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Sleeping With The Enemy: The Orange of Syracuse

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The wait is over.  Tonight, your fighting Hoyas of Georgetown will take on the Syracuse Orange in the first of two battles this season that will determine which school has the bigger male appendage.  For the past three days THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON has done its duty to prod, provoke, and insult the bejeesus out of Orange fans around the world, and now it is up to the players to deliver the knockout punch in the Carrier Dome.  As always, we are bringing you everything you need to know about our next opponent, and today our biggest rival for global blog supremacy (with the worst name for a blog in the history of blogs) stops by to bring the noise about the Orange.  Mr. Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, this Molson is for you. 

Horrible.  via

Hello.  How are you?

I'm festive, thanks for asking.

More fun with fun dastardly people after The Jump:

How much gas does Boeheim have left in him, as he is the only remaining coaches of the "Big East Founding Fathers" still coaching?  Is Mike Hopkins ready to take over the helm?  Do you expect a drop-off when the transition happens?

Boeheim drops hints every so often that he's taking things year-by-year and he likes to throw out vague responses like "we'll see" when asked this question. Personally, I think he's still got another 5-7 years left in him. I think he's enjoying this latest renaissance of the program. Between the top recruits, the construction of The Melo Center and all that comes with that, he probably wants to enjoy the spoils before he rides off. Plus, he's very invested in charity and community work so the longer he's a viable figure in the media, the more that brings to his other stuff.

I don't know how much of a drop-off is to be expected if and when Mike Hopkins takes over. Hop is basically the "player's coach" already and he more than likely recruited half the guys on the team at any given moment. There will be trepidation, I'm sure, but my guess is that Boeheim will be savvy enough to leave Hopkins (or whoever) with a full cupboard when he does leave, ensuring as little drop-off as possible. Of course, easier said than done, as you know.

The Big East pre-season accolades were mostly accurate, expect for a glaring error at the Big East Rookie of the Year spot.  What happened to Fab Melo?  Was the hype just hype?  Was Boeheim throwing up a smoke screen when he called Fab "a strong contender for national rookie of the year?"

Boeheim's usually pretty honest and spot-on with his predictions, so the whole "Fab Melo will win Rookie of the Year" thing was a weird one. I mean, it's obvious to anyone that this guy is a four-year project. Not to say he won't be good, but he's nowhere near that kind of level. Now was Boeheim trying to make some kind of point to Melo in a roundabout psychology lesson? I don't think so. I think Fab just looks really, really good in practice. That's what got him all those fancy recruiting site stars to begin with.

Complete this sentence: If Syracuse gets to [insert round] in the NCAA Tournament, this season will be a success.

The answer to this question seems to change every week. At the beginning of the year I would have said Sweet Sixteen. Three weeks ago I would have said Final Four. Now? I think we're back to Sweet Sixteen. It's hard to get to the Elite 8. Really hard. And I have my fingers in a crossed position that we can get there. But at the end of the day I think if the Orange can take care of business enough to get into the 2nd weekend, then we've completed a good season.

Would also help if you guys lose in the first round, but I'm not gonna get my hopes up just yet.

What the hell is the Chipotle Curse?

Last year before our game against you guys in the Big East Tournament, Scoop Jardine tweeted that he was going to Chipotle for the first time in his life. The next day, the entire team returned to Chipotle to eat again. It seemed strange to me that a someone would want to load up on burritos before playing an extremely athletic event. So I said that if we lose, we have to blame Chipotle. I mean before that we had an amazing season.
And then we lost. And Arinze Onuaku got hurt. And The Chipotle Curse was born.

There were other instances as well. That summer Scoop tweeted that he was at Chipotle and then got cut from the US Team a few days later.  We thought the football team broke the curse when they won a bunch of football games this season in spite of Chipotle opening in the Syracuse area. We thought we were free.

Then Chipotle announced they're opening a store on Marshall Street, right next to the campus. The Pitt loss was the day before that announcement was made. Our four-game losing streak can be traced back to Chipotle's announcement. The curse lives.

Don't try to do some kind of hex and eat Chipotle this week. UConn tried that last week and it backfired.

Remember that time you wrote a book about Syracuse and in the first chapter admitted to growing up a Georgetown fan?  Yeah, that was awesome.

Yeah, some people write books and admit they were abused as children. I write a book to admit that I was once a Georgetown fan.

The earliest college basketball I remember watching was the 1988 NCAA Tournament. For some reason still unexplained, I found myself rooting for Georgetown. I remember getting extremely bummed out when the Hoyas lost to Temple.

