It’s Wednesday, and that means my hate has been braising for four days in the deepest pit of my soul and is now cooked and ready to be served. Clemson faces the Orange after a complete and total debacle in Tallahassee that saw the 7-0 Tigers only defeat the Seminoles by 3 points in Doak Campbell stadium, falling even farther behind Louisville in the margin of victory column and once again having to fall back on the vastly overrated actual victory column. Clemson is perhaps the most disappointing 8-0, #2 ranked team in the history of College football and needs to pull it together before they mess around go 13-0 and really upset some folks.
Syracuse comes into this match-up on a 2-game heater, the likes of which they haven’t seen this millennium (I didn’t actually check this stat, but it feels right). The Orange are looking forward to escaping the desolate hellscape of basically Canada, New York and heading south to God’s country where the wounded Tigers look to win yet another game (sigh…. boring) and further enrage Louisville and South Carolina fans. Now, Let’s get to the hating.
Dino “The Hostage” Babers: From everything I’ve read and seen, Dino Babers is a good guy. He plays an entertaining brand of football, says the right things, and appears to be genuinely liked by everyone. His coaching resume stretches back to 1984, when he was a GA for his alma mater Hawaii. He’s put in time at such football outposts as Eastern Illinois, Northern Arizona, and Bowling Green. This guy deserves a shot at coaching a major college program. Based on his resume and temperament, I’m fully convinced that Syracuse is holding Dino Babers hostage. There is no way someone who has been around college football this long thought, “Syracuse, yeah, that sounds like a good place to win football games.” The only way this makes sense is that Babers is coaching under duress.
Dino came home to his house in Bowling Green after a long night of breaking down film, and found his family missing, and a note sitting on his dinner table saying: “We have your family, meet us in Syracuse, New York and no one gets hurt.” The note was signed with an orange blob. Dino immediately flew to New York and was led blindfolded into the bowels of the Carrier Dome, where his wife and children were handcuffed to radiators. Jim Boeheim appeared out of the shadows and made Dino an offer he couldn’t refuse: coach at Syracuse and free his family, or turn down the job and suffer the consequences. I have it on good authority that one member of the Baber family is held in Boeheim’s secret lair (Denny’s) every week to make sure Dino doesn’t disappear with his family after a road game.
Dino, we at Clemson are here to help. After we administer your beating on Saturday, hand Dabo a note requesting assistance and we will send our defensive line north to help free your family from the evil clutches of Boeheim and his Orange henchmen. Don’t lose hope Dino, we’ve got your back.
I don’t hate Dino Babers…but I hate what Syracuse is doing to him.
Caption: Please Send Help
The Carrier Dome AKA The Dutch Oven: I firmly believe God intended college football to be played outside and that the Carrier Dome is an abomination. Sure, every time an announcer says something about the Carrier Dome being “loud” I get to chuckle a little, but it’s sad that the Carrier Dome is an actual thing in the ACC. This un-airconditioned airplane hanger smells of chili and Molson Ice farts mixed with 12 varieties of axe body spray. It’s not hard to understand why Syracuse is on pace to break an all-time low attendance record. I mean sure, it’s fun to occasionally pull the covers up and hit your wife with a Dutch oven, but no one wants to spend an entire football game sitting in other peoples’ stink.
The Carrier Dome’s inadequacy isn’t strictly limited to the playing surface. When Dino delivered his inspiring locker room speech after knocking off Virginia Tech, I couldn’t focus on what he was saying, all I could focus on was the junior high locker room in which it took place. Their players were hanging off the tops of lockers just to get close enough to see and hear Dino pontificate. Dabo wouldn’t be able to break off any of his patented dance moves in that broom closet. I’ve filed a complaint with the Syracuse fire marshal because there is no way that locker room isn’t over capacity. I have a degree in Occupational Health and Safety, and subsequently, I hate fire hazards.
Below: Carrier Dome 20 Minutes Before Kick-Off
Otto the Orange: Of all the uninspired mascots in the NCAA an amorphous orange blob representing a team from Central New York might be the laziest. Syracuse replaced it’s overtly racist Saltine Warrior (according to the native people the Saltine Warrior was supposed to represent) in 1978 with a series of failed mascots before they decided in 1995 that an orange blob was the best they could come up with. The orange mascot has officially presided over ½ full football games for more than 20 years. In a way Otto is a tragic figure, forced to smile while watching some of the most pathetic attempts to field a football team in recent memory, and doing so in a stadium the smells like a full diaper pail left in the sun. I almost respect a mascot that has seen the football horrors he has been forced to witness. Almost…but I find something deeply disturbing about a walking orange blob, and therefore, I have no choice but to hate Otto.
Below: Syracuse Athletics as Summed Up In One Picture
Jim Boeheim: Look, I know he’s the basketball coach, but he’s the face of Syracuse athletics. Jim Boeheim is the definition of a Yankee. When I say, “I hate Yankees”, I don’t really mean that I hate everyone above the Mason Dixon line, I mean I hate everyone like Jim Boeheim. He’s petulant, he’s abrasive, and no matter how wrong he is, he’s right and you’re just not smart enough to understand. Sure, Jim Boeheim is a decent basketball coach, but he’s also a cheater. The NCAA found that Boeheim turned a blind eye to blatant violations for over a decade, suspended him for 9 games and vacated 108 wins. This would be enough to fire any normal head coach, but Boeheim is Syracuse basketball, and is immune to little things like sex/molestation scandals (see Fine, Bernie), academic scandal and players getting paid under the table. Jim Boeheim is the face of Syracuse athletics, and it’s one of the most smarmy, corrupt, and genuinely hatable faces in college sports. I hate Jim Boeheim and you should as well.
Below: Boeheim Emerges From Carbonite Crypt Under Carrier Dome
Syracuse Fans: Cuse fans walk around with the entitlement and snobbishness of North Carolina basketball fans, with only one purchased NCAA ring to show for it. Any attempted football conversation with a Syracuse fan inevitably ends up with them discussing the merits of the 2-3 zone. They don’t really care about football and only have a cursory knowledge of the sport, but will attempt to tell you how everything you know is wrong. They all have faded posters of Donovan McNabb hanging on the walls of their basements, and act like the 41-0 beating Syracuse administered to Tommy West and Clemson in 1994 is somehow relevant to the game on Saturday. They are a fan base that lives in the past or lives in the future, because living in the present is usually crushingly depressing. For all intents and purposes, Syracuse fans are South Carolina fans with Yankee accents, and that my friends, is the worst thing I can think to say about anyone.
Below: Prove That This Isn’t Lou Holtz...You Can’t, Can You?