Last night on Twitter, I noticed a movement that during this political environment, I can fully endorse. I am not sure who to credit first but noticed that @Live315, @asmcnama and @PJASchultz all were being RT'd in this matter so I will let them fight out out either in some mud or a steel cage, whichever they see fit. No matter who started it though, I think many should start to support their idea and that is, Syracuse Head Football Coach Doug Marrone should be a leading candidate for National Coach of the Year.
This is not just Syracuse Orange fans drinking the Kool-Aid or some hyperbole based on one big win. After reading Brent Axe's posts on syracuse.com(starting with this one http://www.syracuse.com/axeman/index.ssf/2010/10/su-cincinnati_recap_this_that.html ), I realized he had the stats to justify this contention. According to Brent, "Syracuse is 6-2 for the first time since 2001, when they finished 10-3.Syracuse is 3-1 in Big East play for the first time since 2004. Syracuse beat Cincinnati for the first time since 2004. Adding to a streak of beating South Florida for the first time ever and beating West Virginia for the first tine since 2001." And Sean at www.nunesmagician.com noted that Coach Marrone is now 10-10 as head coach at Syracuse and noted it took Coach Robinson 4 years to achieve that goal. Greg Robinson finished his 4 year tenure at Syracuse with a record of 10-37 overall and 3-25 in the Big East and yet, Coach Marrone has those 10 wins already in only his second season as head coach and matched those 3 BE wins this season alone with 4 more games to go (3 of them in the Big East) and the toughest part of their schedule in their rear view mirror and I do not foresee them sleeping on the rest of these games either with Coach Marrone at the helm.
How many of you have heard the little snide remarks from people when they talk about Syracuse being bowl eligible and having a shot at a BCS game should Pitt fall a bit and they win out? My first instinct is to boycott their sorry shows and write them a long email about it but then I remembered, they are finally talking about Syracuse being relevant again, even if it is while laughing. The fact that the fans and media are talking about this after how far this program fell is reason alone to mention Coach Marrone's name whenever someone wants to discuss who has done the best job coaching this year.
According to the experts, Syracuse has to win one more game in order to be bowl eligible, which hopefully they can do at home against Louisville this upcoming weekend. If this team goes from the obscurity to playing in a bowl game, to me that is more worthy of being coach of the year than those who were expected to win a BCS championship meeting expectations. Coach Marrone and this staff and players are above and beyond what most expected to see this year (I predicted 8 wins but expect now they could even surpass that and made my predictions from the heart, not my head).
As you may have read in earlier posts, I personally campaigned and even almost started up a website with my support for Turner Gill when Robinson was fired. I sit before you humbled and ask Coach Marrone's forgiveness as he has demonstrated he deserved this job beyond a shadow of a doubt. He won me over with the speech posted on my blog yesterday but continues to amaze me every game even still with his coaching on the field and his demeanor off it. And now I think it's time he win over the rest of this country and be awarded this honor for restoring a program many buried only a few short years ago. So Syracuse fans, show your pride and let's spread the word that in this election year, we want to see one man who deserves our vote get it and that is "Doug Marrone For Coach Of The Year".
Today, we are one win away from being bowl eligible. Today we are 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Big East conference. Today we celebrate our third Big East road victory this season(all of which were homecoming games for our opponents). Today we will head to Varsity and flip another banner. Today is another day for those who believed in this team and wore their Syracuse Orange with faith even when they were mocked for doing so. Today is a stepping stone on our way to rebuilding our program and regain the respect and dignity this program once had. Today is a day fans will look back on this team as more than a fluke or a lucky win but instead see into their hearts and determination and know they are worth your love. Today is for every fan who didn't leave early out of disgust or make negative comments publicly when times got rough(though at times were discouraged because they knew we could do better) knew that when SYRACUSE football was back, our faith would be justified. Today is the day Coach Marrone and his staff show those who doubted they could do it, thought they didn't have the resume to believe in, or doubted his emotion in leading this team were proven wrong (including myself who campaigned heavily for Turner Gill until Coach Marrone won me over with this halftime speech during basketball season).
Today, we the fans say thank you again for your blood, your sweat and your tears when many "experts" picked you to finish last or next to last in the standings. Today we hold our heads high, party like a rock star and know in our hearts that we bleed Orange and will enjoy our lives today because of you. I have said it before but you can never say it too much when you truly mean it and today I say to you Syracuse University, Coach Doug Marrone and the staff and players on this football team...THANK YOU!
I was going to do my first video ever but have decided to put it off for now until I work out a few details. Instead, I will write here what I had planned to say.
Thank you to those of you Syracuse fans who have stuck by this team through thick and through thin. Those who did not look for every chance to bash them after a loss but understood sometimes a team loses a game and it's not always how we want it to be. Those who check out the blogs and Twitter and make being a Syracuse fan fun. And thank you to those who like me wore our Syracuse merchandise for the past few years and endured the abuse and ridicule who can now hold our heads high with a smile knowing we our headed in the right direction.
Thank you to the players on this team who work their butts off for us fans. You guys fight hard every game to bring two things back to this team many of us thought was missing, tradition and respect. I won't single out anyone or any side of the ball because I think it is a team sport and a team effort so thank you to all of you whether you start or not. I assure you that every single one of you is why I bleed Orange and I am grateful for your sacrifices and will support you with anything I possibly can.
Thank you to Coach Marrone and his staff who has brought honor and competitive football back to a once proud university that struggled over the past few years. Some might challenge your passion or your resume but the true fans know you are on of us and want this team to succeed even more than all of us. Anyone who watched this WVU game and still questions your passion was not a true fan to begin with because a true fan knew it that day you took off your jacket during the basketball game and spoke to us from your heart in the Carrier Dome.
I was raised in the Syracuse area. I have loved this team for as long as I can remember and over the years, done my best to support and defend them even when the times were tough. I bleed Orange to the point that surrounding myself with all things orange makes me feel more comfortable. When I die, it is my hope that I am buried Orange (preferably my 44 jersey my brother gave me years ago and I treasure every time I wear it).
I have experienced a lot of heartache in my life off and on for the past few years and even been fortunate in other things. The one constant is my enjoyment of all things Syracuse Orange. I believe all things happen for a reason and I believe we went through the pain to further appreciate the road we will begin to climb to restore this program into what we Syracuse fans know it to be. I believe that even when your team struggles, you stand beside them just as you do in victory. So on behalf of myself and hopefully many other Syracuse fans I say to Syracuse University and especially the current football players and staff, THANK YOU.