Fab and Football

“Fab’s a city guy. Syracuse, while not New York City, is still close enough to New York City.”

Busy day for The Fizz yesterday, covering all points on the East Coast.

Ted Conroy has been camped in Little Rhodey at Big East Media Days (home state of exactly zero B.E. football schools. Nice), absorbing Doug Marrone’s pleas for respect and shoveling clams in his mug by the dozen.

Farther south, in the hot/humid/hazy climes of South Florida, D.A. was following the Fab Melo story.

We knew the timeline of Melo’s summer (end of AAU circuit, after visiting fam, before school started) favored a decision was coming soon.

Props to Matt Mc, his Sports Fix began the day raising everyone’s antennae.

Then as Fab’s decision became official we spoke to Adam Ross, Fab’s head coach, multiple times including an exclusive FizzCast last night.

Needless to say, it’s a huge day for Orange Nation. One of the best big men in the country (who usually choose Georgetown or UConn) is coming to the ‘Cuse and not one of the other two rivals on his tail (Huskies, Cardinals).

Ross told us the proximity to the Big Apple actually helped lure Melo in and the Dome sealed it.

“Fab is originally from Rio de Janeiro. He’s a city guy. He was somewhat concerned about going to a place that was completely rural. Syracuse, while not New York City, is still close enough to New York City that you still get all the media and still have that New York City flavor and feel.

“We went into the Dome, just to stand there and look up and see all those seats and just imagine what it would be like for a game. Fab looked at me and said ‘I gotta play a basketball game here.'”

Meantime, Conroy was a Twittering fool up in Newport. As SU fans refreshed Google every ten minutes for the Fab news feed, Ted was owning the gridiron.

* * *

Posted: Ted Conroy.Remember a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, when Fab Melo hadn’t committed to the ‘Cuse yet? Yeah, us neither, but let’s try to remember this Fizzster drove over 300 miles to talk football.

You’ll notice I haven’t posted many links lately; either all my reporting has been first-hand knowledge or I’ve taken advantage of the open bars and become extraordinarily lazy.

Both may be true, but Day 2 of B.E. lovefest went down as planned; the new commish John Marinatto had a cheesy-yet-thoughtful opening statement and then all us media folks talked to players and coaches in separate sessions.

Things were very laid back; everyone and anyone would talk while in attendance. Had some good conversations with UConn’s Randy Edsall (about his teams new OC) and their punter and team captain Desi Cullen.

Yes, I just said the punter was team captain. He is also close to insane. But in a very good way. He seems to be the jokester of his Huskies team and came off as a fun, down to ear… wait, wait, wait. My bio says I grew up in Syracuse.

What I mean is that he is a cocky, arrogant S.O.B. who will be reason number 271 of 496 why UConn will suck this year.

For the Orange, tight end Mike Owen and no-need-for-intros Art Jones seemed really relaxed and happy about the state of affairs. It could have been the atmosphere of the press conference (laid back player hangs out at a table) or that the most amazing Hotel Viking lunch was on the way. They just didn’t seemed fazed by the transgressions of the last 8 months.

Jones also said on record that he is 100% ready for full contact and will have no qualms about playing right away.

Owen added that Paulus may not be the worst option at QB.

Marrone, however, was all business, and seemed to be determined to fuel the Orange media bandwagon.

Look for Fizzcasts with the players in the next couple days. I also have a one-on one with Don McPherson coming.

The reason they’re not posted yet is because I somehow ended up on Cape Cod, surprising the hell out of fellow Fizzster Mike Couzens (Editor-in-Chief note: Solid use of time and the immediacy of the internet, Ted. Thanks. Sincerely, D.A.) I walked right into the baseball press box and made a cameo on a now-defunct opposing team broadcast. Life as Triple-A goon has its perks, I suppose.