Thursday, April 30, 2009

lets hope nothing like this happens here...

MIT Forced to Cut 8 Varsity Sports

In other news, MIT only had 8 varsity sports to begin with.

Gentlemen, our dreams

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/football/pro/dolphins/sfl-lingerie-football-c042509sbapr25,0,7178968.story

Have apparently come true. Give it a year and greg robinson will be coaching in this league and describing each individual female player as having lots of "Flash".

I love it.

even MORE swine Flu!

I'm just going on a rampage to see how many students at universities we all have come to hate have contracted this swine flu. I am now pleased to announce that a Notre Dame student has contracted it, and amazingly enough it WAS NOT Luke Harangody











Anyone else see the resemblance there? I say we point all fingers at him for this mess, once again the basketball gods demand it!

News Flash:Georgetown does something..... intelligent?

http://www.thehoya.com/node/18930

I think they're under the understanding that if this thing grows, they will be the first to die.
the basketball gods demand it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

They grow up so fast.......

(here's your epic, but somehow not really cuse related post)
Ladies and germs, i'm proud to announce that this is SWRLU's 100th post.

special thanks go out to the following:
Dan Lyons,Brian Roll,Rob Long, Greg Robinson, Greg Robinson's mom for giving birth to Greg Robinson, Doris Burke, Doug Gottleib, Eric Devendorf Homoerotic Photography, inc., Jim boeheim's microphone, Greg Paulus's indecisive mind, Sean from TNIAAM, and Alex Ozenberger for copying me.

Back in the office.

I'm back after spending a weekend in philly for Penn relays+i was lazy yesterday.
Expect an epic post later.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Professionally Orange

Day two of the NFL Draft saw a few Orangemen fulfill their dreams of becoming professional football players at the highest level.


The first player to go was FB Tony Fiammetta in the 4th round.  Fiammetta, 
Captain of last year's team, was the first Fullback taken, with the 128th pick by the Carolina Panthers.   

Carolina is definitely a good spot for Tony.  Many teams have gone away from the Fullback position completely, but Carolina has embraced it.  They currently have veteran Brad Hoover filling the role, a player Tony admires and models his game after:

" I've noticed his consistency and his professionalism. It seems like every play matters to him. Just watching him last year, he was on fire from the fullback position. He was making blocks everywhere and opening up holes. If I can get to that level one day I would be more than excited."




The other Orangeman
 selected in today's draft was Guard Ryan Durand.  

Durand, a three year starter for the Orange, and recipient of various accolades including 2nd-Team All Big East, was taken by the Tennessee Titans 239th overall in the drafts 7th and final round.  

During his conference call with the media, Durand discussed his versatility:

"Right now they are looking at me as a guard but I feel like I can play different places if need be, maybe move me out to tackle. It depends on their need and my ability to fill that need."


One other Orangeman has latched on with an NFL team today.  Donnie Webb reports that Runningback Curtis Brinkley has signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Chargers.

Other former players look to land with teams, including Linebacker Jake Flaherty and Kicker Pat Shadle.

Congratulations to Tony, Ryan, and Boonah, and good luck to the rest of the players looking to keep the dream alive.

=======================================================================

It is 9:53, and Georgetown still sucks!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Scary New High School Trend

Much scarier than Crocs indeed.

6'11" Jeremy Tyler of San Diego (former Louisville commit) is dropping out of High School to go play out the two years until he is eligible for the NBA draft to play in Europe.

Now, this may not seem and worse than Brandon Jennings last year, or the litany of one-and-dones that come out of college every year, but this scares me.

I don't wish this upon him, but theoretically, let's say Tyler struggles- much like Jennings has- in Europe, and after two years of doing very little in Europe at the pro level, his stock is not very high and he gets drafted in the late first round/early second round.


He then plays a few ineffectual minutes early in the year for his NBA team, when he is sent down to the D-League.  

After a few seasons bouncing around the D-League he is eventually cut- a player without anywhere to go.  There is no guarantee he can latch back on in Europe, and now he has no job and is without a High School diploma.

I'm in no way insinuating that this will happen to Tyler- by all accounts he is an excellent player who will do fine- but if this becomes a trend (which I think it may, especially if Tyler has a good experience), mark my words, there will be players who this happens to.

I just can't see the risk that comes with not graduating from High School being worth the reward of some cash (that could easily be made up with exposure made while playing with college- Jonny's two years at Syracuse can only help his endorsement potential) and not having to go to classes for a year.  He's going to be playing with grown men in a foreign country.  

I can only hope that the NBA puts in place something that will deter this.

====================================================================

It's 6:08, and Georgetown still sucks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NFL Draft Approaches...Whither the Orangemen?


It has been seven years since a Syracuse football player (Dwight Freeney - 11th overall) was selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Seven years. For the first time since 1975, not a single Syracuse player was selected in last year's draft. At all.

There is no surer sign of a program's decline that its complete lack of mention on NFL draft weekend, the media-created event which football fans cling to like a life-raft at the start of the NBA playoffs and MLB regular season. The Orange football program had certainly started its slide under Paul Pasqualoni, but in fairness to Coach P, he sent 38 players to the pro ranks in his 14 year tenure as the Syracuse football coach. It is too early to tell, as far as Greg Robinson's recruits are concerned (since many of his earliest recruits are only now entering their senior seasons), but the fact that he failed to send any of P's later recruits to the NFL speaks volumes about Robinson's staff's inability to "coach up" the talent on the roster.

