Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hit Like a Girl-Blood Type O, for Orange


It’s time for this Boston sports fan to show some hometown pride. No, I’m not already showing hometown pride by rooting for Boston sports teams. I rarely admit this, but I grew up in the Syracuse area. Seeing as the Big East Conference is underway, I felt I should throw my opinion into the ring.

Being an SU fan is an inherent quality, a birthright even. It’s like being a Yankees fan or a Red Sox fan. You just are. I think this is why my parent’s are so confused by my Boston loyalties. But seriously, the SU thing is just in your blood.

Both of my parents were raised in Central New York in towns about 15 miles outside of Syracuse. My aunts and uncles are ‘Cuse fans, my grandparents are ‘Cuse fans, hell, my grandmother could give you a better rundown of the team than a coach. All my classmates were ‘Cuse fans, all my cousins are ‘Cuse fans… I think you get the point. Despite the fact that I have not religiously followed Syracuse University sports, I still consider myself completely and wholly an Orangemen fan. Oops. I think it’s just the “Orange” now. As readers of my column know, political correctness is one of my top priorities.

I have only a vague idea about what is going on in Syracuse football. What I do know is this: SU football usually sucks and we haven’t won a national championship since 1959. And now you have my reason for not following them. I get enough heartbreak watching Boston games. But you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon news articles and sports bloggers predicting a Syracuse win this Saturday. I don’t know if these writers are delusional or just drunk(editor's note:both), but I’ve been reading pieces about how extraordinary the offense is and how they are going to pulverize Maine. Are we thinking of the same team, guys? The SU I remember catching glimpses of was painful and slightly pathetic. Sometimes it was reminiscent of Pop Warner: cute, but wrong. You had men running down the field in every which direction, none of whom were making the proper cuts or getting into great receiving positions. Don’t try to argue with me on this one. I spent an entire summer of beach days with my Dad. My dad who enjoyed showing me the difference between nickel and dime defenses and how to break down the cover three. In the sand. When I was far more concerned about my tan. But, it made me qualified to say things like, “THE SU OFFENSE STINKS! You thought I was from there? No. I’ve never even been to visit.”

But now, my friends, the tide has turned! And I am from Syracuse, oh yes indeed. I have loved them all along and I am excited to see them stomp on Maine this weekend.

From what I can tell the SU defense has turned into a bunch of rapid wildebeests that are ready to tear their prey from limb to limb. The offense has become a well-oiled machine that can make clutch plays regardless of whether they have 15 minutes or 15 seconds. The new head coach, Doug Marrone, clearly deserves a raise! The man has spun straw into gold. OK, maybe silver. I wish I could better explain what a big deal this is. The deal of the decade, even. Syracuse University has a legitimate football team. Typing that makes me giggle.

My prediction? The Syracuse Orange will beat the Maine Black Bears. Then, should they be so fortunate, they will lose to a team like UConn. Maybe. I’ll have to ask my grandma and get back to you.

Samantha Lewis is the author of "Hit Like a Girl". She is the Creative Director of Northshore Editorial in Salem, MA and can be followed on Twitter

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