Let’s face it, it has been difficult to be a Syracuse sports fan over the past several months. The football team went 3-9 after dealing with an injury-plagued season unlike any most had ever seen. The basketball team took a step back from recent years with an 18-13 record.
The George McDonald demotion as offensive coordinator leading to him subsequently finding employment elsewhere. The self-imposed postseason ban for basketball followed by the harsh NCAA sanctions against the basketball program, which resulted in the resignation of Athletic Director Daryl Gross.
It felt like body blow after body blow after body blow. Sure there were moments, like recruiting wins late in the 2015 cycle and a positive national signing day. Those moments always seemed to be accompanied by more negativity.
But such is life as a fan sometimes. You have to endure through the rough times, which helps you enjoy the joyous times that much more.
Then the weekend of April 25th happened. In the matter of just a few days, everything seemed to come up Orange.
It started with the commitment of Robert Washington, which originally seemed to continue the negative trend surround the athletics department. A video was released by The Bleacher Report less than 20 minutes before Washington’s planned announcement.
The video depicted the four-star running back choosing Florida and detailing his reasons for choosing the Gators. Then, when the announcement actually came, he said Syracuse.
Yes he said Syracuse! Much to the amazement of those in attendance and Syracuse fans furiously refreshing Twitter as they tried to make sense of what transpired over that emotional 20-minute span.
It encompassed everything that makes being a fan part of why sports are so great. The devastating low of feeling like Syracuse had lost a prize recruit they worked so hard to bring aboard to the unforeseen high after he changed his mind and picked the Orange over many of college football’s elite.
What a moment for Syracuse fans. All of the misfortunes over the past six to eight months seemingly forgotten in a single moment.
But that wasn’t the end. Things started to roll downhill with more positivity.
Later that evening, the top rated player in Syracuse’s 2015 class, four-star safety Marquise Blair, won MVP of the Ohio North-South Classic. The game pits the best high school seniors in Ohio against one another in an all-star game that generally features a lot of division one talent.
Blair didn’t just win MVP, he dominated. He finished with four interceptions and was close to a few more. More positive vibes for Syracuse.
Then Sunday came and the Syracuse lacrosse programs took center stage.
As if seemingly feeling the positive energy created from a strong day for the football program the day before, the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams both won their first ACC Championships in dramatic fashion.
The women’s team won on a sudden death goal in double overtime to claim their title. The men’s team held off a late Duke rally for a one goal win in regulation.
Two titles for Syracuse. More positive vibes.
It was a much needed jolt for an athletics department that has had to deal with their fair (or perhaps unfair) share of turmoil.
A huge recruiting win, a strong performance by an incoming freshman and two championships in a matter of about 24 hours. It was exactly what ‘Cuse Nation needed.