From there I rooted for the Hoyas through the Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo years. I owned this matching t-shirt/shorts Georgetown combo that might have been the worst piece of clothing ever created. Thankfully, all evidence has been destroyed.

Sometime around early high school I stopped caring about Georgetown, thank God. And despite the fact that I hated Syracuse as a kid (natch), I immediately became an Orange fan the day I got accepted. It was a trial, you see. And I passed. I survived being a Georgetown fan so that I could tell the world about its evils.

You're a football guy.  What do you want to see happen to the Big East Conference, either through expansion or contraction?  Where did they go wrong?

The Big East is the laughingstock of the BCS Conferences. Hell, you can make a fairly good argument the Mountain West has been the better conference than us in the last decade. They can't magically create National Champions (though Charlie Strong seems to be attempting it) so the best thing they can do is act and look like the big boys. That means we need at least double-digit teams.

The Big East waited too long but at least they're making smart moves now. The TCU move was a no-brainer, though I'm surprised Houston didn't come as a package deal for travel considerations. I think we should probably move on UCF as well. Another Florida school can't hurt.

Yes I know that pushes us to 18 basketball teams, but at this point, what's the difference between 16 and 18? It's already out of control. And if push comes to shove, does anyone have a problem kicking out DePaul? Didn't think so. Kicking out someone else is the tough part.

As for Villanova, whether they join us for football or not is largely irrelevant at this point. The Big East needs success now and the soonest Villanova can play Big East football is 2015. That might as well be 3015. I think it makes sense for them to jump to the FBS and it would be nice to have the Philly market back in the fold, but that's a long-term thing, not short-term.

Syracuse’s recent four game skid seemed to bring out the worst in people, with fans berating the players on Twitter and Facebook, and of course the point-shaving debacle.  What the hell happens if Cuse ever loses to DePaul?

By the laws set forth by the Big East Charter, if you lose to DePaul, you're out of the conference. That's it. Say your goodbyes, pack your bags and just go.

Gillette?  Edge?  Barbasol?

I live in the Pacific Northwest so I shop at the healthy Whole Foods-type market. My shaving cream is that all-natural stuff that smells really good but doesn't get all foamy like that Gillette business. It gets the job done, however. Take that, corporate fatcats!

 Was renting Greg Paulus for a year actually worth it?

Horrible.  via

Eh, yes and no. The good side to it was that it got Syracuse football some good publicity and Ryan Nassib got a season to ease into the starting job rather than being thrown to the wolves.

We went 4-8 but then again we probably would have gone 4-8 with anyone else as starter. That season was going to be a wash before it even started. As for this past season, well, big difference...

The Donovan McNabb era in Redskin-land ain't looking so hot. How did you feel about him when he was leading the Orange?

I was there for three of McNabb's seasons and it was arguably the best Syracuse football era since the late 50's/early 60's. Tons of great games and McNabb was the centerpiece of it all. He was much more of a scrambler back in hi pre-Chunky Soup days so it was a lot of fun (and terrifying) to watch him get chased around the field and still make a big play.

I will fully admit I didn't think he'd make it as a pro. I thought at the time that he was athletically-gifted but didn't have his head on enough to make it work. I was wrong, for the most part. Say what you will of him, he's had a full career.

 What’s going on with Jonny Flynn and Wes Johnson in Minnesota?

Wes Johnson and Jonny Flynn (pictured, sucking).  Heroic unknown Georgetown fan in bottom right corner.

God, I wish they would just trade both of them so everyone could start over. They're a miserable franchise and the fans just don't like Jonny. Warranted or not, it's not a good fit. I'd love to see Flynn come to the NY area where he'd get some support and play for a better team. As for Wes, he's young and he's still developing but Wolves fans seemed to turn on him before the season even started. I don't want them to draft anymore Syracuse guys. They can have your guys.

How do you see the game playing out? What do you think the final score will be?

How do you ever see a Syracuse-Georgetown game playing out? Especially when both teams are so capable and yet have their flaws that tend to come and go at will? Every time I try to predict one of these games its way off because, and I know it's cliche, but when these two teams get together it makes for a crazy game almost every time.

The Orange have made it their mission to dig themselves into the most gigantic hole possible to start a game and then try to climb out. I feel like that's how things will start out. Slowly but surely the Orange will work their way back into it, hopefully someone will put a patch over Scoop Jardine's wandering eye. And then we'll see a patented, tense, crazy second half.

It "should" be a battle of defenses. Which one breaks first? I'm hoping Georgetown's, obviously, and I'll say the Orange eek out a 57-54 home win.