The NFL draft creates positive exposure for a program, as does the success of those players once they reach the pros. Let us hope, for the sake of Syracuse football, that somehow Curtis Brinkley and Tony Fiammetta get selected over the weekend, and are able to contribute in some way, shape, or form in the NFL. The Orange need all the positive exposure that they can get, to try and at least throw some fresh paint on the program's facade until Doug Marrone can right the ship.

It's Mayfest

Everyone on the Hill, Drink and be Merry!

======================================================================

It's 11:16, and Georgetown still sucks!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Interview of the Century is here.......

Unfortunately it's not Ernie Davis's Ghost, but i guess i got the next best thing. I had the fortunes of getting an interview with the man himself, SU Punter Rob Long.

Without Further Adieu.........

RB:From a player's perspective, what has been the biggest adjustment you've had to make between Coach Robinson and Coach Marrone?
RL:From a players perspective the biggest change has been the discipline and accountablility that the players are held to.

RB:When you started your freshman year, you came onto this team with some large shoes to fill after Brendan Carney graduated. What was that like for you?
RL:It was a pretty wild experience, but I wasn't there to try and out do Brendan, I was just there to contribute the best that I could to the team and not to put too much pressure on myself.

RB:In the 2007 Buffalo game, you were called on to punt on third down, what was going through your mind?
RL:I wasn't really sure, but its not my job to question the coaches decisions I am just there to do my job.

RB:I understand there's a bit of a roster issue in finding a kicker for the season, is there a possibility we could see you kicking field goals?
RL:I think that there is a possiblity of anything, but as of right now I have been asked to hold and that is what I will do. If they feel the need to call on me to kick Ill be ready to step up.

RB:Marrone has been relatively good about keeping practices open to the public, do a lot of people come over to see what you are working on?
RL:I think that people are going to practices to see the offense and defense but Ill always catch some people looking over trying to figure out what we are up too. They generally turn away in confusion.

RB:Describe your team in one word.
RL:Determined.

RB:What has been your longest kick in practice this spring?
RL:I think the longest one in the air from the line of scrimmage was 62 yards.

RB:Speaking of kicking, your leg has to be pretty strong, approximately how much do you leg press?
RL:Ya know I am not really big on the heavy lifting and its been some time since I was on a leg press so I dont think I could give you an accurate answer on that one

RB:Is there any game on this year's schedule that really stands out to you?
RL:@ Penn State. Lot of kids in my area went on to go to school there and everyone in my area is a big Penn State fan and I'd love nothing more than to get that win.

and the inevitable question..........

RB:What were you thinking when you found out someone named their blog after you?
RL: Haha I wasn't sure what to think someone told me about it and I wasn't sure if they were messin with me or not until I checked it out for myself. But once I saw it I thought that people have too much time on their hands.

Special Thanks go out to Rob for taking the time to answer the questions in the midst of spring practices and upcoming finals. Look for interviews from such folks as Former SU Basketball Star Ryan Blackwell, just to name one.

Breakin' News

Looks like we have ourselves another recruit for our 2010 recruiting class

It appears that Lawrence(NY) Quarterback John Kinder has committed to the orange, and with him he's bringing 1,000 rushing and 1,000 passing yards. This is a good sign for a variety of reasons. One of which is we appear to be taking back the recruits in our own backyard. That's one less kid who will play at rutgers or Uconn or Pitt or Penn State. In addition, did you notice the 1,000 rushing yards? Nothing would fit better in Coach Marrone's No Huddle Spread System than having the third demension to the offense that is a Dual-Threat QB. Gives the Defense one more thing to worry about.


Editor's Note: I can't help but find it funny that we keep finding quarterbacks at schools named lawrence. I'm on to you charley loeb........

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Banner

Kudos to Tommy who is a regular over at syracusefan.com and apparently this site.

SU Spring game Quotables

“I thought some situations were competitive and we just need to keep getting better. We handled a lot of situations today. The one thing we’re going to have to get better at in game situations is adjusting to penalties, miscues, missed assignments and then be able to come back and play better football. And, we have to be more competitive.”
-doug marrone

Well we did get worst at one thing: Penalties. If you recall last year we had the fewest penalty yards in the Big East. Guess we can't have everything.....

"It’s almost, at times, we’re trying not to score by moving back with penalties, dropping footballs and other types of miscues. You can’t be successful doing that in the red zone.”
-Doug Marrone

I guess some things never change. Sounds just like the Bunch Greggers had on the field. But on the flip side Doug inheirited this bullshit, it's going to take a bit of time to get this to relative decency.

"Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep."
-Doug Marrone

I didnt know R2-D2 was coaching our football team.

“I would say we did well today. Our defense has been beating us during all the spring practices. Today we finally beat them.”
-Mike Williams
Before, our offense did well maybe once out of 20 times.... now it's once out of 10. That's a whole FIVE percent improvement. We're showing some flash.........

"for the most part, I think we are [playing in our positions]. When we were moving around in the second quarter, it was mostly because of penalties. Coach has a strict no-penalty rule and when people jump offsides, they’re out of there.”
-Nick Speller

Nobody crosses Doug Marrone unless Doug Marrone Says So.

Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo.

It seems like recently, we have to have some sort of controversy here in Orange-land.  It wasn't more than a few days after Jonny's decision to declare for the NBA draft that a new issue has come about, not about a player leaving, but of one possibly joining the fray.

That player, as you all know, is Greg Paulus.

Greg Paulus has been the (or, more recently, a) Point Guard at Duke for the last few years, a decision reached after much deliberation on whether he would play basketball or football.

Paulus, a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy here in the Syracuse area, was the #1 rated Quarterback coming out of High School, and was highly sought after by Notre Dame, among other big name schools.

