Tailgating Report – Week 1

I’m a little behind on my posting, with the long weekend, and all the other stuff going on. As I’m sure you’ve all guessed, we had a great time tailgating for the season opener of Syracuse Football.

Our group of tailgaters has grown this year. Bruno, Jim, Lauren, and Steve are still there, and we’ve added Jon and Cristina to this year’s group. A larger group means increased logistics. How do we get everyone there, in the same place and relatively on time? I have to say that for the first week of the tailgating season, we managed to do pretty well.

Lauren claims that he was the first one to make it to Bruno’s house – our first rally point. Never mind the fact that he wasn’t there when I got there, but we’ll let him take the honors. He wasn’t on time once last year.

We had a pretty extensive list of items to bring for the party for the first day.

  1. Beer
  2. Beer
  3. Other kind of beer
  4. Fruity drinks – mostly for Bruno
  5. Sort of healthy chicken wings
  6. Very delicious brats
  7. Snacks
  8. More snacks
  9. Chairs
  10. Grill
  11. Footballs, nerf and pseudo-leather

Our plan was to head for the SU Hill around 9 a.m., so we would have plenty of time to prepare for the first Syracuse Orange Football, which just happened to be the same day.

We executed that plan flawlessly, and managed to get both vehicles to the right place, at the same time! Unfortunately, our normal party parking lot was already full. Not to mention that the price for parking was $20. W. T. F. We’re all trying to remember, but we’re pretty sure that parking, while expensive, wasn’t $20 at any point last year. Again; W. T. F.

As a point of reference, we’re only paying $100 for 8 home game tickets.

With our normal lot full, we headed out for parts unknown. We found some on street, free, parking right next to a sweet grass median along fraternity row. We got everyone parked and setup our camp – without having to pay $40 in parking!

After one, or two cold ones, we broke out the grill and feasted on some very tasty food. Bruno’s better half, Sara and their daughter Marissa were even there for a while to help celebrate.

The tailgating got us all in the right frame of mind for SU Football. We made our way to the Dome along with about 40,000 others. The only other time we’ve seen that many people for a game was last year when the entire population of Pennsylvania invaded the dome to see Penn State crush the Orange.

After fighting our way into the dome, we found a few more adult beverages and made our way to our seats. We were treated to a 7 – 0 score – with more than 12 minutes to go in the first quarter. Ugh. Shades of the GRob era. Amazingly, the team made a strong showing in the first half, and lead going into halftime.

Unfortunately for the “48,000” fans in the Dome, the team looked a lot like last year’s team. There was a strong de-motivation speech during halftime. The Orange failed to make adjustments and Minnesota dominated the play in the second half. The game ended tied at 20 and we were forced to watch overtime.

Thank God that we were in the right frame of mind for the game. The Dome, also known as the Carrier Dome, was freaking hot. Yes, Carrier, the air conditioner makers. Too bad they don’t have any in the Dome.

I’ll give credit to the fans… A vast majority stayed to see the whole show. That’s very different from last year when the stadium was nearly empty by the end of the third.

Anyway, on to OT Action! Syracuse gets the ball, does a lot of stuff that hadn’t been working for the entire second half and fails to score. Paulus did try to make a heck of a play, but threw an interception, which basically sealed the teams fate.

Minnesota moved the ball about 15 yards, centered it and kicked a field goal to win the game. The whole crowed seemed to feel like it had been sucker punched.

Oh well… There’s always the 19th of September – that’s Week 2 of tailgating, in case you’re wondering. 7 p.m. game, no telling when the party will start.

Are you ready for some SU football?

Syracuse University Logo
Syracuse University Logo

The 2009 season kicks off the Doug Marrone Era at Syracuse. I think everyone is really looking forward to this season and hoping for a good showing. There’s a lot of hope, and expectations, riding on Marrone already. If you’re wondering why, let’s take a look back…

I think we can all agree that the past few years, the Robinson Era, have been terrible. In case you’ve somehow managed to purge the past 4 seasons from your memory, let me remind you.

  • 2005: 1 – 10 – 0
  • 2006: 4 – 8 – 0
  • 2007: 2 – 10 – 0
  • 2008: 3 – 9 – 0
  • Total: 10 – 37 – 0

Ugh. That’s bad. The un-official motto for the football team under Robinson:

You can’t spell sucks without SU!

Keep in mind, we ran Paul Pasqualoni out of town for going 6 – 6 two years in a row and for being co-winners of the Big East. Granted, going six and six is not acceptable at SU. There was a time, when winning was expected and demanded. Though during the Robinson Era, no one seemed to remember that.

Otto, SU's Mascott
Otto, SU's Mascot

Instead, we were treated to poor play, and excuses from people that should know better. Robinson constantly made excuses for the poor play. He blamed himself, the coaching staff, the play calling, sunspots, the weather, the turf, and anything else he could find. Darrel Gross, the Athletic Director, made numerous speeches saying that he had faith in Robinson, that he deserved the opportunity to make a change.

After a dismal 2008 season, Robinson was finally sacked. A move that earned Gross a standing ovation, even if it was two years late.

So now, we’re on to bigger and better. At least we all hope so. The Saturday Football Crew I go to games with is excited about the prospects for this year. Though mostly, we’re interested in tailgating. That’s where the real fun has been for the past couple of years.

Here’s the home game schedule (full schedule):

  1. Saturday, September 5 vs. Minnesota
  2. Saturday, September 19 vs. Northwestern
  3. Saturday, September 26 vs. Maine
  4. Saturday, October 3 vs. South Florida
  5. Saturday, October10 vs. West Virginia
  6. Saturday, October24 vs. Akron
  7. Saturday, October31 vs. Cincinnati
  8. Saturday, November 21 vs. Rutgers

If you’re in the area, feel free to stop on by. You can bet that we’ll have a cold one waiting for you. If you prefer a fruity, chick drink, I’m sure we’ll have those too. We’ll have to try live-blogging from the tailgate parties this season, complete with pictures on Twitter!

Finally, SU Athletics is looking for an official blogger for the 2009 season. I wonder if this will get me noticed!