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Heart of the Fizz: A Warm Thank You to Parents on Pinstripe Bowl Day

New York Times

So this is the day, huh? SU is playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2004, in New York City, at Yankee Stadium. And I’ll be on the sidelines reporting for the campus station.

Working at WAER, as is a rite of passage here at The Fizz, gives us some amazing opportunities. Between Couz and I, we’ve been to Tampa, Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Washington for football broadcasts.

Being so close to the team, and following it so closely is an odd realization for me. In a way, I’ve always wanted this. Since I was 15, I’ve hedged my academic bets on being a sportscaster. I was the local kid, who grew up a little more than a mile from the Carrier Dome, and wanted to work at Syracuse. I was infatuated with college basketball and football. My grandmother was close with Laura Robinson through church (sorry D.A.) and is still so bitter about the firing that she won’t listen to games I broadcast.

Editor’s Note: Teddy, I don’t mind your grandmother being friends with the Groobers clan through church. Greg should’ve just prayed to become a better coach more. -D.A.

I was your consummate local fan who grew up here. My parents are from Syracuse. However, I wasn’t at every game growing up. My father was a contractor, and pumped out 70 hour weeks (and still does) to give my sister and I everything we needed. My mother went back to school when I was young to be an ultrasound technician after years in advertising. Football Saturdays were spent in my early years with my dad on jobs, and then playing soccer. One of my father’s jobs was doing work in the Carrier Dom luxury suites. I still remember my dad getting me a drink out of the micro fridge (sorry Doc, it was before your time. Don’t pull my credentials).

Syracuse games were a luxury that we didn’t always have available to us. Season tickets were a lot to ask for a family of four. One of my friends had season tickets growing up, and from time to time I was jealous of him. But for that very same reason, every game we did go to was special. Like Tebucky Jones going for a pick-six in the 4th-quarter as I was leaving or watching ‘Cuse systematically destroy Miami in Donovan McNabb’s last game at the Dome.

I’m not linking these box scores, or being more descriptive about what the stakes were, what the score was, or what the stat line said. Those are my memories, and they are only brief picture frames. I can tell you that I’ll never forget them as long as I’m alive.

I navigated through my teenage years as a huge SU fan. When I was 15, I decided broadcasting was for me. I asked my father what the best school was for media. He smiled, and said casually, “Syracuse.”

When I got the acceptance letter, my mother was so excited she opened it for me. After that, my parents fought to get everything they could from financial aid. I enrolled in the fall, and started writing in the mornings at WAER the first semester.

For those who don’t know, the process begins with morning sports updates at 5:30. Problem was, I lived on South Campus, and had no ride since the buses don’t run that early. No worry – my dad knew I wanted this, and woke up at 4:30 with me once a week to drive me to the station.

I sit here on this day and reflect on a lifetime at Syracuse. I could have gone to every game this season, thanks to this “press pass” I had earned over the years. But it’s only today, as I’m set to step on the field of New Yankee Stadium, that I understand why that’s possible.

It was my parents. Without their hardwork, love, and sacrifice, I’d still be watching games on the TV. So today, whatever gaffes, bumbles, or inflammatory remarks I make for the Original Home of the Orange – I dedicate it to you, Mom and Dad. Because it’s all your doing (or fault, depending on how the broadcast turns out).

Posted: Ted Conroy

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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