Once it was determined that he would play basketball, and not football (a decision many have lauded as a grave mistake), many assumed that he would be a Syracuse lean- a local kid staying in the area to play for the great Jim Boeheim.  However, legend has it that when informed that his son would backup incumbant Syracuse icon Gerry McNamara, Mr. Paulus said that his son "wouldn't backup anyone" and that his son "can do better than Syracuse".  He then went down to Duke, and we all know about the last four years, the last of which he was benched during the season and received far fewer minutes in Coach Krzyzewski's rotation.  

Obviously, we are now four years past this, and we are looking at a completely different sport- football, with a brand new coach, and a less than stellar Quarterback situation (I like Nassib, but I don't think he'll be any kind of star this year).

I present to you- the Greg Paulus debacle:

The Good:



Paulus was obviously a highly touted, local Quarterback prospect, far ahead of Nassib, Dantley, A-Rob, Charlie Loeb, or anyone else who will be on the roster come fall.

He has apparently been throwing with his brother over at UNC (I'm sure he receives a standing ovation every time he steps on that campus), and Packers scouts have said that his arm strength looks great for someone who hasn't played in four years.

He is getting looks from other big name programs, namely Michigan (though they deny everything) and Nebraska.

He would put us on ESPN every week, just because of who he is.  We would get Gameday coverage every Saturday, and that can only help a rebuilding program.

He would not cost us a scholarship for more than one year, and we have plenty to give due to the attrition we've seen this spring.  Taking a flyer on him wouldn't really cost us anything.

Boost in attendance?

He has a relationship with other CBA players on the team, notably Lavar Lobdell, his favorite target in High School.

He fits Marrone's system.

It would give Nassib/Loeb/Whoever another year to develop.

The Bad:



I have a few major gripes with bringing in Paulus (aside from the aforementioned history we have with him and the rest of the Paulus clan).  

It's been stated that Paulus wants a starting job- oviously.  However, he cannot just show up on the Hill and expect to have this handed to him.  He will have to outplay the other Quarterbacks, and he will have to earn the job.  We can't put a player out there just because of his name or what he was in High School.  Right now we have two players on the roster (one who is playing TE) who have started entire years as Quarterback of this University, and another who is the heir apparent to the job after a surprising Spring.   I have no reason to believe that Paulus is a bad kid or anything, but if he comes here expecting to start, and doesn't win the job (Marrone isn't handing starter spots to anyone on this roster), we don't need to hear more badmouthing about the University.  If he wants to come play football for us, he's going to be one of the guys on the field and the lockerroom.  The media can hype it all he wants, but Paulus has to be a sterling teammate.  Again, he never had any problems at Duke, and I've been told he's a good kid, so I'm not too concerned here.

My bigger concern is that he hasn't played the position in four years.  Quarterback is probably the most cerebrally demanding position in all of sports.  People have doubts when a Quarterback changes systems- Paulus is attempting to take not only his first college snap, but his first competitve snap of any kind in four years.  He has had not studied film, read a defense, or anything else that goes into the mental part of a Quarterback's game in four years.  Even True Freshman were just playing football the fall before, albeit at a lower level, but they have been in the swing of things at the very least.  Paulus hasn't, he's been on the hardwood playing a game that couldn't be any more different from football.  The arm may be there, but mentally there is no way he is ready for Minnesota, Penn State, UConn, Rutgers, West Virginia, and the other teams we play- and even if he showed up tomorrow I'm not entirely convinced he could pull that off.  Nothing against Paulus, but he would be doing something I can't recall anyone else doing after that long of a break from the sport.  

The Ugly:

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.  Who knows how much longer we can use those great Photoshops?

====================================================================

On another Orange note, congrats to Katie Rowan, Christina Dove, and the rest of the Syracuse Woman's Lacrosse team on their (shared) Big East Championship, with an excellent 12-3 (6-1) record.  

====================================================================

Thanks for reading...it is now 4:17, and Georgetown still sucks!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring is in the Air...

...and we all know what that means- controlled scrimmages, strangely contrived scoring systems, and Christmas colored practice jerseys...

Well, that was this year anyway.  Coach Marrone aims to switch to a real game style Spring Game once his program is rolling along, but today was a fun little glimpse of the future of SU Football in the Doug Marrone era. 

Obviously the game-style is preferred by many, but for a controlled scrimmage, the Dome had a decent crowd this afternoon for the game, and there was definitely a positive vibe going around.  Even though the play was a little sloppy, people know something good is coming out of it.  This team is on the way back.  There is excitement for Syracuse Football again.  I was lucky enough to sit near a number of player family members, including Averin Collier's uncle (very nice guy).  He said that he really enjoyed the atmosphere, even when compared to the Spring game at Pitt the previous weekend, which he attended to watch his other nephew, Kevin.  He complimented the coaching staff and the fans, and looked forward to seeing the team develop.

Only two players suited up at Quarterback- the current starter Ryan Nassib (Redshirt Freshman), and last years starter Cam Dantley (Senior).  Both looked pretty good, in my opinion.  They threw some pretty balls, and were able to squeeze passes in tight spaces It wasn't their fault that the receivers left their stick-um at home today (at least for the first half).  

I think Nassib is definitely the more impressive of the two.  Even for a young player, he has great composure, and a much quicker release than Cam.  His ball won't be batted down at the line at the same alarming rate as Dantley, which we saw all too often last season.  He has good footwork, and while his long ball is not the prettiest in the world, it usually hits its target.  Coach Spence's offense, which consists of a lot of short throws and screens, should allow Nassib to get comfortable playing at this level, and I think more and more of the offense will be opened up for him as he develops.  The fact that there was a Minnesota scout in the stands (according to various twitters) also kept the playbook shorter; by the time the season rolls around, I think our offense will look more dynamic than it did today.

