A small contingent of Cornell fans made the hour-long trek down I-81 to support their boys in red. While they were small in numbers, they certainly made their presence felt. In fact, supporters of the Orange could learn a few things from their loud voices and unwavering cheering.
surrounded by thousands of unfriendly fans, with their team down by
more than 20 and outmatched by Syracuse's superior size and skills,
these die-hard followers of The Big Red could not be silenced.
The presence of these haughty hostiles finally woke the SU student
section from the collective slumber it had fallen into following two
games against mid-major opponents. Like a sleeping rhino getting
by a fly, the sting from the audacity of these Cornell fans to actually
the Syracuse student section perked the SU students to attention and
sent them into an irate rage.
Finally, ‘Cuse fans began to realize
potential as a cheering body (Hakim Warrick's jaw-dropping dunks didn't
A battle of words ensued. The Orange enthusiasts fought valiantly,
considering their significant deficit in ammunition. There isn't much
can say to an Ivy League student when they make fun of your SAT scores.
SU students, however, countered by pointing out the extra leisure time
they enjoyed in high school.
While there was no real victor, except on the scoreboard, Orange fans
gained something much more valuable than a win: solidarity. For the
time in three games, the anger of the masses was deflected away from
Craig Forth. Students united to defend their honor and support the
Orange, instead of booing them.
The area behind the south basket still could be confused with a library
when compared to the rowdy student sections of powerhouses like
Maryland and Duke. Maryland students, of course, have something to
cheer about: free tickets and a national championship team. While SU
students pay $85 for season tickets and support a team that failed to
make the NCAA tournament last year, they have begun to show signs of
To have any chance against Big East powerhouses such as Pittsburgh,
however, SU devotees will have to turn up their energy even further.
Syracuse students have been so nice to the other teams, it seems as if
they heard the message delivered by the P.A. announcer exhorting fans
treat referees and opposing with respect, and said, "Yes, sir. The
Dome is a supportive, caring environment."
The only negative comments that have emanated from the crowd have
been directed at Craig Forth. The P.A. guy should be announcing, "Hey
guys, he's on our team." Regardless of how badly he plays, he's what
Jim Boeheim has to work with. Jeremy McNeil can't play the whole game;
even if he had the stamina, he would foul out in the first half.
Craig Forth at every opportunity (and when he's just sitting on the
will not help him to get any better, but rather only make things worse.
The competition thus far has not exactly been stellar (and there isn't
to look forward to for a while), so the low turnout of students at
Well, it can be excused only if students want to be
fair-weather fans. What is not excusable, however, is booing your own
team. SU students would be wise to come out now and practice cheering
the right way, or they will pay the price in January when the real
Fans show signs of life in confrontation
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