It’s fitting that the Pinstripe Bowl is sponsored by “New Era.”
Because that’s exactly what Doug Marrone created by willing his Orange to its first bowl appearance since 2004.
Winning the game itself didn’t hurt either. But let’s not kid ourselves, SU Football was headed in the right direction no matter how yesterday’s affair at Yankee Stadium played out.
While just getting to a bowl is indeed most of the battle, and probably as important as winning it, it doesn’t change how sweet the victory felt. It hit me when I saw Doug Marrone on the sidelines as the final seconds ticked off the game clock, teary eyed, drenched with Gatorade, embracing his players – this win was a long time coming.
Since Syracuse’s last bowl win in 2001, countless other programs have gotten to experience what the Orange felt yesterday. You could see the players and fans rejoice: finally, it’s our turn.
Judging by the determined scowl stuck to Marrone’s face all night, and the accompanying team-wide, never-give-up attitude that allowed SU to prevail over the Wildcats (despite being out of its element in a rare offensive shootout), Syracuse isn’t planning on waiting another 9 years to win it’s next postseason game, either.
Resilience didn’t only bring yesterday’s victory home. It’s become a trademark of a Marrone-coached team. Whether it’s been overcoming huge on-field talent discrepancies and winning ugly games, or fighting through off-field distractions and real-life scares while keeping the heart and competitive spirit of the team intact, the Orange has survived a ton of adversity.
We’ve witnessed how relentlessly Marrone’s bunch has worked over the last two seasons, and it’s time for the program to start reaping the rewards.
Syracuse has a coaching staff that’s already won over some impressive recruits with its honest, down-to-Earth approach. But now SU has more than the word of its coaches to offer. The team made its loudest and largest statement of the season on the field, with yesterday’s 36-34 triumph.
And it couldn’t have done so in a better location than Yankee Stadium, right at the center of the media market it’s trying to capture, in the backyard of the recruits that would turn next year’s freshman class into an absolute powerhouse, and SU Football into a winner for a long time to come.
Posted: Andrew Kanell