Our running game should be a strength this year.  We are very deep with Delone Carter, Antwon Bailey, and Averin Collier all playing major roles in the offense.  The three all have distinct styles.  Carter is a power back, he moves the pile and can get the extra yards with ease.  Bailey is the quickest and shiftiest of the three, just ask Charlie Weis.  Collier is a bit of a wild card.  He redshirted last year, so he doesn't have the game experience, but he seems to have the most balanced style.  He really pounds the ball, but also has good speed, and caught the most receptions out of any of the backs.  Robert Nieves was also impressive carrying the rock as a fullback type player.

                                                                                               

                                                                                    
Our receivers are also a deep, talented group.  Mike Williams had an excellent catch in the back corner of the endzone for the team's first Touchdown.  He is definitely a legitimate threat, but he may still be a little rusty.  He uncharacteristically dropped a few balls today.  He had been pretty sure handed in the two practices I had attended earlier in the Spring.  Donte Davis looked decent, and was the go-to-guy on a few reverse plays.   Marcus Sales had a few receptions for decent gains, and Van Chew had a TD on a long ball.  All of the receivers were plagued with drops, if they become more reliable, they have the chance to become a very solid corps this season..  The TEs were also strong, I really like Catalina as a receiver, he had some nice plays (aside from one fumble), and Mike Owen broke free over the middle for a TD on one play.

The unit that I'm the most concerned about is the Offensive Line.  They were called for a number of holds and false start penalties, and were getting blown up regularly by the defense.  Now, our defense really attacks, and that can be hard for a young offensive line to adjust to this early in the season.  As an Offensive Tackle in High School myself, I always saw the OLine as the last unit to fully gel.  It takes a ton of coordination and practice for a Line to become a solid unit, so I will hang my hat on the fact that they have a lot of time to improve and come together.  If they don't, 2009 is going to be a long year.  This offense will go as far as the Offensive Line allows them to this year.

The defense, as a whole, looks really good.  The knock on Robinson's teams was that they did not attack, and they still gave up big plays.  Shafer is the polar opposite.  He blitzes, he knocks receivers off the ball, he confuses the offensive line- he is going to make his defense as hard to play against as possible.  We may give up some big plays this season- but that was already happening anyway, and this team is going to force more turnovers and is going to hit...hard.  Mistakes will happen because of our aggression, not lack thereof.  On one play in the second half, Catalina caught a nice short throw and had the ball pretty well secured, but Parker Cantey flew up to the ball, punched it out, and Zary Stewart (who is much faster than I expected), took it about 65 yards for a score.  

Not much to say about Special Teams.  Long's punts were all very solid, and Austin Wallis made all of his kicks, though one was tipped and just made it over.  He has the strength, however his approach is a little funky and he kicks line-drives that can get easily blocked, especially with the questionable protection that we have up front.



















                                                   The best sign that I've seen this spring is that this team is having fun.  Marrone and his staff are going to be harder on his players than the last regime, but he is emphasising fun, and a love and passion for the game, and the players are exuding it on the field.  Every time the offense scored a touchdown, they celebrated in the endzone as a team.  When the defense stopped Averin Collier four inches from the endzone on 4th down, red shirts swarmed the field to celebrate their victory.  This team plays with a passion we didn't always see last year, and in a game like football, passion can make all the difference.  

After the game, the team did sprints, stretched, and then all sat at tables in the middle of the field while fans were allowed onto the field to get autographs.  Many took advantage of this field access, and there were a ton of kids playing catch with their dads.  It was a really nice sight to see, and hopefully it is just the first step in moving this program back to the top of the Big East, and college football.

Great Danes < Greater Orange

Men's Lacrosse: 

Syracuse- 15
Albany- 13

Now this is my first season really into Lacrosse, so I'm learning on the run here at SU.  However, one thing is pretty obvious to anyone who was in the Dome tonight, even a Lax neophyte like myself- this team has some holes. 

We came on like gang busters, soaring to a quick 10-2 lead in the first half, outshooting the Danes 29-10 and winning 8/11 faceoffs- it was a dominant performance.

Now I'll touch on our fanbase for a section.  It is well documented that we don't get enough fans out to these games, especially students.  Our "break the record" night for Virginia was a resounding success and we had a decent turnout for Cornell as well.  However, our fans are inconsistant at best, and while tonight wasn't our worst effort, something peculiar happened at halftime.  A lot of people left.

Some may have left because the game seemed like it was out of hand, some probably 
left because of goddamn T-Pain and his concert on campus which was starting at 8.  It was disheartening.  

Within the first three minutes of the third quarter, not only were our fans gone, but our defense was nowhere to be seen.  Sources tell me they may have been on a boat somewhere.  I know the song is funny, but we can't let these hip-hop stars and their funny hats distract our play, not with a final four on the line.  I want to go to Massachusetts in May!

Anyway, the Danes outscored us 8-1 in the third quarter, cutting our once safe looking 10-2 lead to 11-10.  All was not well.  

And then Kevin Drew made the play of the game.  

After winning the opening faceoff, Albany's Brandon Gleason went to pass the ball back to the net, when Kevin Drew checked his stick at what ended up being the perfect moment, and the ball sailed into the empty Albany net.  Syracuse went on to score two more goals in the opening 75 seconds of the fourth quarter, and while the defense was still probably sailing on Lake Onondaga somewhere, the victory was had.

====================================================================

The first Spring Game of the Doug Marrone era is tomorrow at 1 pm at the Dome.  The gates open at 11.  Be there, or Doug Marrone will take you on in the Oklahoma drill.  And he will win.

Friday, April 17, 2009

They Tryin to make him go to rehab........

