In which Orange::44 offers some nuanced reflections on UConn

We have a lot of fun with Syracuse Hate Week, but a rivalry is only fun if you have a rival to share it with, so each year we invite some of our least-hated Syracuse Bloggers to contribute. The following was written by Brian from Orange::44. For the 51 weeks of the year that aren't Syracuse Hate Week he's good people, so go easy on him. Enjoy.

Another basketball game between Syracuse University and the University of Connecticut is here again. And so the fine folks at The UConn Blog have asked their good blogging friends in Orange to contribute to the discussion as per tradition the last few years. I'm happy to oblige as I have the last several meetings. But we are in a new world here in 2011. Civility is the new hating. So I'm actually writing in to be nice to UConn for a chance. In the previous years I've shared personal stories of my exploits with the UConn faithful, including Jim Calhoun himself. But now it's time for a different tone.

I mean, how could you not be optimistic in Storrs these days, especially about football. Gone is that proven winner Randy Edsall. Freshly in Storrs is Paul Pasqualoni. You may remember him as the former coach of Syracuse. Yes, UConn is trading one Syracuse guy for another. How creative! And I think he'll fit right in at Connecticut as well. After all, Paul lost to Temple in his last year at Syracuse and UConn just lost to Temple this past season. It's a perfect fit! And really, what better guy to bring into a program after it has plateaued than Coach P. He knows about plateaus. He did it so well at Syracuse after 2001. You know, when he just stopped being able to recruit. Oh yeah, and then he didn't do any recruiting in the NFL. Surely he's ready to get players right away. But anyway, good times in Storrs.

Speaking of good times, the program has tons of cash now after going to a BCS Bowl. Well except for that like $3 Million that UConn... I mean the taxpayers of the State of Connecticut had to cover for not selling Fiesta Bowl tickets. And they made a really strong showing in Tempe. If you think a 48 to 20 loss is a strong showing. Yaaaaay football!

But let's focus on some basketball. After all that is the reason why we're here this week. I just have to say kudos to the University of Connecticut. I mean no basketball player has been arrested since September of 2008. That has to be some kind of record right? Oh wait, there was that whole NCAA Violation thing. And Jim Calhoun "failing to create an atmosphere of compliance". But what do they know right? Don't worry about those self-imposed sanctions. I'm sure everything will be fine. Tragically the same can't be said about football players at UConn. It's only been a few weeks since the last football player was arrested. It hasn't even been two months since a football player was charged with a felony for kiddy porn. But hey, at least basketball has been good right? That's what is really important on this earth.

And of course there is always Spring Weekend to look forward to at UConn. I mean who doesn't love drinking Beast Ice out of a backpack in the X-Lot? Oh wait... the powers that be at Connecticut have canceled that for this year? I thought everyone loved dodging assholes throwing glass bottles in the air and fights over who accidentally locked eyes with someone's girlfriend? I guess not the people in charge at UConn. Is nothing scared anymore?

So I guess I was wrong. I guess it totally sucks to go to the University of Connecticut. Literally the only thing going for it right now is Kemba Walker. Notice how I didn't say the University of Connecticut Basketball Team. Just Kemba Walker. Literally, that's it. Wingz Over Storrs is pretty great and all, and I enjoyed getting a pitcher or two at Ted's back in the day. Hell, I even went to Huskies on Halloween once back in the day for a friend's birthday. But being "New England's #1 Public University" is about as good as kissing your sister. Yeah... not much good going on in Storrs. What graduating senior wouldn't want to go to the middle of nowhere to only be threatened every minute with having a crime perpetrated against them by members of UConn's various athletic teams?

So I take it back. Civility is fine in politics, but all's fair in hate and basketball. Syracuse fans can dish it just as well as Connecticut fans, and that's what makes college sports, in my opinion, superior to the professionals. I thank the fine folks at The UConn Blog, all of whom are gentlemen and get what rivalries are all about. I wish them luck for the rest of the season except on Wednesday night. And at least you guys aren't from Georgetown. I leave you with this thought... UConn... U SUCK!

Sincerely,
Brian Harrison
Orange::44

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