Here at TheUConnBlog, we're very inviting to other teams' fanbases. We like to provide as much perspective as possible, even when it comes from dirty Syracuse fans. Plus, we like content generated by other people. Saves us time.
Previously, we received a submission from Matt Glaude of Hoya Suxa Now, we are happy to present another view from the orangey side of life. Brian Harrison runs the Syracuse blog entitled Orange:44, and will be hosting tonight's Big East blogger round table. Brian, like Matt, offers his thoughts on why UConn fans should consider switching allegiances prior to Wednesday night's showdown at Gampel Pavilion.
Take it away, Brian:
Bloggers are many things. We write, we predict, we slander, we pester, but most of all, we tell stories. I have many about the University of Connecticut. All of them basically ending in the basic tenant that rooting for an incoherent man named Jim Calhoun is both futile and unfulfilling.
I'm all for rooting for your team, especially if it is your alma mater, and even some players on the UConn team. Yes, they all do not have a criminal history. But to blindly support a man that is by all accounts one of the biggest sonofabitch on the eastern seaboard is irresponsible.
In March of 2006 I foolishly had a girlfriend that was a senior at UConn that lived off campus in nearby Coventry, CT. I still lived in Syracuse at the time so it was a four hour drive. I had a small Nissan and bad tires. One night I left the just hamlet of Syracuse, NY, and headed across the New York State Thruway to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, then down Interstate 91 into the Constitution State.
On a dimly lit road in Coventry, almost right in front of the then new, but not yet operational Police Station, I rear ended a vehicle. I wasn't going that fast, and I tried to stop. But I smacked the car up, and my car was basically undrivable. Who was driving, but Mr. Jim Calhoun. Now I'm already shaken up by the entire affair, and up until this point I had a spotless driving record, with not even a speeding ticket on my jacket.
But this blowhard gets out of his car and screams at me. I of course immediately apologize, but this guy feels the need attempt to make me ball my eyes out. He does not succeed, but that is the kind of encounter that leaves an impression. Subsequently, insurance took care of the entire thing, and little liability fell on me as I did not get a ticket from Coventry's finest. The only conclusion; Jim Calhoun enjoys making other humans miserable to make himself feel better.
Only a few weeks later, with the #1 ranking in the nation, as well as a #1 seed in the Big East Tournament, they enter with a first round bye and face 9th seeded Syracuse. I'm sure Calhoun felt cocky about his squad's chances. The one thing that Jim Calhoun was not counting on was an unconscious effort from a much-hated individual from the Connecticut perspective, Gerry McNamara.
In a very entertaining and hard-fought game, in which both teams played to the pinnacle of Big East basketball, Syracuse ended up tying the game in regulation on a long three pointer by McNamara, and then finishing two points ahead in overtime to win. Now, if you watched this game on television, or like I did in person, you know that both teams rarely made a mistake. Syracuse simply outlasted UConn in the end. It was not UConn's fault. Syracuse just bested them on this day. Well Jim Calhoun then proceeded to throw his players and everything else he could think of under the bus. Thus, Calhoun and his Huskies have been the team in the past few years that in New York get off the bus, play the game, get on the bus, go home.
Of course most people are familiar as well with the profanity-laced tirade that Calhoun went on after a tough Providence loss in which Ryan Gomes lit up UConn (ed.: Are we ever!). This is not the kind of man that can handle anything less than success, and thus he acts like a giant baby. He just cannot help himself but blame everyone and anyone but himself in a critical time. Calhoun has forgotten the most important rule of being a leader; the buck stops here.
Additionally there are more minor, but still compelling reasons to change coaching allegiances, at least temporarily. Jim Calhoun is leading Jim Boeheim to 800 wins. Root for James Arthur Boeheim in this one to make the contest more even. They went into the Hall of Fame together. Shouldn't they get 800 relatively close to each other?
If Syracuse wins, they you will no longer be ranked #1, but rather be in a more manageable and less pressure packed top five spot. No one likes to be the team everyone is gunning for. Syracuse beating UConn would most likely assure a tournament spot for the Orange, and it is not only better for the conference to have more teams in the dance, but also the possibility that these two teams meet in the tournament is a prospect that cannot be ignored.
Finally, just imagine how clean you would feel if, for once this season, you rooted for someone that did not kill puppies for sport, hate all things good and normal, and hate Spring Weekend drinking in X lot. I read that last one on the internet. It must be true.
I understand that Orange fans and Husky fans will never get along and sing "We Are The World" while building an orphanage. But I think we can agree that always supporting a man that can best be described as having questionable moral character and ragged disposition is not a healthy scenario for anyone. Root for Jim Boeheim's lovable band of underdogs, and surely some higher being will not only reward you with a lifetime of sunshine and rainbows over Storrs, but you will surely find inner peace and on your death bed you will receive total consciousness. Which is nice.
Thanks for the submission, Brian. You can read his thoughts on 'Cuse athletics over at Orange:44. For any other Syracuse or UConn fans who'd like to tell us why the other team annoys them so very much, there's only one day left to go!