It started how every present day athlete gets into hot water: social media. Last Friday, Tyus Battle posted an Instagram photo of Georgetown guard Jagan Mosely. The Orange guard prompted his followers to go follow his fellow New Jersey product. The post has since been removed, but we here at the Fizz grabbed a screenshot before it was too late. (Remember kids, nothing on the internet ever goes away!) Battle has also yet to post the classic “SORRY GUYS, MY ACCOUNT WAS HACKED!” apology.
Battle’s post was met with a lot of hate in the comments from Orange fans wondering how one of its own could endorse the enemy.
However, this post brings up a valid point. The old Big East rivalries do not have the same luster they once did ever since Syracuse joined the ACC nearly five years ago. Can you imagine if Justin Jackson told his social media fans to go follow Grayson Allen? The folks in Chapel Hill would call for Jackson’s head.
The history between teams like Georgetown and Syracuse will live on eternally through YouTube and documentaries, but it is time for fans to step out of the past and embrace the present. With the graduation of the Orange’s Dajuan Coleman and the Hoyas’ Bradley Hayes, the only remaining pieces of the old rivalry are on the sidelines in the form of Jim Boeheim and Patrick Ewing. These rivalries were sparked by the characters in the battles, not the ones in the stands, and quite frankly, if Boeheim had retired at the end of the coming season as previously anticipated, the rivalry would be even less robust.
The hatred between these two programs lies in John Thompson’s nasty eulogy of Manley Field House, Michael Graham punching Andre Hawkins, Pearl vs. Ewing, the list goes on and on. But what are the latest characters in this battle? Ever since the crumbling of the Big East, the rivalry seems forced by the players on both sides. The students now think the Orange’s biggest rival is Duke. In fact, when you type the phrase “Syracuse Georg” into YouTube, the first two results are “Syracuse Georgia Tech” and “Syracuse Georgia 1996.” Clearly, the new age of the ACC is replacing that of the Big East, which is especially reflected in this year’s attendance numbers. Syracuse’s Saturday afternoon game against Georgetown this season drew just about 1,300 more fans than SU’s Friday night contest against Colgate. Nearly half of the Orange’s home ACC games had more fans than the Hoyas game. The most attended on-campus game of all-time? Syracuse and Duke inside the Dome.
All of this does not mean that Syracuse no longer has any rivalries. There certainly seem to be some brewing in the ACC with SU and Pitt (an old Big East foe) as well as Duke. Give some of these matchups some time to mature. SU and Georgetown’s disdain for one another was not built overnight, and neither will these new age rivalries.
Georgetown, whatever time it may be, you no longer suck.