I like to kid about hating Syracuse University but in reality I don't care too much about them one way or the other. They are a mid sized pretty good private school near one of the most polluted craptastic lakes in the world. They have an amazing athletics history and get to play with the Big Boys in the ACC. Their program could fold tomorrow or win the National Championship and it would have *0* impact on my day.
Syracuse fans however I both love and hate.
I hate Syracuse fans because this false sense of "were the $#17" that they carry around with them. Ok, sure in Basketball you're pretty amazing but football? As Syracuse limps into yet another bowl season with six wins it's hard to pretend that Buffalo (who you beat by 8 in 2007) or even Stony Brook (who had you on the ropes last season) is really that far behind you.
It's annoying but not an unexpected behavior from a regional power looking at an upstart. After all Ghandi said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
We are seeing that play out with the SU fan base and NYBI. When it first started last spring nobody from the SU fan base really noticed. Then the jokes started. Now there seems to be some outright hostility aimed at NYBI by Syracuse..
The Irony here is that the Orange have said they don't want to play again in the Pin Stripe bowl...
But... You're... New... York's... Team... Right???
Here is the difference between the push by Syracuse and NYBI.
Syracuse was sloganeering. They *can't* be New York's team because, well they are not a New York State team. It cost a kid in New York City as much as a kid from Cali to attend, that shifts their alumni base way further away from the Empire State than that of UB.
They can slap "New York's Team" on every Cap in lower Manhattan but it does not change the nature of what Syracuse is. A good private school in one of the states less populated regions. They coasted for decades as the only FBS game in New York State (Outside of Army) but that time is over.
Their head start makes them the more popular team in the state but year by year, graduate by graduate, we will nip away at their control of the fan base.
Buffalo's NYBI push is not aimed at just New York, it's aimed at the whole damn state. From Massena to Manhattan, From the Falls to Painted Post, from Albany to Albion. It's not about slapping some adds on taxi's it's about putting UB sports on in those markets, something Syracuse takes for granted.
In the past 12 months here is what UB has done.
1 - Got on the radio in New York City: Bloomberg Radio has games and "The Fan" has a weekly spot on UB athletics
2 - Got on TW Cable in NYS: The MAC's new deal with Time Warner put's Buffalo games on to all TW Sports subscribers in New York
3 - Became the Sports Anchor for Buffalo's "Fan" station. No more mere mentions now UB now there are hour long shows putting UB Athletics out to Buffalo Niagara
4 - Over the Air Games and shows on WRGZ: the biggest broadcaster in WNY will now be putting at least on UB football game a year on their main channel and up to ten other (football and hoops) on their second digital channel. They will also have a weekly Saturday night show.
Sure some feathers have been ruffled along the way. Many UB Alumni were not thrilled with "New York" but people are starting to see the upside and the noise is dying down. The large group of people left really griping about the "New York Bulls" is frightened Syracuse fans.