And he said yes, yes, yes?

I'm talking about SU Football ManChild Arthur Jones and his recovery from his Pectoral(whatever that is) injury. According to the Darryl Gross Propaganda Machine, All is going as planned and Jones has resumed running and doing some sport specific activities. Bring on the Thud Drills........ oy. No timetable on his return.

In other football news........... Paulusgate continues to unfold as one more dumbass Duke Student cannot make up his ever loving mind on what he would like to do with his life. Taking ballroom dancing and basket weaving whereever he goes will be the least of his worries.........

Wait.... what life? he goes to duke.
Anyhow i'll say he sucks and leave the topic for Dan to discuss, he's really into this topic right now.

Expect a report on tonight's lax game from him. i'm gonna try to watch it if it's on time warner but i make no guarantees.

How I Learned To Stop Losing and Love Doug Marrone - By Brian Roll


Doug Marrone will succeed where Greg Robinson failed. How do I know this? Because I know a little something about these two former New York Jets assistant coaches, and what makes them different.

My perceptions as a football fan have been shaped through the prism of watching the Jets since I was a little kid, back when I was still blissfully unaware of the years of football heartache that were to come. As such, I've seen a number of coaches, good and bad (mostly bad), patrolling the sidelines for Gang Green. Often, it's been apparent from day one as to who might succeed and who might fail, well before the team ever took the field. There are tell-tale indicators very early on in the process - how does the coach handle himself in his introductory press conference? What is his vision for the team? What do the players have to say about him? How does he run his practices? I've become attuned to the early warning signs of failure in the pro ranks, and cringe whenever certain tried and true red flag warnings of disaster go up.

To wit, Rich Kotite was notorious for running "Club-Med style practices," in the words of former Jet Wesley Walker. He was a "nice guy" coach who "treated his players like men." This lack of conditioning and discipline led to the predictable two year record of 4-28 for Kotite's Jets. His predecessor, Pete Carroll, was little better. He brought in a "fun" attitude to coaching, and was known to organize family picnics for his players during practice, was often seen dribbling a basketball playfully in the hallways of the Jet offices, and generally brought a lot of So-Cal style sunshine into the world of the Jets. He was fired after a 6-10 season, in which the Jets absolutely fell apart like a cheap suit towards the end of the year. Neither he nor his staff - and this includes his enthusiastic and optimistic defensive coordinator, Greg Robinson - were able to get a hold of the team after they began to spiral out of control, and they simply deflated down the stretch. The knock on Carroll and his coaching staff were that they were too emotional, they were Pollyana-ish, they were cheerleaders when they needed to be taskmasters. Quite simply? They were soft.

Soft. Probably the most damning thing you can say about any football coach.

Fast forward to 2004. Embattled coach Paul Pasqualoni and his Syracuse Orangemen had just finished getting demolished at the hands of Georgia Tech in the Champs Sports Bowl. Now, no one ever accused Coach P of being soft, but the reality was that performance and recruiting had started to deteriorate badly in the last few years of an otherwise impressive coaching career at Syracuse. The fans were howling, calling for blood after watching their Orange slide into mediocrity, and newly minted Athletic Director Daryl Gross decided to make his mark on the football program in a big way, by firing Pasqualoni and launching his agenda of turning Syracuse into the "USC of the East." After years of listening to former A.D. Jake Crouthamel downplay expectations for SU football, it was refreshing - at least to me - to hear an A.D. who wasn't afraid to aim high and openly state that Syracuse's goal should be to compete for the national championship every year.

Based in no small part on the recommendation of Pete Carroll (who had, as we all know, gone on to achieve huge success at USC, a true national program), Gross brought in the aforementioned Greg Robinson. Greg's track record had been, and this is putting it kindly, uneven at best. Yes, he had two Super Bowl rings, but no one ever mistook the Broncos defenses in the late 90's for the '85 Bears, and he had also presided over the Kansas City Chiefs during the year in which they had arguably the worst defense (statistically) in the history of the NFL. Even his talent-packed defense with the Texas Longhorns gave up 37 points in the Rose Bowl against Michigan, so it wasn't like they were a shut-down group. Yet, he parlayed his career achievements into the head coaching gig - his first - at Syracuse.

Robinson's problems began right away with the Orange. He had some early recruiting success (at least on paper), so there were signs for hope. However, he faced a huge problem at the beginning that is unique to college football - he didn't know the school, or the area, in which he would be coaching. Syracuse is not a national program - everyone in the Syracuse community knew this, but Robinson seemed not to. Now, here comes the part where those old red flag instincts of mine started to kick in with the Orange. It became apparent, immediately, that Robinson was an eternal optimist. That's all well and good, when there is reason for optimism, but he had the sort of delusional cheeriness when asked about the team that, well, Pollyana might have.

Over the course of his career at Syracuse, as the losses mounted and the program fell further and further into the depths of FBS football, whispers abounded of easy practices, with "thud drills" preferred over "tackling drills," which translated to a poorly coached sieve-like defensive effort on the field. Thought to be a defensive mastermind, Robinson's defenses continued to deteriorate, and came to resemble less a formidable obstacle and more of a doormat to be trampled easily. When pressed on these issues, the answers became more and more comically cheery in the face of reality. It had become apparent by year three to me, after regressing from a 4-8 campaign in his second season, that this guy was in over his head. Bottom line? When he needed to crack the whip, he continued to smile and say inexplicable things, and always talked about how his charges were this close to "exploding" (whatever that meant). Unfortunately for Robinson, the team imploded instead, and Gross finally had enough, firing Robinson with two games left in the 2008 season. In the end, the light at the end of the tunnel that Robinson so steadfastly believed was coming turned out to be an oncoming train - perhaps it was The Little Engine That Could, the book which Robinson decided to read at his, what can only be described as "surreal," farewell press conference.

