Former Fizz is a new interview series where we talk with previous Orange Fizz staff writers about Syracuse sports from when they were on campus. Topics include specific players and games, special memories and of course Jim Boeheim throughout the years. You can listen to all of the episodes on the Orange Fizz SoundCloud or orangefizz.net.
The series continues with Craig Hoffman as the special guest. Craig is currently the Executive Producer for the Washington Spirit in Washington D.C. and has to deal with Georgetown fans all around him, but still says he hates the Hoyas. He remembers Chandler Jones ruining Geno Smith and Jim Boeheim ruining reporters. The interview is below, followed by an abbreviated Q&A from the discussion. We hope you enjoy!
QUESTION: What was your favorite Syracuse football memory from when you were a student?
ANSWER: It was definitely when Chandler Jones ruined Geno Smith’s life and he had like two sacks and a bunch of batted-down balls. The next time Syracuse played West Virginia after that game, Smith tried to act like he didn’t know who Jones was and then lost again to the Orange.
QUESTION: What was the worst football game you witnessed while you were at Syracuse?
ANSWER: There were a couple, but it has to be the game against Rutgers during my junior year because I feel like it set Syracuse football back so much. I honestly don’t remember too many details because I tried to scrub it from my memory.
QUESTION: Who was Doug Marrone as a person and a coach when he was at Syracuse?
ANSWER: Doug is a complex person and wears on people. I think he knows he’s really smart and sometimes that turns bad for him, but on a personal level he is really great. I didn’t have too many interactions with him, but I connected with him once and he was genuine. As for coaching, he remade an offense on the fly in the middle of the season and that just tells you how smart he is.
QUESTION: Who was more difficult in a press conference situation– Doug Marrone or Jim Boeheim?
ANSWER: I think it has to be Boeheim, especially in the press conference setting because he doesn’t really care anymore and he doesn’t take it easy on student journalists.
QUESTION: Who was the best Syracuse football player you watched while at SU?
ANSWER: Chandler Jones
QUESTION: Is Ryan Nassib number two?
ANSWER: No, I’d say Riley Dixon was better at his position than Ryan Nassib was at his.
QUESTION: How unbeatable did the 2010-2011 Syracuse Basketball team seem when it started 18-0?
ANSWER: We all knew that they weren’t that good. They just didn’t have the star-power to take the next step. The fact that that team lost during the first weekend of the tournament, it makes sense to me.
QUESTION: Which team did you feel more confident in– your junior year of 2010-2011 or your senior year of 2011-2012?
ANSWER: It was definitely my senior year and that team is one of the biggest what-if’s because Fab Melo got suspended and Syracuse got bounced out of the tournament in the Elite Eight even though they had the talent to make it farther.
QUESTION: What are your feelings about the NCAA vacating the majority of the wins Syracuse basketball had while you were on campus?
ANSWER: I generally think vacating wins is kind of silly and it really doesn’t mean much to me because the infractions were off the court and those teams were still very talented and earned the wins.
QUESTION: Of the old Big East schools, which one did you hate the most?
QUESTION: If you could put together a starting five of Syracuse basketball players that played while you were a student, who would be in it?
ANSWER: Brandon Triche, Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, Rick Jackson, Fab Melo