Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Lack of Fire

Posted by Jer on December 22, 2006

I had the opportunity to snag an extra ticket for last night’s Duke-Gonzaga game in Madison Square Garden. I missed much of the sloppiness that defined the first 20 minutes of play, but what I did see had me thinking a lot about the Syracuse game I attended on this very same court against Oklahoma State two weeks ago. Even though both Duke and the ‘Zags were struggling at times, they played with an intensity that I haven’t seen from the Orange. Both teams desperately wanted to win this game, while Syracuse has more often seemed intent on not losing. Not coincidentally, this had led to three actual losses, the first time we have lost this many games before league play in eight years.

Granted, I haven’t seen the Blue Devils play much this year, but the Duke Basketball Report rightly places much of the credit for Duke’s intensity to Syracuse-native Greg Paulus’ heightened level of play. Last night, he seemed unstoppable. Scoring, passing, and even taking a header into a table along the sidelines chasing a loose ball.

Complacency from the Orange players has also spilled over to the crowd. MSG is supposed to be Syracuse’s other Home Away From Dome (besides this blog), but whereas Duke and Gonzaga fans filled the arena, chanting and cheering throughout the entire game, the Syracuse-Ok State game had many empty seats and too often the ‘Let’s Go Orange’ chant fizzled out before it had a chance to fully rock the house. This was dramatically different than the games I have witnessed at MSG over the past few years. New York City-area fans need to make sure to attend the January 21st game against St. Johns and leave no doubt in the minds of the Red Storm faithful that NYC is indeed Cuse Country.

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