Enter Doug Marrone, the man who could not be more of a contrast to Robinson in many important ways (more on that in a minute). After his introductory press conference following a frantic (and unpredictable) coaching search, Marrone went to work. In fact - and according to many reports, this is what got him hired in the first place - he had already been doing work as the Syracuse football coach before being hired. Coming into an interview as the dark horse candidate, you need to do your homework, and Marrone - an offensive coach - presented detailed plans on how he would attack the defenses of every one of Syracuse's Big East opponents. Apparently blown away by this and other undisclosed factors, Gross and the search committee realized they had found their man.


Now to the contrast between the two men.

The most obvious difference is that Marrone knows Syracuse football. He not only knows the history of the program, having played for the Orange under coach Dick MacPherson in the 1980s, but he also understands what it takes to build a winner at Syracuse. Marrone has stated in numerous interviews that he recognizes that for Syracuse to win, it must work from the inside out. Obviously the Orange want to recruit nationally, but the base has to be local, and Marrone understands that Syracuse needs to get back to beating Rutgers, Penn State, and Boston College (and now UConn) once in a while to snare the top recruits in SU's backyard. Robinson simply didn't know the area - Marrone does. The other difference that we have seen so far, at least in terms of practice, is that Marrone is a take-no-prisoners kind of guy. He is cracking the whip at practice, attempting to instill a discipline and toughness that that the team lacked under the laid-back Robinson.

The first year staffs are different too. Greg Robinson's first staff at Syracuse was full of first-time assistant coaches, and guys with little or no college coaching experience (Brian Pariani, Major Applewhite, etc.). Marrone - who, like Robinson, has never been a head coach - has at least surrounded himself with experienced FBS position coaches (especially Scott Shafer and Rob Spence), and has made sure to hire men with local relationships to help in recruiting (John Anselmo, Bob Casullo). The approach is simply more coherent, and reflects the approach of a man who has been planning for this job ever since he got involved in coaching almost twenty years earlier.

Comparing the resumes, you can look at the successes of each man in his previous coaching gigs. As discussed earlier, Robinson has had an uneven track record, and one could argue that he's been a disaster in two out of his last three jobs (Kansas City Chiefs, Syracuse Orange), sandwiched around a year of relative success at Texas (the Rose Bowl notwithstanding). Marrone comes from the New Orleans Saints, where he had helped Sean Peyton put together one of the most explosive offenses in NFL history. Yes, Marrone did not call the plays in New Orleans, but his game-planning and preparation helped turn that offensive into a juggernaut (by Peyton's own admission). During his time with the Jets prior to New Orleans, New York had one of the best offensive lines in the game, paving the way for Curtis Martin to lead the NFL in rushing in 2005. The line play during Marrone's years was marked by toughness and discipline that were noticeable, even to laymen like myself. Games - in the NFL and college football - are won in the trenches, and if Marrone can make offensive line a strength of Syracuse football over time, the Orange offense will be tough to stop, regardless of who the skill players are.

Lastly, Marrone is in love with Syracuse. In love. I have no doubt that Robinson came to love the program, and he seems like a nice guy, but this is Doug Marrone's dream job. Now, that doesn't always work out too well (see Weiss, Charlie - Notre Dame), but it gives me hope. Syracuse football is the kind of program that is beloved by fans and alumni, but unknown by many outside of the fan base. I don't think you need a passion for the school itself to recruit for a Notre Dame, or a USC, a Florida, etc. Those are basically pro programs playing at the college level, who recruit nationally and are global brands.

Syracuse is best known as a basketball school (and a lacrosse school, of course). You need someone with the vision and passion, not to mention the understanding and work ethic to turn Syracuse back into a program that goes bowling consistently, and frequents the top 25. If Marrone's start is any indication, he has the fire and determination to get the ship righted. He wants to be here, and he will do everything in his power to restore Syracuse to its rightful place among the regional powers of college football. Everyone knows that Marrone hasn't coached a game yet, and no one should expect miracles in his first year. I get that. We all know that Syracuse is a fixer-upper, and it needs a patient, hard-working man to oversee the restoration project. Quite simply, I believe that Daryl Gross and the university have found that man in Doug Marrone.

Why ME?



Me and Dan were doing some fooling around with google image search, seeing that we have nothing better to do at 12:30 A.M than see what comes up when we put in justin thomas on google in an attempt to get a picture of him doing jumping jacks.




Transsexuals anyone?




That's not even the worst part, then i did a search for john thompson and the following picture came up.




This is absolutely mind boggling for a multitude of reasons


1.I had no idea John Thompson posessed any special talents other than coaching horrible basketball teams.

2.those dudes are just ugly enough to be his players.

and the worst part

3.I learned how to play piano from that book, thus scarring many memories of my childhood. FML.


Thanks John Thompson, and remember, if it makes you shit and its a disease, well then Dr. Boeheim can call it a shitting disease, fuckface.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Orange Fans, Back Away from the Ledge

Everyone, it's okay, we're going to be fine.  Syracuse will be playing basketball next season, trust me.

Obviously we had big expectations for this team next season.  We were returning everyone except for Kristof (who will surely be missed), everyone thought we were a Top-5 Preseason team, a chorus of angels began singing whenever Jonny Flynn walked into a room, it was great.

However, all things must pass, and we have to live with it.

