Frankly Speaking: Party Crashers

This was the off-season that all Syracuse sports fans, especially those of the basketball Orangemen, would bask in the glow of the hoop program's first national title.

The Orange victory tour, perhaps symbolized by head coach Jim Boeheim's goofy, yet somehow fittingly appropriate orange gaucho-style hat, started with a small gathering that greeted the team when it returned to Manley Field House.

The celebrations continued with massive community demonstrations of support, first at the Carrier Dome, where more than 25,000 fans showed up, and then in downtown Syracuse where a parade up South Salina Street attracted tens of thousands more (and some of the same). Throw in Boeheim, Carmelo Anthony and others ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange and Boeheim's whimsical appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman and SU fans and most everyone in Central New York were enjoying the moment, or moments.

Not even Anthony's expected departure to the NBA could bring any one down. What the heck, it was practically a foregone conclusion midway through the season and cemented with Anthony's scintillating performance against Texas in the national semifinal game. The all-everything freshman did everything one could possibly do—lead his team to the championship and with a gigantic smile on his face at every turn. The only one crying, it seemed, was Anthony himself when he announced his decision to forego his final three years of eligibility for an opportunity to set himself up for life financially.

"Frankly Speaking" can only be found in this month's issue of The Juice.

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