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SH1/2W: A very special message from Otto the Orange

Otto the Orange was the main diplomat at the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, which ended the U.S. involvement in Vietnam

Otto the Orange was the main neutral diplomat at the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, which ended the U.S. involvement in Vietnam

Greetings, UConn fans! I'm Otto the Orange!

I'm an excitable, happy-go-lucky, type of guy. I root for the Syracuse Orange's basketball, football and lacrosse teams!

I'm ubiquitous! Yay!

Let me say that I come in peace. I bear you guys no ill will. I mean, sure, you've beaten us at least once in every season since 2003, but it's OK. We got you back with Turkey's favorite basketball star, Gerry McNamara!

Yay Turkey!

I just wanted to stand up for Syracuse fans everywhere. And who better to stand up than an anthropomorphic fruit with a happy smile!

Syracuse fans are cool people. I bet even now, they're reading this and nodding. Hi, guys! Good to see you! Glad you could follow me here to bring good tidings! did that jump get down here? I better go investigate.

Yay investigation! Don't mind me, Syracuse fans. I'll just be below this jump. You don't need to follow! I'll be back in a jiff to root for upstate New York's favorite team!

Are they gone? They're gone?

Oh, thank God. Do you know what it's like, being mocked by the people you represent? I'm a fricking orange, man. All they do is laugh and laugh, and I just can't take it any more, you know? The little kids, they laugh because hey, what else do you do at the big goofy orange guy, right? Used to be that at least the college kids would just support me because I represent them. Now, they're all too cool and ironic-like for that. So I get booed and heckled, even portrayed as some kind of mindless sycophant as, I guess, an exaggeration of my public personality. I just can't win.

Sure, I show up for games in that oversized football dome and they all cheer, I guess. They do love their teams. But I know when I try to get them hyped up, I just see rolled eyes and hear groans. It's hard not to, since everything echoes off the 30,000 empty upper deck seats.

I always feel like an outcast, you know? Actually, how could you? You didn't get beat up as a little fruit growing up in Onandaga County. Just look at my fourth-grade class picture:


That bruise is a reminder of all those mean kids who couldn't accept a simple orange because it was different.

And it's more than that. I mean, seriously, do you know how hard it is to get the ladies to look at me? My parents told me beauty was more than rind-deep, but hell, I have the most bubbly, effervescent personality of anyone I know and it hasn't gotten me anywhere. But really, what girl is going to look at the bulbous orange guy making a fool of himself 25 times a year?

Loneliness is the citrus' burden to bear. I get that. But I just can't deal with them any more.

Can you imagine waking up every day, a little bit more shriveled than the day before, because you need to either be frozen or sitting in the sun? And that's even before I have to face my own personal hell for hours at a time. It's all just a neverending cycle of suffering and misery. My day is a confusing blur of self-loathing and everybody-else-loathing.

Save me.

Save me.

Why am I telling this to you? I don't know. You guys hate Syracuse fans as much as I hate myself. Maybe you could understand.

Look, I just need a place to vent. Frankly, I feel like Donovan McNabb probably felt when the Eagles lost in the playoffs. I hope UConn beats those miserable jerks. I don't even really like UConn. My mother was peeled by a Husky dog back in 1997. But maybe a good beatdown will get them to lay off me.

I'm not even making sense anymore. I just want the pain to go away.

I just want the pain to go away.

Thanks for stopping by, Otto! And don't forget: UConn vs. Syracuse at Gampel Pavilion - this Wednesday on ESPN!