Jonny Flynn gave us two great years.  With him at the helm, we won twenty games after losing half of our team to injuries last season, and this year we made it through what probably was the best conferece of all time, through a six overtime d onnybrook (excuse me, my Poliquin was showing a bit there), all the way to the Big East championship, and then to the Sweet Sixteen.  We had some good times, it was fun.  However, we are all well aware that great basketball players rarely stick around.  For every 2006-07 Florida, there is 2007-08 Kansas.  

Now do I think Jonny's choice is the correct one?  Not really, no.  I think he could definitely improve his draft stock with another year of college- his jumper leaves something to be desired, and I'd love to see his decision making on the court gain some consistancy- but I understand.  The economy is rough, rumbles of a future NBA lockout float around, and the risk that time presents may outweigh the rewards of a few possible extra million.  There is no guarantee that his stock would rise as much as we think, and there is no guarantee that we would make that Final Four run that the basketball pundits had us salivating over, we just knew that the chance was out there.  

Besides, who can resist this guy?

It is obvious the Lebron James factor had something to do with Jonny's quick trigger on hiring Leon Rose as his agent...and I don't like it one bit.  

Now maybe Lebron is being completely honest in his insinuations, maybe Knick-Cuse fans' dreams everywhere will come true and New York will draft Jonny in the lottery and Lebron joins him and completes this happy family and they win a dozen championships and fix Wall Street and cure cancer.  

I don't buy it though.

I think that Jonny will get drafted wherever the NBA dictates his value to be, Lebron has no effect on who drafts Jonny unless he falls all the way to where Cleveland ends up, and if this happens, then Jonny's in trouble.  He'll probably go somewhere between the end of the lottery and the twentieth pick, and Lebron will sign his next contract with whomever it is that offers him the most money.  Besides, doesn't he already have an all-star Point Guard in Mo Williams?  

Lebron's agency, LRMR, just needs needs marketable athletes, and Jonny is definitely that, especially after the show he put on in the Garden against UConn.  You've got to give him credit, he's a shrewd businessman, but I don't like professional atheletes calling amateurs, it doesn't sit well with me.  I just hope Lebron can at least hook Jonny up with some endorsements at the very least.  

But as for Jonny, I wish him the best of luck.  I will be rooting hard for him, much like I root hard for Carmelo, and Hak, and all of the other NBA Orange.  The anti-Jonny contingency that has been growing is frankly ridiculous, much like the anti-Donte one (I'm looking at you, students who booed Donte at the Dome this year).  I just can't blame someone for leaving early to make money to help his family.  We all go to college to better ourselves for the future, and obviously Jonny, and Donte before him, felt like it was the appropriate time to take that step in their personal situations.  They and their loved ones should be the only judges of that.  It can only help our program if they succeed (look at the Melo Center which is being put up solely on the back of Carmelo's success in Denver, another "one-and-done" player for us), so let's support them in their decisions, not go on their Facebooks and insult them.

As for the other two departees (or probable departees, keep hope alive!):

Eric is graduating this year.  I really can't blame him if he leaves, he's probably put up with more in four years on the Hill than anyone.  He tore his ACL, he had to go through the whole situation in the winter, he's been (warranted or not) branded as the "most hated" player in the Big East by a number of people, it's been rough for Devo.  Plus, he has a daughter now.  I expect him to take his degree and go overseas (I'm sure he knows that he probably won't be drafted), and make some good money playing the sport he loves, without all of the scrutiny he's faced over here.

I am not convinced that Paul is even sure of what he's doing (though you can say that often about Paul).  He came into Syracuse after missing a chance of going High School to NBA by a year, and touted as a Player of the Year candidate as an entering Freshman.  He was supposed to be Melo reincarnate.  He never blossomed into the player we thought he would, but Paul was a very good player for us for 3 years, and while he had a seemingly contentious relationship with Jimmy, he always played his role on the team, and had some big games.  I think he has a chance to get drafted on talent and athleticism alone, but if he does come back and could improve his jumper and his decision making, he'll have an even better shot.  

No matter what the last two decide, the same thing applies- as 'Cuse fans, we should be rooting for all of our own.  A major discussion that has come about in all of this craziness is "what do college athletes owe their fanbase?"  I think that as long as they play hard and respect the University during their time on the hill, we can't complain about their tenures.

I don't think that's even a question with these three.
















































It's been a fun few years, but Orange basketball will reload.  We have Andy, we have Arinze, we have Rick, and we have Wes.  Let the good times roll.

====================================================================

Everyone, go to the Dome tomorrow at 7 pm and support our amazing Orange lacrosse team against Albany, and more importantly, I expect to see everyone at the Dome at 1 pm for the Spring Football team.  A new era is beginning, and the players and coaching staff need our support.  The power of Doug Marrone compels you!

The time for talk is...starting?

Today is a big day in the cuse blogosphere

Why you may ask?

No, Flynn is still gone.

No, Nude pictures of greg robinson werent found on the internet.

AND

No, John Thompson isint dead (shucks.)

Much Better than that. If i had to say so myself this is almost as big as the marrone hiring, but i digress..........

anyway.........

A couple days ago i posted an open call for staff writers and contributors for SWRLU. Here are the chosen candidates.
Jake Faunce
Brian Roll
and
Dan Lyons

Welcome aboard gentlemen.

G'orange
Ray Biggs
Editor in Chief, SWRLU

Flynn on Flynn

Sounds like a bad gay porno, doesnt it?


down to business....

So the speculation has officially ended once and for all, Jonny signed on the dotted line and all i can do is sit back and pray he's a knick, life sucks.

Ryan miller sat down with jonny in order to get the truth out and jonny had this to say.

