a perfect clubhouse as it was and can't get much worse.

WNYO Oswego Has Their Breakdown Of Spring Time In Orange Football Country

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Contest Corner 4-2 is the True Fan trivia contest run by with many prizes offered for answering sports trivia questions. is your chance to win a boat or other fishing related prizes. is for Tony Stewart fans who would love the chance to meet him and win VIP racing tickets or other associated NASCAR/Tony Stewart merchandise. is for Philadelphia fans wanting to check out TNA Lockdown, the grand prize is apparently front row seats. You will have to live there though because there is a secret word involved that my guess is, you will only find on their channel during a broadcast. and don't forget to enter this contest for Wrestlemania shirts, hoodies, WWE DVD's and other assorted items but you have to do it before 7pm EST on April 5th.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why TNA Should Be Lighting Up Taz's Phone Right Now?

Some of you may have noticed that I am a wrestling fan and can be a very passionate one at that. After reading yesterday on that Taz's WWE contract has expired and he has decided not to renew at this time, I am joining the long line of those hoping this could lead to a TNA deal in the upcoming future.

Before I go further, let me state for the record that I consider Don West to be a great asset to the company and love his work. To me though, I think this turn of his could best be used other then simply as a broadcaster, maybe doing exclusive interviews with the heels when need be as well as remaining the pitch man for TNA's merchandise. Anyone who thinks DW should leave TNA immediately because of Taz is either naive or not understanding of how much he possibly could do with the company.

That said, Taz has proven to be a great asset to a broadcasting team. The guy is very knowledgeable and not afraid to show it. He is very passionate and not afraid to express it. Taz is a former wrestler who fans can easily understand his viewpoint and can sell a move or a match as good as anyone in the business. His ties to ECW and that intensity he has and has had his whole career will get fans to buy into the whole show.

My guess is, Kurt Angle, Team 3D and probably Rhino, Mick Foley, and Jeff Jarrett if they have not already, are calling him up to convince him why TNA would be great for him and if they have not yet, what the hell are you waiting for? People are already discussing how awesome he would do if he has a no-compete clause in his contract and shows up in Philadelphia for Lockdown and I have to agree with that. Taz debuting in the city that was the home of ECW and dropping an intense promo would be worth the price alone.

One last thought on the idea, how would I debut him? If you watch Impact, you see Don West walks off and has treated even company executives like Cornette with disrespect so why not officially announce that due to his unprofessionalism as of late, TNA has decided to go in a new direction and demote him. When DW stands up offended asking who the hell could ever fill his shoes, the music hits and Taz walks out. DW not as stupid as he looks, does not stick around to argue but runs quickly telling them he will be back. Sure, the Tazmission on DW would be an awesome pop but trust me, Taz will get the ECW pop as soon as he walks in, especially if it's in Philly. I would do this at the beginning of the show with all the ECW/Frontline guys walking by the broadcast table welcoming him to TNA and maybe a nice stare down with Angle as well building the tension of what if, even though every report I have read says Taz has no desire to return to the ring but it sells the Frontline/MEM storyline as well. And how about a quick comment "accidentally" caught on a microphone from Mick Foley on his way to ringside about at least here there isn't some lunatic yelling in his ear the whole show?

Those are just my thought, so what do you think? Should Taz join TNA soon and should TNA be running to get him to sign? How would you debut him if he joins? What would you do with him if he was in Taz and what would you do with Don West? Heck, he could just need a break to spend time with his family and then end up back with the WWE but sometimes, speculating and wishing is so much fun when it's a positive story. Am I blowing up something that is a non-story up bigger then it truly is or could this truly be a big story?

And My Other Childhood Favorite Was?

Want To Know How Old I Am? This Was My Favorite Movie As A Kid And Probably Why I Have A Warped Sense Of Humor

And The Winner Of The Best Tacklers On Campus Contest Is?