Five years ago, back when we were a little wordpress outfit, we celebrated UConn's matchup against Syracuse with "Syracuse Hate Week," and while we don't do an entire week anymore, we do still have our fun on twitter and the blog. We didn't only play offense though, as we always extended an invitation to a Syracuse blogger or two to come to our place and say some horrible things about UConn. It's in that spirit that I'm thrilled to welcome back Brian Harrison from Orange::44, to show that at the very least one Syracuse fan is literate. You can find Brian on twitter here. Take it away Brian:
I had a tough time starting this short final Hate Week submission. Over the past several years I've recalled my many encounters with the UConn Basketball Team, as well as its many, shall we say colorful, fans. While I'll always think that Syracuse / Georgetown is the best rivalry for Syracuse and the Big East there is no denying that Syracuse / Connecticut has been a big and important one.
While everyone will forever remember the 2009 Six Overtime Game in the Big East Tournament (I think Syracuse won that if I recall), and many will claim to be there, I was definitely not one of them. The best UConn game I ever saw in person was the 2006 Big East Tournament game in which UConn was No. 1 in the nation and a little kid named Gerry McNamara got the game to overtime, where Syracuse pulled away. It was during the magical Syracuse run in 2006 that saw the first time in BET history win four games in four days. Fresh off of some laptop hijinks, Marcus Williams just couldn't get it done. That was part of the few years where came in from Connecticut to New York, got off the bus, played the game, got on the bus, and went home.
But both teams have been good over the years and have played some excellent games. Syracuse has won more of them head-to-head, but they were all usually entertaining. At the very least the sight of Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun, forever linked in history and by the Basketball Hall of Fame, made it fun. When Calhoun retired I was glad it wasn't due to health, because that's a crummy reason to stop doing what you love to do. If you could tell he loved doing it with that scowl on his face. After all, your team being banned from postseason play is as good a reason as any to retire, as long as it's not because you're physically unable to do the job anymore. And from the many dimes not to be returned, or the poor sportsmanship after a loss, to throwing players under the bus after a failed attempt at a win, it was all magical. It was the stuff of legend. It was part of what made the Big East the Big East.
It's this kind of stuff that makes college sports in my opinion the best sports to watch. The fans, the interactions, the passion, and the pride. But it's a different time. Money trumps loyalty. And so I had to pen what is, at the very least, my last Syracuse/UConn preview for the season, the last of the Big East, and possibly the last one for a long time. Despite the fact that UConn is a hillbilly oasis 30 minutes away from any semblance of civilization in Storrs it has become the center of half of one of the best college rivalries in the nation. And while Syracuse will still have the original Dinosaur BBQ, and Storrs will still have the X Lot, part of the great tradition of going to either one of those schools will be no more after today. And that is sad.
So that means tonight (and any subsequent time in the future these teams happen to play again) I'll be rooting for Syracuse to beat the hell out of Connecticut. As I have for many years. But after the final horn it will be all well wishes and good lucks (you guys will need it because there's another idiot in the Commissioner's Office it seems). I want to thank TheUConnBlog writers past and present who have always been gracious to me and my fellow Syracuse bloggers. I've always said you guys get what these blog things and Twitter is about (way more than Georgetown fans, by far). It's been fun over the years jawing back and forth in a reasonable and entertaining manner. Seriously though, you guys are way too obsessed with women's basketball. I get there isn't a lot to do in Connecticut but I think you can probably find something better to do with your time. Anyway, it's been great. I'll miss these yearly talks. And I hope someday we can do it all again. Sooner than later. And with that, I say to you all one last time as members of the Big East... UConn... U Suck!