"It really was hard to leave Syracuse, the city I've grown to love and fans I've grown to love, but at the end of the day I had to do what was best for me and my family and what you feel is best in your heart," Flynn told Miller. "I hope the fans can understand where I'm coming from. It was a hard decision but hopefully fans won't have a bad feeling whenever Jonny Flynn's name is brought up. I loved college basketball and loved representing the city of Syracuse."


Jonny Flynn.
I just had a slightly bad feeling about that.


to put it simply, i think he should have waited to sign an agent until he had gone through pre draft workouts. Why put it on the line when nothing is guaranteed? I have no clue, stuff just doesnt add up.

As for Harris, the "releasegate" saga continues to unfold. Absolutely no one seems to know his intentions and the ones who claim to know have completely conflicting stories, let's take a page from the team's book and try not to worry about it too much. Like AO for example:

"It doesn't really change the way you prepare," "Either way, you would attack the (off-season) the same way, whether they were here or not."

Well said, he's the second coming of Shaquille "Big Aristotle, Shaqtus, and millions of other nicknames i can't remember" O'Neal. Except maybe just a hair shorter. Just a hair......

Note: a "hair" appears to be about 4 inches in this case, Grow a 'Fro Arinze.



If harris leaves, i think he may wind up stuck in the d-league, he has an excellent frame but sometimes doesn't use it to it's full potential. He absolutely MUST work on that if he wishes to go to the NBA and contribute.


Editor's Note: The only way this would have been any worse is if Flynn ends up as a New Jersey Net or if his agent was Scott Boras.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Contributing Writer Wanted!

Do you enjoy writing about Su Athletics, but dont have the time to run your own blog by yourself?
Do you enjoy Devendorf's homoerotic photos?
Are you Self-Motivated?
Does the mere thought of Rob Long force you to jizz in your pants uncontrollably?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, An opportunity awaits.
I am Ray Biggs, International blogging superstar and writer of Superman Wears Rob Long underoos. From a blogger's standpoint i feel like i can not provide enough coverage with all my school committments, etc. So my call goes out, would you like to contribute on a regular basis and improve the quality of this soon-to-be wonderful internet publication?
I'm really looking for someone who would like to write on occasion but just doesnt have the time to build their own blog from the ground up.
If youre interested, i need the following
1.Your name
2.How long have you been an orange fan?
3.Is your mother a hoya?
4.your proudest cuse moment
5.A brief paragraph describing any unique talents and what you can bring to the cuse blogosphere.
Email it to vcxc3200@yahoo.com and you'll be good to go.

Abandon ship?



I have good news and bad news, and plenty of sarcastic and non-sarcastic thank yous for a guy named lebron james.
The bad news is...... Flynn is officially leaving school.



Was this whole lebron thing even legal to do? i mean certainly there had to be something in the rules.


I would just like to take the opportunity to blame this on holy shirt for not printing up the fine shirt idea sean had a while ago:


Spent too much time printing up marathon men t-shirts without thinking about the consequences........ oy.



The good news is...... Maybe he plays for my beloved knicks(?)





I can just imagine it now.



Fellow Knicks fans...... knock on wood please.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

A bit of Orange Poetry

I wrote thefollowing piece for my school's annual poetry slam. Enjoy!

We went through November without a loss,
No ACL Tears, keep your fingers crossed.
We thought this team was going to be great.
But first let’s get a few facts straight.

December came, the team looked nice
The players lacked blood, instead it was ice.
Through Memphis, Kansas, and the florida gators,
3 wins to silence all the haters.

Then there was one lonely night in December,
An event which we try not to remember.
The one night we didn’t play so great,
So we lost to a school called Cleveland state?

A 60 footer that should not have gone in,
Left us all thinking “why didn’t we win?”
Boeheim was stressed, his cheeks turned red,
And more gray hairs jumped ship off his head.

Then something else happened, it’s since been put to bed
Devendorf slapping girls in the head.
Was kicked off the team, what a disgrace
Then he said he simply high fived her face.

To get back on the team to fufill his wishes,
He wound up washing tons of dishes
And getting interviewed by every reporter
Like his case belonged on law and order

Many weeks passed, the guys played with reason
And gave jimmy b 30 20 win seasons.
Wins over Marquette, Georgetown, and notre dame.
Syracuse would never quite be the same.

These men were led by a guy named Flynn,
Who knew nothing more than breathing and wins.
Of course we still knocked on wood,
For the many other times we THOUGHT we were good

The big east tourney had a wonderful first night
Seton hall’s Harvey just came to fight.
But then again he picked the wrong guy.
If I saw devo, I’d be ready to die.

The next night came and to all surprise,
We played like a team that was on the rise
We gave jim Calhoun plenty of fits,
On a night that the fans would never forget.

1.1 seconds left devendorf with the shot,
It’s good, hold on a second, maybe it’s not.
The officials talk, they just cant agree,
Sorry folks, it’s time for OT.

The first one started fast, Syracuse was flat,
Andy rautins would have none of that
He drained his shots, the kid was insane
His shooting prowess extended the game.

The game dragged on for 5 more overtimes
It stole so much sleep it was such a crime
You’d like to go to sleep at the end of the day,
But its like a car wreck, you cant look away.

By the 6th overtime, 8 players were out,
A walk on was in, we just had our doubts.
Everyone thought, “o no not again”
But rautins would bring the game to an end.

The NCAA committee thought we were great,
With all the wins in a tough big east slate
The tourney came along, and we looked mean
And marched ourselves into the sweet sixteen.

It was there the men in orange met their match.
We counted our chickens before they hatched
It was so disappointing, all I did was shake,
While we were dismantled by a gorilla named blake.

Regardless, we showed some guts this year,
Next year we should be the one’s to fear.
With so many guys back, lets do this again.
National Champions 2010.