Bigger Than One Game: Making Peace with Syracuse-USC Not At The Dome

There are plenty of Central New Yorkers who wish Saturday’s showdown with USC was in the Carrier Dome.

There are plenty of Central New Yorkers who wish Saturday’s showdown with USC was in the Carrier Dome, and many are downright pissed off at the SU Athletic Department that it’s not.

But this is bigger than one game.

You can’t always have it both ways. You can’t expect Doug Marrone to build from the ground up while playing every home game on a Saturday at noon in the Dome. This program needs the exposure, the revenue, and the energy that come with a duel against the Trojans in an NFL venue.

The debate in the months leading up to this matchup has focused primarily on the contrast of the blue collar Syracuse community with Daryl Gross’ Hollywood attitude. His critics say Gross has abandoned the core of SU’s fanbase to play Friday night home games and travel to New Jersey to play the #2 team in the nation.

You have to remember USC would never have agreed to a game in CNY. NYC is also filled with Syracuse alumni, and those without the opportunity to travel back to SU will enjoy a rare opportunity to watch their school play on the largest of stages.

But let’s think about two more groups of people: Current and future players.

The downstate members of the SU roster who came in to help the Orange become “New York’s College Team” are ecstatic to play close to home in front of family and friends. Right guard Ivan Foy, a Brooklyn native, says this is huge for the local kids getting to play in the Meadowlands.

“We have to because our families are going to be there. Even though for home games our families are there, on Saturday more families are going to be there because it’s that much closer.”

Cornerback Brandon Reddish, who attended Fort Hamilton high school with Foy, feels the same way as his high school teammate. He’ll have overwhelming adrenaline on Saturday.

“It’s going to be out of control. I’ll just be happy knowing that I’m in front of my family and friends, playing against the #2 team in the country.”

Many Syracuse recruiting targets and commits are also eagerly awaiting SU’s clash with USC. Assistant Head Coach John Anselmo, the program’s main downstate recruiter, has used the game as a recruiting tool.

“I think it’s very important. Because when we recruited [downstate players], we recruited them telling them, ‘Hey, we’re going to be playing at MetLife Stadium, we’re going to play Southern Cal, we got Penn State, we have Notre Dame.’ Young players in the city, on Long Island, they want to play great competition. You tell them you’re playing in a pro venue, the type of teams you’re going to be playing against, it only helps you in the recruiting process.”

Reddish is cognizant that the recruits will be observing Saturday’s game closely.

“Win, lose, or draw, we’re going to show the recruits that we gave our all. If they really feel like that they can play in this system, then they should come here, because we’re not going to quit no matter what.”

Anselmo, who sports a thick Long Island accent, was born in Freeport, NY, and is a former longtime coach at Nassau Community College. He’s been recruiting New York athletes for more than 30 years, and he says SU’s recruiting objective is clear.

“We want to keep the best players in New York State in state, and have them come to Syracuse.”

And the best class of 2013 players in New York State will spend Saturday seated in the stands at MetLife Stadium.

While it’s understandable Syracuse residents would love to see this game at the Dome, that’s just not realistic for this program right now. Hopefully because of more games like this at the Meadowlands, it raises SU football to a place where Saturdays at the Dome are special again.

Tune into Fizz Radio Saturday morning at 9:00 am on The Score 1260 to hear our full conversation with Anselmo, and interviews with the top Orange recruits in attendance at MetLife Stadium.

Odds and Ends

– When asked exactly how many recruits and commits will attend Saturday’s game, Anselmo couldn’t give an exact number, but said “everyone” will be there.

– Between 2013 and 2038, Syracuse is scheduled to play at MetLife Stadium 13 additional times, including the upcoming matchups with Penn State and Notre Dame that Anselmo mentioned.

– Anselmo is listed on as the Assistant Head Coach and Linebackers Coach. The site says that he was the SU Secondary Coach from 2009-2010. When asked about his role in comparison to the other listed LB Coach, Steve Morrison, Anselmo told The Fizz that he is not actually the Linebackers Coach. In addition to acting as Assistant Head Coach, he helps out with the special teams, and still assists in the secondary. But not with the linebackers like SU Athletics says.

