Sunday, October 31, 2010

Doug Marrone = Bro

It's hard to describe what Doug Marrone has done for Syracuse football. Despite having great tradition, Syracuse has been irrelevant for most of this century and under Greg Robinson became a perennial homecoming opponent. Once a tradition of losing has taken root, it is very hard to a) recruit b) match funding with other schools due to lost ticket revenue and fewer bowl and TV appearances and c) change the minds of 18 - 22 year olds they can win and will win. Reading interviews with current seniors talking about winning more games this season than they have over their entire career at Syracuse and what that has meant for them emotionally and psychologically highlights the purpose and impact of college athletics. While Marrone cautions that there is a lot of work still to be done, if the players continue to buy in and work hard, I have guarded enthusiasm for what the rest of the season may bring. At this point, no matter what Syracuse's final record is, these players, and especially the seniors, will never forget what it meant to turn around a program; what it took, how hard it was, and what it felt like to accomplish an ambitious goal is something they'll carry with them throughout every other endeavour. Stories and experiences similar to what Marrone has done with the Orange are why I love sports and think they are an invaluable part of educating our youth by giving them tangible opportunities to witness a sense of possibility, meaningful peer leadership, and the importance of hard work in one's performance. ORANGE OUT :)

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