'Round these parts we used to have a tradition called Syracuse Hate Week. The only problem with Syracuse Hate Week was that UConn usually lost when we did it, so we've abandoned it. But some parts of it are still with us, like relentlessly trolling 'Cuse fans on twitter and inviting Syracuse bloggers to come over here and give us a hard time. What you'll find below was written by Brian from Orange::44. He's a mostly good guy outside of the whole Syracuse thing. You can find him on twitter here.
Here we are again on the eve of another tilt between the Connecticut UConn Huskies and the Syracuse Orange on the hardwood. Is this the last time Syracuse will travel to Connecticut as Big East foes? Only the massive computer matrix sitting in a basement in Providence knows the answer. What we do know is that there is a game tomorrow, and ESPN's College Gameday will be in town, crammed into that pavilion with the many unwashed UConn students in attendance. In the past I've talked about my run in with Coach Calhoun, my run ins with several UConn fans, and several intelligent reasons why you should give up rooting for UConn and root for Syracuse instead. But this year I offer something different.
First, to recap, fortunes have shifted since the end of last season. Connecticut has firmly placed themselves on the bubble this season and headed completely off the reservation next year. It must be pleasant to know the fate of your team before a game is even played. Syracuse is 28-1 (15-1) and currently #2 in the nation. Connecticut is 17-10 (7-8) on the year.
Now in terms of the game, I have no doubt that a tough, fairly close contest will be played in Storrs. But I'm not writing a game preview here. I'm writing about the man who is usually opposing James Arthur Boeheim III. Jim Calhoun is missing yet another game this season, the second missed game against Syracuse.
It's no mystery that Jim Calhoun is a pretty big sonofabitch. I think even most UConn fans would agree with that. But it's fine because "he's our sonofabitch". I am not saying this without evidence either. After countless losses Calhoun refuses to accept any responsibility, throwing any and all players under the proverbial bus. He pouted like a child after the 6 OT game. And of course (while I admit the question had no place at a sports press conference) there is the famous "not one dime" tirade. This is a man that is not well adjusted. Not a leader. Not a molder of young men.
But the real point of the article I'm writing here is that Syracuse fans miss him. We wish he was better. Jim versus Jim is half the fun of UConn and Syracuse going at it. One of the biggest part of rivalries is mutual respect. Lots of hate, sure, but there is and should be underlying respect. We respect Jim Calhoun as a competitor and a good basketball coach. While I take much pleasure in the failings of UConn on the basketball court, I take no pleasure in Jim Calhoun being sidelined due to medical reasons. Syracuse will still be in the Big East for one more year so this is obviously not the end in terms of conference games between the two schools, but to miss College Gameday and other things is sad. Hopefully he'll be back sooner rather than later.
So on that note, still know Calhoun is a sonofabitch, but it is part of why the rivalry is fun. We wish Connecticut good luck tomorrow (you'll need it) and the rest of the season, however short it might end up. Thanks, as always, to The UConn Blog and its staff, some of which are the nicest rival bloggers out there. However, I do have to leave you with this thought. UConn... U SUCK!