– That wasn’t our only bizarre finding on in recent days. According to the site, Marquis Spruill’s height has gone down one inch each of the last two seasons. He was listed at 6-2 as a freshman, 6-1 as a sophomore, and now 6-0 as a junior. Former Syracuse punter Rob Long reacted to the discovery on Twitter, saying, “I’d bet more money than I have that he is taller than 6 foot.”

Posted: Andrew Kanell

16 Comments on this Post

  1. Russell Mac Eachern

    With only 6 or 7 home games a year it is dissapointing to the CNY blue-collar fan base to have the best game on their home schedule so far from the LoudHouse where we can have a bigger impact on the game but for the sake of energizing recruiting I can see the short-term necessity!More disappointing is that we’ve scheduled 13 more future games there!It won’t look good if the USCs and NDs outdraw AND beat us in a “home game” especially w/us going to the ACC next year!!Lets hope that the recruiting advantage comes to fruition!On the height issue usually its exagerrated taller tho if they play big who cares?”Go Cuse”

  2. Russell Mac Eachern

    Of course not that we ever expect to lose,I think despite the streak were beyond that!!

  3. Those SU fans that are so “upset” about the game being held in NJ might want to ask why the record attendance for the Dome is over 30 years old. There have been many “big” games at the Dome and getting a crowd over 49,000is a non happening.

  4. I know playing in NYC is a pain for season ticket holders but if the benefits from that materialize in recruiting etc it will be worth it. There was a time when Alabama used to play 3 games a yr in Birmingham instead of Tuscaloosa

  5. I’m all for the games in Metlife, but to say that USC wouldn’t play us in CNY is false. The game was originally scheduled in the Dome, Gross moved it to the Meadowlands.

    Again, I like it as an NYC area alumnus, but this game could’ve been in the Dome.

  6. Good afternoon everyone; I was part of the 50K crowd when the dome first opened against Miami of Ohio. the crowd was closer to 51K and it was standing room only. My how things have changed,we’ve gone from a community that if lucky we’ll hit 40,000 for some games.

    I believe that due to ESPN coming along and offering big dollars to televise the games is one reason for the low turn out.
    To get the fans back to the dome I wish the university would reimpose the black-out rule. If the game isn’t a sell out,then black it out using a 150 mile radius from the dome.

    At first I didn’t like the idea of going to NJ to watch Syracuse play a home game,but I come to understand that there are a lot of fan support in that area and it would be great for them to go watch them live.

    Let’s compare the first two weeks of the season here. Last week Syracuse had roughly 38,000 in attendance and made approximately $1.2 million dollars for the game. This week they travel to NJ to play a game and low estimates are a pay day of $5.0 million.

    I understand that we are a blue collar city with very high unemployment and that the people need to see results when they spend their money. One of the complaints that I heard from everyone in the past was(Syracuse doesn’t schedule any of the good teams to come in here)SO I’M NOT GOING TO WASTE MY MONEY. Well people you’re getting exactly what you asked for, Syracuse to play the top notch teams. I know because of your complaining,my son and I will be enjoying one of those Fall Saturday afternoons meant for football. Oh!!and I will probably go to all of the rest of them that are scheduled there as well.

    GO CUSE;

  7. The simple truth of the matter is the team will need to get on a roll for the 45k+ crowds to show up for the low profile visiting teams (outside top 25). Also, the Friday night games are a great move. Nobody wants to go to a 12 noon kick-off in September. A late game at 8pm improves the butts in the seats.

  8. @Aaron;I think your right. Love the Friday Night Games.

  9. If ‘Cuse wins this game… I’ll eat my left sock!

  10. haha just enjoy:

  11. @Kevin;are you gonna wash the sock before eating it? I wouldn’t want to see you get sick after a hugh win by the Cuse.

  12. personnally i like this marketing strategy. it will make lots of money for su which they can take that money and reinvest it back into the football program. people complain that the dome is toast and we need a new stadium. well guess what a new stadium will cost? we have to come up with the money to do those kinds of things for the football program be practice facilities or whatever to enhance our recruiting.

  13. Russell Mac Eachern

    @Ron,bringing any sox for ur tailgate menu?Add lotsa spices lol,its gonna be long and hopefully BIG day!!Just u and one son?Good luck in Jersey,I gonna try’n make the RU game!!

  14. Russell Mac Eachern

    Hopefully I can be their to see us return the”favor”lol…its gonna be a war!!

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