In 1988 I moved to Syracuse prior to getting married in September of 1989. I left my job and my family and moved with my fiance, now husband, to settle in and get ready for the wedding and married life. I had visited Syracuse with him numerous times since we began dating in 1986 but I must have never noticed how many people wear Syracuse University gear. Hats. Coats. T-shirts and shorts. Bumper stickers and lawn signs.
One of the first gifts I received from my new family was an SU sweatshirt. I remember thinking, what the heck is with these people? I lived in Albany and not everyone wore Siena gear. Boy was I shot down fast.
I was told in no uncertain terms that “Siena is NOT Syracuse.” or “This is Big East.”
On Saturday, the four us piled into the car, all orange’d up and drove to the Syracuse v. Villanova game at the Dome. I can never make the 2 1/2 hour trip to Syracuse without at least two pit stops. Amelia may not look like me but she she is me and accompanies me each and every stop. That first rest stop was a sea of orange….moms, dads, kids and babies all geared up in SU orange gear. It was fun. People were talking with each other, giving a thumbs up and high sign. We even had a nice conversation with some Nisky parents who were geared up in Villanova wear. They are alumni. The conversations were light and happy and it felt like a sense of community.
Once we get to Syracuse and park in the hospital garage and make the trek up the hill to the Dome. Now it is wall-to-wall orange. People are still talking to each other and laughing and getting into the spirit of the game. Old grandmothers, young couples, families with kids…all with a common “orange” bond. How cool is this?
We get into the Dome after being wanded down and I am really feeling the energy. I was actually happy they checked everyone that given the events of the past year. The place was buzzing. We had great seats and talked with the people around us. The game began we all stood up since the fans cannot sit until Syracuse scores. The whole dome was clapping and I had forgotten how much fun this can be. (even though 4 sodas, pizza, popcorn and 2 pretzels was $35.00)
Syracuse won the game and the walk back to the car was energized and fun. That sea of orange followed us all the way down the hill, over snowbanks and icy stairs. We drove to my aunt’s house, hung out for a few and then off to Twin Trees…THE best pizza in Syracuse. Family time and basketball, it doesn’t get any better than that. Now I get why the whole town wears orange and gets into that team spirit. It binds you as a community, as a family and with friends. I will now wear that SU orange and fondly remember this time with my own family. Go ‘Cuse.