See, this is why I love Doug Marrone. Because the guy is tuned in. He’s wired for this university. The Dougie has the pulse of SU pumping through those bologna-and-cheese veins of his. When I heard he bought every student a ticket to the Rutgers game I just smiled.
Marrone refuses to ignore the importance of the kids on campus. He’s actively recruiting them.
“Dear SU Students,
I appreciate your enthusiasm at the Dome this year, especially during the Wake Forest game. The atmosphere has been electric! As we prepare for our conference opener with Rutgers this Saturday, I need your help. Your spirit and enthusiasm carry over onto the field – you truly inspire our players. They need your support this weekend as we begin our quest for a BIG EAST Championship.
With that in mind, I am extending you an invitation to attend the Rutgers game free of charge. All you need to do is present your SUID at Gate E. Let Rutgers know why the Carrier Dome is known as the “LOUD HOUSE!!!”
The game will be televised as the BIG EAST Game of the Week. Let the rest of the conference know what is in store for them when they travel to Syracuse, N.Y. Wear your orange. Cheer loud. I will see you Saturday!
I got this email from my buddy Penz, who I graduated with back in ’01.
“Did u hear free student tickets and marrone sent a letter/email to the whole student body? Love him.”
And that’s basically how we all feel as alumni. Coach P wasn’t all that cuddly. Groobers was such an unmitigated disaster, we began rooting against the program just to get him fired. Marrone inherited scorched Earth, a football team we were all embarrassed and ashamed of.
You know what Marrone did? He applied positive energy, optimism and work ethic. Like, “roll up your sleeves, throw on your sh*t-kickin’ boots, let’s do the damn thing” worth ethic. And it’s starting to happen. Clearly there’s plenty more to ascend to. Just going .500 in the Big East is not a final destination. But he’s also remaining humble in the approach.
Most athletic departments would look at free student tickets as lost revenue. Watering down demand. Marrone saying, “Screw that mentality. Get ’em in the building and tell ’em how much we appreciate it.” It’s big-picture thinking. It creates positive vibes. You get back what you put in. People in turn sell the program for you.
When I spoke to him in July at Big East Media Day, the overriding feeling was “we haven’t accomplished anything yet.” And thank goodness. Hey, when you’re coming off a bowl win and still only have 25k at the Dome, it’s hard to feel too entitled. But he’s approaching this the perfect way: we’re not there yet, but things are getting better, and we need your support to achieve it.
So we here at The Fizz have been inspired. We are fully behind Marrone (even if we question some of the day-to-day returns. Hey, what do you expect? We’re Syracuse fans). We’ve developed a t-shirt to wave the flag for Doug.
Show me the way, Marrone! What do you need us to do? Teach us how to Dougie!
So snare one of these bad boys, throw on the orange, and support the man! Wear it proudly. Rock it on campus when you wake up 15 minutes before your first class. Throw it on at Tully’s when you inhale some chicken fingers. It’s our duty. The Dougie has asked. The Fizz is answering. Will you?